Who thinks to check out their competitor’s marketing tactics as they’re building their own? We do! We look at the top 6 competitors of our clients each time we build a tactical plan. And this is what we look for:
1. Take note of what they’re doing and check if it's getting noticed
The great thing about a marketing strategy is that it can’t be a secret.
It's easy to uncover what your competitors are doing, and in some cases, determine if it’s successful for them.
Start with an evaluation of their website. Is it current and does it work on your mobile devices and tablets? Do you see content marketing archived on their site? What about social media? If they are on social media, look at each channel. How is their engagement? Are their posts being shared or liked? By who? How often do they post? What is the type of content? This is one tactic where their success is easy to measure and you can’t hide your results. Next evaluate their leadership team’s LinkedIn profiles. How current and professional is that photo? Do they speak at industry events or post their own content? How engaged is the leadership with social media? Look for a newsletter sign up on the website. It doesn’t mean they publish one, but it’s a good indication.
Now sit back and look at what you have learned. Do they have good marketing? Is it consistent and up to date? Does it look professional or is it outdated and possibly full of errors and typos? Are they doing anything that you aren’t? Do you know if it’s working? If it looks like it is, consider creating some time and budget for you to add it to your tactical plan.
2. Look at their messaging
One important aspect of the marketing strategy that we rarely see is evidence that your competitor understands their competitive advantage and quantifies it. It is difficult to do. It’s time consuming. And it’s subtle. But it’s worth it. It really makes your messaging stand apart from the others which is important to help you be heard and remembered. Its builds credibility.
Once you have compiled all of their different messages, do you see consistent messaging across the competition? We call that table stakes and we include those messages for the sake of completion, but we make sure we have high impact messages that stand apart.
3. Stay calm about their tradeshow presence
It’s tempting to succumb to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and feel as though you might miss opportunities if you don’t attend the some trade shows as your competitors. But, unless you have an inside source of information, you don’t know if they are getting any value from attendance. Tradeshow costs add up quickly, and that’s even before considering the cost of taking Sales out of the field for the length of the conference. We consider tradeshow attendance very carefully and do our utmost to secure ROI (See our blog post 5 Things You Need To Do To Estimate Tradeshow ROI). Unless you are able to predict success, attend the show as a delegate and walk the floor. Speak to the vendors to ascertain their feelings of success. You may find a business opportunity anyway!
One final point: Now that you have completed this audit and fully understand your competitive marketing landscape, keep current by setting up Google alerts on each of your competitors. Also remember to follow them on social media and sign up for their newsletter. This will allow you to monitor any changes in their tactics and ensure you’re always aware of their activity. Also remember to check their websites frequently.
Many of our other blogs reveal in-depth information about critical marketing tactics you might be evaluating. If you’re still not sure what to do with the information you have or what it all means, please contact us.