Friday, 25 June 2010

Identify your competitors and evaluate your marketing strategy

The ideas of competitors and markets used to squarely belong with marketing strategies for off-line companies. The online world has shifted the focus because it allows fast, automatic, analysis of your competitors. Many tools are offered under Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allowing inside information on what your competitors are using as keywords to hook people in to their site, what search engines they are listed on, what links enhance their optimisation, what ranking they command in the engines and many more pieces of intelligence. Are you checking your competitors regularly? Worse, are they checking on you?

There's a free tool that analyses some basics that you can use for your own site or for a competitor at Search Engine

Search Quest gives a breakdown of what analytics they offer for small, medium and large companies. Of course, the charges go up accordingly, but it helps to see the range of analysis that is offered for a price. What price is competitor intelligence worth to you?

It's as well to remember a few caveats about trying to emulate your close competitors. They have perhaps forged ahead in their branding for several reasons. Is it worth you always trying to catch them up or should you use the intelligence to out think them? Just reproducing the same strategies but later than competitors will not give you an advantage.

So are you a blue ocean company or a red ocean company? The article from Mind Tools about blue ocean strategies is worth reading to help focus your strategy on winning by establishing difference, not by copying your competitors. Food for thought. Happy strategising.