Competitor research has long been a part of a business’s marketing strategy. For many businesses, often the most important part.
While competitor research certainly does serve a purpose, most people are going about it all wrong. Competitor research is valuable for illustrating proof of concept and for helping you uncover your own business’s strengths and weaknesses. Above and beyond that, people place way too much emphasis on competitors when the time would be better spent focusing on brand identity, channel development and influencer engagement.
Here are three key reasons you need to stop worrying about what your competitors are doing and focus on your internal strategy instead.
1) What your competitors are saying is irrelevant. I’ve lost count of how many clients I’ve worked with who have spent hours upon hours scouring their competitors websites to find out what they’re doing and saying, in attempt to replicate it.
The key to success in marketing is not to figure out what your competitors ARE saying, but instead figure out what they’re NOT saying. What are your competitors missing? Where’s the gap?
For me, the revelation came when I was researching competing PR websites and found myself nearly bored to tears. Then it hit me: if they can’t even tell their own story in a compelling way, why should their clients trust them to tell their story in a compelling way? That’s when it dawned on me, the key to my messaging was in creative storytelling and being able to pitch my own story so clients would trust me with theirs. I set out to be the non-boring PR girl with a fun story.
Moral of the story: Stop worrying about what your competitors are doing right and identify one or two key points they’re completely missing and whatever those are, make them your selling point.
2)Most people are doing their marketing all wrong. Sure, the marketplace is flooded with competition and business owners who double as “marketing experts” (or so they’d have you believe). But when push comes to shove, very very few businesses are doing it right. Strive to be one of those businesses.
I often post PR queries on HARO when I’m writing a story, so I can include valuable insight from outside experts. Some of the queries are on pretty vague business topics which leaves the opportunities open to thousands of businesses to respond. Yet, the most responses I’ve ever received on a pitch was 102. That sounds like a like, but by comparison to the number of experts who could have responded, it’s extremely low.
To take things a step further, upon weeding through those 102 pitches, only about a dozen of them were even close to being useful, or even answering my original question. Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that it’s the same people, the same business owners, time and time again who send pitches, and send them the right way.
Let me say that again for emphasis. In a marketplace with thousands of potential sources, it’s the same five or six people EVERY time who make a consistent marketing effort and do it the right way. Literally, a handful.
Bottom line: Stay away from “overnight success” marketing tactics, stick to providing real value to potential customers and creating real relationships with influencers and you’ll have the upper hand. Do it consistently and you’ll be successful. There’s no shortcut to success, but it’s also not rocket science. Do it right and do it consistently and suddenly your competition takes care of itself.
3)Brand experience should be personal. Authenticity is a major buzzword right now and rightfully so. Now more than ever, consumers want to do business with businesses they can relate to, that share similar core values, beliefs and ideas about changing the world. People want to be part of a tribe. There’s nothing authentic or personal about replicating ideas from your competitors.
Even if you’re not the first business in your niche to do what you’re doing, build a brand identity that reflects your values and your vision. You’ll attract the right tribe (and repel the people who would end up being a pain in the butt anyway).
Although I would never advocate throwing caution to the wind and pretending your competitors don’t exist, I strongly suggest changing the way you think about them. Even in a crowded marketplace, consistency and value will always rise to the top.
Moreover to create your brand experience more effective on personal level you need to understand your brand’s users and for that you must need their customer’s profile data so that you can know what they like/dislike, their interests, their hobbies etc. such user data can be proved as the most valuable asset in developing an astonishing marketing strategy.