Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Competitive Intelligence: How To Track Your Competitors & Uncover Their Not So Hidden Secret

By Srikanth Chari

In business, you always need to know what your competitors are doing. To survive you must perform competitive intelligence activities and monitor the broader market for new developments that could affect your company, your products and brands, suppliers, and distributors.

Tracking your competitors is the only way to make to make sure you are thwarting threats, taking advantage of opportunities, marketing effectively, and, ultimately, winning in the marketplace. By performing competitive intelligence, you will significantly increase your margins and profitability.

There's one resource that's often underutilized in this regard: your competitors' websites. Today's digital footprint, while increasing corporate transparency and yielding greater power to consumers in the marketing dialogue, enables marketers to measure conversions. Companies spend enormous sums of money on maintaining their websites so that they can attract and influence prospects, customers, and analyst.

Your competitors may wish they could block you from their websites, but remember that the information they post there is public. If you aren't harvesting this rich - and free - resource, you are the loser!

Here are 5 things you must do regularly to effectively track your competitors and uncover their not so hidden secrets:
1. Identify your competitors
Now, this may seem odd to you. You’re probably thinking, “doesn't a company know who its competitors are?” Not always. New firms come seemingly out of nowhere, preempting existing companies with different technologies or approaches they never saw coming.

Often a company in an adjacent area will change its positioning to try and address your market, or a new startup may emerge in a related area. You need to create a master list of your key competitors and make sure you keep this up to date.

To do this, Google the terms, which describe your industry, your products and services. You can also use a little known feature in Google. In the search box, type in "related:www.yourcompanyname.com" and Google will display a list of companies that it considers related to yours. Look for new companies that show up and see if any of these pose a threat.

2. Check your competitors’ home pages for positioning changes
When you visit a company's website, first look at its home page to see if they have made changes to the way they describe their products and services. Carefully scrutinize how they emphasize different features or benefits and how they are positioning themselves. Sometimes, you can learn a lot even from the subtle changes your competitors make on their home page.

Source; http://www.workz.com/content/view_content.html?section_id=523&content_id=7072

No comments:

Welcome to CI

Welcome to CI