, when small and medium sized business were asked how they decide on new marketing tactics, they gave analyzing competitor efforts as the number one determinant. However, the large companies surveyed said they make decisions on new marketing tactics based more on whether these tactics are aligned with long term strategies.
The study shows other reasons which will be revealed in an
on November 19, but I wonder why smaller businesses are so much more influenced by their competition’s marketing efforts than larger companies are.
There are probably a number of reasons. They don’t have the time to plan 2 to 3 years ahead. They can’t afford to try something untested. Fear that their competitors will get an advantage. Most of it is pretty reactive and short-term. And, easily understood.
If you’re one of those smaller companies that looks at the competition to justify a marketing effort, there are several ways you can do this effectively.
Make a list.
Sounds easy, but it’s critical. You need to have a list of all of your competition.
There are several ways to do this. One is to go to an industry trade show and collect as much of the literature as you can. The other is to analyze their website for content. You can also use the web to find out their retail prices.
Create a grid.
You can start with a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Then list products, distribution, pricing etc.
Determine their marketing effectiveness
. You can use our
to see how effective your competition’s website really is. That will give you an indication of their traffic in relation to your site.
The reason you want to gather this information in an organized fashion is so that you can better evaluate your competitor’s marketing tactics. Basically, you want to look more carefully at the tactics of those competitors whose marketing is working well and whose products compete more directly with yours.
But competitive analysis is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s also short term and reactive. It needs to be a part of a fully integrated marketing plan that incorporates with both short- and long-term strategies. This is what the big companies do, and it’s what small
companies should do as well.