How To Research Your Competitors

Whether you run an online business, have a large brick and mortar franchise, or manage a small business from home, knowing about and understanding your competition is critical.

Now while it may seem unfair at first to devote time to researching your competition, keeping tabs and monitoring them on an on-going basis can prove to be advantageous for a few reasons. It can tell you:

  • whether you are hitting success markers,
  • whether a product is failing or trending in the market,
  • or even how to win over customers from your competition.

In this article, we will explore and discuss various methods for researching your competitors by using business intelligence platforms like Zirra to aggregate digital footprints or how to use monitoring tools to evaluate unmet market needs.

Tap Into Social Networks for a Cost-Effective Analysis.

Take a look at who and how often customers engage in competitor content.

You can do this across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube to get a good idea of what your competitors are doing well and what they aren’t. Use this information to your advantage by catering and adjusting yourself to the opportunities that are available.

Maybe your competitors have poor organic post engagement or do not have enough sponsored posts; use this to up your game.

You can take this a step farther by using web tools that automatically measure a company’s social impact or informs you about public feedback about your company.

Go Directly to the Source – Your Customers.

Do not skip over your customers for they offer up one of the most authentic sources of information.

When you win over a new customer, regardless of how, ask them who they used before and why they chose to switch to your company. (You should also do this with customers that you lose. Identify why they left and why they chose your competitor over you.)

When you gather enough information from your customers, you will get a clear picture of what is happening and why. This allows you to adjust as necessary.

One way of conducting this type of research is through surveys or studies. What’s great about surveys is you don’t have to limit them to your customers, as you can easily e-mail up your competition posing as a customer yourself and differentiate what is different about their sales process and yours.

Find Your Competition Through an Easy-to-Digest  Report.

Use the AI-powered market intelligence platform, Zirra, to research and analyze your competitors. By using the Automatic Memo, you can gather data-driven insights over your current competitor’s status, market position, risk, strengths, history, legal issues, traffic spikes, and other key events through Zirra’s quick “digital fingerprint” Automatic Memos.

These memos allow you to respond to crucial events like layoffs and management turnover as well as screen markets and score and rate companies across multiple sectors. In turn, you can reach a quick understanding of whether there are opportunities for investment or partnership.

Use Company Alerts to Track Competitors’ Keywords.

Although you need the company’s necessary information and keywords, once you have these using a system like Zirra, you can keep track of your competitor’s through Google Alerts in real-time. This can include things like their on-going promotions, sales, and offers.

Assess Your Competitors’ Online Reputation.

By seeing what other people have published online about your competitor’s, you can get a good grasp on how satisfied people are and what their common pain points are. When you are able to identify the common complaints, your company can turn around and offer a solution to these pain points. In doing this type of research, you can successfully win over customers.

Although it may feel like spying, keeping track of your competition and researching them is a smart business tactic that can help you gauge the success of your company. It will help you answer questions about who your biggest competitors are, how products are faring, and even provide you with a better understanding of your target  market. The key to sustained growth, innovation, and relevancy lie in keeping up with those around you, competitors and allies alike.