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Facing Tough Competition

Is your business on track for marketing gold?One of the key factors for business success lies in knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing. Facing up to strong competition can be a challenge; however, we believe that with the right research and analysis, you business can be armed with the tools necessary to achieve market dominance.

You may think you already know your competitors and what they are up to, but how often do you check their social media platforms, promotional material, website or customer service? Time and time again we speak to SMEs who believe they already know their competitors and that research is not a priority. We would have to disagree. Understanding how your competitors engage with your target audience and identifying what their strengths and weaknesses are, gives you a valuable insight into how you can improve your business. Competition can be fierce and in order to form sound business strategies, you need to have as much information as possible.

Ensuring your offering is different (in a good way!) is vital. If you don’t have up-to-date information about competitor activity how can you be sure you are?


So where to start? How about asking yourself these questions.

  • Who are your direct competitors? Have you actively searched for new companies that may have entered your market place?
  • Where are they located? Do you all operate in the same region?
  • What services do they provide? Have they introduced a new product offering recently?
  • Do they have an experienced team?
  • What about indirect competitors? Who are they? The watch market didn’t see mobile phones as a threat, now their market place is shrinking as people use their mobile to tell them the time.


What else might be useful to know?

  • Do they have an effective website? What content do they upload and is it updated on a regular basis?
  • Are they actively participating in social media? What content are they sharing and what platforms are they utilising? Are they effective users of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
  • Do they have a USP? Are they providing a service or product that you are not?
  • Have you mystery shopped them?
  • Are your competitors publishing regular press releases?
  • Is there a news or blog function on their website? What are they talking about?
  • Do your competitors advertise, if so, where?
  • Do you know what terms they are optimising their website for?

All this may seem overwhelming, but preparation and research are vital within a crowded market place. Your findings will help shape winning marketing strategies that help drive future business success.

So if you can’t answer many of the questions above….start researching you competitors today.

 

Fuel Your Marketing Performance

With the dust now settled on the courts of Wimbledon, we’ve had the chance to reflect on what business can take from the sport.
We believe that when it comes to performance, businesses can learn a lot from the tennis industry.

Clear vision of success
Like business, sport is outcome orientated; it’s about securing clearly defined results in a competitive environment. A tennis player doesn’t enter Wimbledon with the thought of losing and if they do, it is highly likely that is exactly what will happen. Winning the competition must be at the front of their mind.  In the world of business, becoming number one is tough, but having a positive goal to work towards is the key to success. Andy Murray adopts just such this attitude: “I will go to Wimbledon with the feeling that I will win, you cannot come up with another attitude.”

Practice makes perfect

The techniques used by sports stars to maximise their performance can also be applied in the world of business. Much like a business needs to do with its products and services, a tennis player will spend years perfecting their game, putting in hours of hard training sessions to help build up stamina and technique.  They will build on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses to become the best that they can be.

Expert advice
Like a business, a tennis player constructs a team of experts to help them realise their vision. A player doesn’t enter a tournament alone, behind them sits an extensive support team of physios, coaches, nutritionists and family members, helping guide them through their career and towards their end goals.

Fully informed
Having the ability to respond to your competition effectively is vital for any business. A business should always know who their competition is and what they are up to.  A tennis player will analyse their opponent before a game, finding their weaknesses and identifying their strengths. In the same way, a business must undertake rigorous and regular analysis of its competition and ensure it has a robust marketing strategy to attract its target audience.

Evaluation
Whether a tennis player wins or loses they always review their performance.  A player will access their stats, watch video play backs and pick out aspects of their performance, what worked and what didn’t. Any successful business will undertake the same process and review its performance at regular intervals. It is through evaluation that a business can know what works, what doesn’t and stopping wasting money on ineffective activities.

Reputation
Finally, a top player and their team will spend time carefully nurturing their brand and how they are perceived in the public domain. They will be mindful of the benefits on offer from sponsorship and endorsements but careful that they choose appropriate partners to meet their end goals. Businesses need to manage their relationships in the same way and present their brand in a clear, consistent and appropriate manner to achieve business success.

In order to help your business perform like a top tennis pro and add fuel to your performance, follow our simple marketing formula.

formula
The objectives of any business, much like a professional tennis player, is to see return on our investment. We believe that by:

1.      investing time in planning your strategy

2.      finding a USP to help you stand out from your competition

3.      analysing your competitors weakness and strengths

4.      reviewing your performance on a regular basis

your business will be fully prepared and ready to win your ‘Wimbledon’.