Getting information about your competitors can be easier than you may think.
Are there things you do better than your competitors? Are there other things that they do better? How much do they charge? How do they present themselves? Do they offer products or services that you don’t? The answers to these questions may be gotten more easily than you think.
Much of your research can be done online. Start by searching for terms your customers would use. What web sites come up at the top of the listings? Who advertises for those keywords? Analyze the sites at the top of the listings to see how you might improve your web site’s ranking.
As you visit web sites, note what each does well and what does not seem to work. What colors do the sites use? What pages and features do the sites have? Are the sites easy to navigate and find what you are looking for? Do they offer free information, links or tools? How do they use interactivity to involve visitors?
Does the web site have a media room or press section? What information is posted there? Do they have press releases, photos, bio, product sheets, clips of media appearances, etc?
How do they market their products and services? Read the web copy carefully. Are they using benefit language, or simply relying on buzzwords and jargon? Do they offer a guarantee?
Who are their clients? Do they have a client list or client testimonials? What do clients say about them?
Look for pricing information at the web sites. Many sites post a complete price list. Others may list only prices for products and select services, and some will have not price information at all.
Get copies of marketing materials, such as bio sheets, catalogs, press releases, newsletters, etc. How do they use color? How does the copy read?
Now that you know what the competition is up to, learn from it. Don’t copy exactly what they are doing, but see if there are lessons you can incorporate in the type of products and services you offer, your guarantee, the language you use to communicate with customers and more.