Great article by Carol Tice in November’s issue of Entrepreneur.com, named 12 Ways to (Legally) Spy on Your Competitors. The article gives you some old school tactics, what we digital agencies would refer to as offline tactics to gain a little competitor insight.
Examples, such as read the paper, ask your vendors, go to trade shows, take a tour, shop in their store and view public reports. These tactics are today non-issues; with the exception of shopping in their store most of these issues are exactly that, “OLD SCHOOL”.
Fact is nobody in their right mind today, would go through all that trouble. I mean, really would you? If you answered YES, then please go to our initial blog and start reading from the beginning. You have a lot of ground to cover! … Click Here (we call this a call to action). (Yes I’m being funny, glib and irreverent).
I’m not trying to make fun of anybody, but if you’re not ready, or are what I refer to as a digital doubter, then the reading is recommended, SERIOUSLY.
If I haven’t lost you yet, here are some ideas to check out the competition with little or no trouble, some are in the article and I’ve added a few of my own, in fact several of my own.
1) Opt-in to your competitor’s email list
2) Review their website
3) Search – Google, Bing, Yahoo
4) Search – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube
Straight forward, but keep I mind what goes around comes around. Your competition is doing the same, so the take away on this, you need to keep your public face front and centre. Your clients need to find you before your competition does, and your offer, needs to be clear and concise. Every offer needs to be a valued added offer, and it has to be relevant. Lastly, you really need to engage your customers on an ongoing basis. Relationship building more important than ever.
Gone are the days of putting something out there that doesn’t have real value. It’s a new world out there and your digital agency can assist you in delivering the change and transition that is required in an online marketing world.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, November 2011