Competitor intelligence is a critical, but often overlooked, element of building a sustainable global business in the 21st century. However, in order to get the most value and not waste precious resources, you’ll need to develop a system that identifies new competitors and tracks what they’re doing so you’re not caught offguard. Even Sun Tzu realised a couple of thousand years ago that “if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”.
Today, gathering intelligence about enemies is still popular for the military, but business professionals are tracking competitors because it’s important for their marketing and for expanding their marketshare. While the digital revolution has catapulted online marketing into a very powerful channel for accelerating business expansion, sleeping on the aggressive campaigns of your competitors may cost you thousand of euros for every minute that you’re not aware and reacting to their moves. Therefore, tracking competitors is no longer optional. It’s mandatory.
Pushing the speed of digital business further, companies are now experimenting with AI powered bots and algorithms for marketing in order to adapt to the fluctuating consumer landscape faster and more efficiently. This means ad campaigns, promotions and social media will only be accelerating even faster from today onward. However, you can still track your competition in order to catch your rivals and give yourself an edge. Here are 4 effective sources for tracking competitors:
1. Home Page Updates
Monitoring your rivals’ websites and landing pages is one of the most underestimated sources for tracking competitors, but it might actually be the most powerful one. A corporate website is like the digital business card of a company. It highlights exactly exactly the firm is offering and how they want to be perceived in the most concise wording as possible. Whenever a key strategic decision is made such as adding a new product or changing the brand message, you can bet it will be showcased on the homepage as soon as they’re ready to launch. Thus, by keeping an eye on any changes to your competitors’ home pages, you’re guaranteed to get invaluable insights into the strategic direction in which they’re heading. This will keep in you in a proactive mindset and put your company on the best route to success.
2. Pricing Page Screenshots
Tracking competitors’ pricing is crucial for any company, but it’s definitely a must for businesses that operate in hyper0-competitive or mature markets, such as e-commerce or travel booking engines. These customers often know exactly what they want and they are willing to research the web thoroughly to find the best deal. As a result, it’s important to keep tabs on any and all price changes whether they are permanent or temporary promotions. If you’re looking to do it manually and don’t want to spend money on automation, you’ll need to define an interval for checking your competitors’ pricing pages and noting the prices for every period in an excel sheet.
If you want to get a complete picture of the pricing strategies that your enemies are following, make sure that you’re also spying on their campaigns on search engines, social media and other channels such as discount offering websites. Companies often announce discounts through these channels in order to execute their price segmentation strategies and maximise revenues.
3. Blog Articles & Social Media
Another under-the-radar source for tracking competitors is the blog and social media activity of your rivals. If you’re drafting your content and social strategy, developing a social media competitive analysis is essential. However, even when you already have well-defined strategy and produce a lot of articles, videos, white papers and more, monitoring competitors has many advantages. First, you’ll get great insights into what works best for your competitors and can simply steal their best performing campaigns, keywords and topics for your own good. Second, keeping a close eye on what other firms from your industry are talking about might also reveal a lot about their strategy. If you look out for patterns and common themes in their latest series of published content, you might actually spot a shift in strategy.
4. Trade Shows
An often overlooked, but very simple and effective hack that might boost your sales figures is to analyse the event section of your competition and to search on Google for their ‘company name’ plus the word ‘event’. Take particular interest in any trade shows that your rivals are attending as this might be a true gold mine. Are there any important events that you’re missing out? Is an opponent targeting a new customer base for their product that you haven’t thought about yet? Do your research and then reflect on your own strategy to make sure you’re not overlooking any great business development opportunities for your company. Additionally, scrolling through trade show exhibitor lists might also uncover new competitors to keep an eye on in the future.
Tracking Competitors Manually Costs A Lot Of Time
To truly outperform your fiercest rivals you need to be aware of what they are doing at all times. Tracking competitors and their home page updates, pricing changes, published content and social media posts, as well as trade show participations is a great way for bootstrapping startups and high-growth tech companies to gather intelligence and data on their fiercest rivals. However, doing all of it manually is also very time consuming and difficult to maintain regularly.
Kompyte does all of that for you through an automated competitor tracking software. Get live insights about price changes, new Adwords campaigns, web copy content updates and much more through our state-of-the-art software to always be a step ahead of your competition and instantly respond to anything they throw at you.
So if you’re eager to get serious about monitoring your rivals, start your free trial now and automate competitor tracking with Kompyte.