Make sure you’re thoroughly familiar with your market – that means current users, potential customers, competitors, and the competitors’ offerings. Include in your analysis direct competitors and substitute products (whether directly-competing offerings, or substitutes).
Ranking your competitors can be very useful. Create a simple listing of the key information on each competitor. Comparing your company and its offering(s) to the companies on this ranking list, you can more easily see which companies are your toughest competitors. As time goes on, you can also review and re-evaluate the list, to measure your upward progress and to refine or rework your organizational and marketing strategies and tactics.
Your ranking list should include these points, at a minimum:
- Competitor name
- Yearly turnover (and, if possible, growth over time)
- How many users do they currently have
- What’s their Google ranking for the top 10-20 keywords in your market?
- What kind of competitor are they – direct, or substitute?
- How do their prices compare to yours, for similar offerings?
- What are their primarily target group(s)?
- What are their strengths? Their weaknesses?
When you have answered each of these questions, you should start working on how to make your offering better than your competitors’. Follow the guide in the next section.