Do you know what your competitors are up to? Following your competitors can provide information about strategies that work and don’t work. This can save you money and help you produce more effective marketing.
Competitors Near and Far
Your competitors don’t necessarily need to be local. They might be in another town, state, or even country. Wherever they are located, you can learn from them.
In fact, the farther away your competitors are, the better. Businesses that aren’t in your market probably won’t notice or mind if you borrow from some of their ideas. That doesn’t mean you can blatantly copy ideas, but following their general trends isn’t a problem. For example, you might find a massage salon in another state that mails coupons to their customers. To get more customers at your salon, you can try mailing coupons, too.
The Proof is in the Frequency
Have you noticed other businesses using the same marketing strategies for years? That’s probably because that strategy works for them. Or maybe you’ve noticed them try something only once–they probably saw very little results, so you would be wise to not attempt it yourself.
What Aren’t They Doing?
You might be approached by a magazine or radio sales representative who claims that no one else in your business category is running ads with them. That would mean you won’t be competing for attention with other hardware stores, trampoline renters, or people who teach cats how to sing.
But then again, why aren’t other businesses advertising there? Wouldn’t they want to take advantage of this no-competition thing? Maybe no one else is advertising because it didn’t work for them. That can be a clue that you need to do research on who’s actually reading/listening to this medium. Make sure you’re investing your advertising dollars in something that will give you a decent return.
Don’t be a Copy Raccoon
If you see someone else doing something really smart or cool, remember to put your own unique spin on it before you implement it yourself. That’s what will make you stand out from others. This way, you’ll be able to showcase what makes you unique and build some brand loyalty at the same time.