Throughout all of our marketing and advertising training, the number 1 thing we were always taught was to know the competition inside and out. We know we aren’t alone either, a competitive analysis is a part of every successful business. Knowing your competitors and who you are going up against is important but do they actually matter?
Not as much as you might think.
We want you to think about the 1 word that every marketing course will drill into your head whether for online advertising or using traditional mediums. Differentiation. How will you make your business stand out from your competition? If you can make your business stand out as the number 1 choice for your customers, you shouldn’t feel a compulsive need to analyze everything your competition does. Instead, they will be analyzing you. The key to a successful business is to identify your SCA, your sustainable competitive advantage. Once you find something that your competitors can not compete with you on, then you will have successfully differentiated yourself from them.
What Is A Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
A sustainable competitive advantage is something that is unique to your business that no other business can copy, at least not very easily. Let’s get this out of the way now. Low prices are not a sustainable competitive advantage.
If a new competitor or your current competitors can easily replicate your business’ offering, it can not be considered an SCA. Any business can lower prices, or offer free shipping, or even move locations to your area. That being said, a new business can not copy your branding, your trademarks, your employees, your brand personality, and especially you.
When you stand out in your market, your competitors will notice you and more importantly, your customers will notice you.
So What If Your Competitors Notice You
Every minute your competitors spend analyzing you is a minute they could have spent developing their own business, running A/B tests, and growing their own business. The same goes for you. As a local business, you likely do not have the resources or staff you’d need to analyze your competition’s every move, and act accordingly in time.
We aren’t telling you to ignore your competitors completely!
Be aware that local SEO and marketing is challenging but time is the biggest enemy of small and medium-size businesses. In most local markets, your competitors may not even be thinking of you, so don’t waste valuable time analyzing their every move. You are better off with a general understanding of their marketing and advertising plan, and using your time to develop your own business, and differentiating yourself from your competition.
Spend your time wisely.
What About The Risks
If you are thinking that without a full understanding of your competitors, you are taking a big risk, then you are right. Any form of advertising and marketing is a risk, but it is also an investment. When you spend ample amounts of time analyzing your competitors and making minute changes to your own plan, you are being reactive.
While being reactive is a safe strategy to slowly grow your business, you will never grow to become the number 1 option for your customers. To grow your business and stand out from the competition, you need to be proactive.
The problem with zeroing in on your competition is that you will never see new opportunities to take advantage of. By following behind your competitors, you will always be in their shadow.
Throughout history, 12 people have stood on the surface of the moon. Niel Armstrong was the first, can you think of the 11 others?
Be the first to take the initiative and explore new opportunities. With time and effort, your competitors will be the ones psycho-analyzing you.
What If You Are New To The Market
New business owners often have trouble adapting to a new market and if you are new you might not know where to start. The first thing we recommend for all new business owners is to set up a website and social media profiles for their business. The world is moving to a digital age, and everything you can’t find on Google might as well not even exist.
This is why we decided to specialize in SEO, search engine optimization.
For a new business trying to decide what they need to do online, the first thing that we will tell our clients is to give us a list of their largest competitors and their websites. This is the only time that you should spend looking in-depth at your competition. Once you can understand why they are the biggest player in the market you can build your own website and social media to beat them. Be better than everyone else and don’t be afraid to take risks.
With time and effort focused on your own business, you will find yourself growing and becoming the new top player in the market. All you need is to find a way to differentiate yourself from all of your competitors and build on it.
If you are interested in growing your business, let’s get in touch! Allow us to show you why focusing on yourself is a more successful growth strategy than hyper analyzing your competition.