I’ve worked with and for a hell of a lot of awesomely, successful entrepreneurs that doggedly watch their competitors, but to be honest, I don’t think it’s entirely necessary and it sure aint my style.
Whenever my kids are whining about something someone else is doing that they’re not or that they’re not allowed to do, my response is always the same. “I don’t care. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, just worry about yourself.”
I feel the same way about business. Maybe it’s because at my heart and soul I am a writer and writers are more inclined to revere, admire and support our peers than to plan on taking them down.
From a marketing perspective at least, rather than counteracting your competitors' existance and presence, the one thing you should be focusing on is building a community.
I’m not saying that stealing attention via PR and online advertising are not imperative. There are times when you need to be aggressive about your presence (most especially when you are launching or launching a new offering), but there are not infinite opportunities within these media channels. Even Facebook advertising is becoming saturated so when you think about it, the cost of that is increasing and the impact is becoming a little diluted.
So, how do you build a community? Three of the best ways are:
- Implement a nurture program that directly communicates with customers or potential customers based on their experience and behaviour – e.g. email them information linked to past purchases, follow up with more information and offers based on click-through, sign up, or click-through without purchasing.
- Write a blog or produce other content that adds value to the customer experiences - focussing on their desires and needs rather than your sales spiel.
- Build a social media presence, build a social media audience and actively engage with that audience.
By building a community, engaging with it, listening to it and acting accordingly, you don’t need to worry about your competitors as much.
, by Natalie Green