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5 Reasons You Should Be Careful about Monitoring Competitors

Fierce competition is always a challenge for many marketers when it comes to online advertising. To make it worse, customers have become more discerning with the kind of information they consume. More often than not, they want to find value in the content they read and the advertisements they see. This compels brands to promote their products or services diligently and do it in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd.

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One of the foolproof ways to do just that is to monitor competitors. What are they doing? In what platforms are they establishing their online presence? What makes their tactics work? With these questions, you will be forced to ponder your advertising strategy. You will ask yourself to think outside the box and develop a campaign that is both effective and unique⁠ something that will give you an edge.

This is just as true when we talk about growing your business with Google ads. It’s essential to monitor your competitors and read their next move. You want to know what keywords they are using and whether they are worthy to compete against.

You can also apply this to your overall marketing strategy. You may want to know what products are welcomed in your industry and the ideal price point. Competitor research and analysis will also highlight potential failings in your marketing approach.

Benefits of Monitoring Your Competitors

In a nutshell, monitoring competition is highly beneficial in various ways, especially for brands that want to take their digital game to the next level. Here are some of the top benefits:

Refine Your Strategy

Your competitor is doing better than you, and you want to know why. Through monitoring what they are doing on social media platforms and search engine sites, you’ll be able to pinpoint the methods they use, which you may be able to replicate. You can then improve your strategy through what you learned.

Identify Services They Don’t Offer

You can also use competitor monitoring to identify the gaps you can fill. Are their services limited? You might be able to exploit that by offering something they do not. It can be the deciding factor that can turn your prospects into paying customers.

Discover Potential Leads

You may want to look at the audience your competitor is targeting with their ads. Social listening is a great way to know what your competitors’ customers are saying about them and how you can turn this to your advantage.

Keep Up to Date

In the age of digital technology, the way one does business is constantly evolving. Stay up to date with the latest trends and tools that can give your business the boost it needs. Sometimes, your competitors know about them before you do, so it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on them and easily spot them when they are doing something new.

Why You Should Be Careful about Monitoring Competitors

But⁠ and it’s a big BUT⁠ marketing experts often caution about monitoring competitors for various reasons. Here are some of them:

You Might Lose Sight of Your Own Strategy

It’s always a good idea to see what your competitors are up to and read their methods. You may even learn a thing or two, which can help you refine your current strategy. However, you might be too engrossed in following what they are doing and lose sight of your aims and goals. Eventually, your strategy will stop revolving around your business objectives, affecting your brand identity.

You might find yourself just copying what they are doing because it works for them, even if these tactics might not necessarily fit within your goals. For example, you noticed that your competitor is running retargeting campaigns on Facebook and Google, and you want to do the same. However, you do not have enough data to allow you to do this effectively. You might want to focus on growing your email list first or driving traffic to your website. Jumping into the bandwagon can pose a problem later as you will fail to achieve what you have set out to do.

Misidentifying Your Target Market’s Needs

After monitoring their online presence, you found that our competitor is offering a specific service to their market, and you wanted to do the same. But this is not wise. You might be misidentifying the need of your market. While you want the same customers, you do not always satisfy the same need. This applies even if you’re running the same Amazon dropshipping business model. This can cause you to overlook the uniqueness of your own offering. You should, first and foremost, identify in which part of the buying cycle your customers are and meet their needs with a unique value proposition.

You Might Get Discouraged with Your Findings

Sometimes, you may be reading too much into your competitor research report that you get disheartened because your competitors are doing too well, while you’re still stuck in the basics.

This can make you feel discouraged to try harder. You might even stop halfway through your strategy without really knowing whether it will work or not. It can be easy to make you think that success can be achieved overnight if you see your competitors rocking their A-game.

You Might Misinterpret the Data You Found

Monitoring your competitors sometimes just stops on that step. If you are not investing time and effort in analyzing the data you have gathered, you will end up misinterpreting your findings. You must ensure that your findings align with your data as you make vital decisions from them. You won’t want to face failures from faulty decisions, after all.

You Risk Getting in Ethical and Legal Trouble

Some businesses go overboard in acquiring competitor data. There should be proper guidelines in monitoring competitors. Getting a list of emails from their databases through covert means is not an option. It’s easy to get in ethical and legal trouble if you are not careful. You should know when to stop snooping and which information is off-limits.

Ways to Monitor Your Competitors Legally and Ethically

Conduct a Company Website Research

You can go through your competitor’s website to see how they present their brand and identify the products or services they offer. As the foundation of every digital strategy, a website is essential. You may want to pay attention to the content they are putting out, their branding, and their tone of voice.

Check Their Social Media Pages

Most businesses have dedicated social media pages. They want to be where their customers are. Checking their social media content and the frequency of their posts will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Monitor Their Ad Campaigns

Whether it’s on Facebook or Google, it’s imperative to see how your competitors’ ad campaigns are faring. You can focus on their copy, creatives, or campaign objectives.

Sign Up to Their Email Database

You can monitor your competitor’s email campaigns by signing up to their databases. This will allow you to see their latest news and current offerings. You will easily spot if they are trying out something new, which will let you stay ahead of the curve.

Wrapping It Up

Monitoring your competitors is a must in this increasingly digital world. The cutthroat world of online marketing means you should always be on your toes and be prepared to adapt to new trends and stay ahead of the competition. It allows you to see your strengths and weaknesses, refine your strategy, and make sound data-driven decisions. If done right, this strategy can help you improve your business and allow you to get in front of the game before your competitors get a chance to.

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