What if our troops on the border knew the invasion strategy of the other side every time there was a threat? It is impossible to find out a formula to that. But talking about brands, decision makers spends thousands of dollars for things like competition analysis, competition brand marketing analysis, brands comparison, so on and so forth.
The job of a marketer is never over. And amidst all the daily tasks like decisions on target deliverables, long-term and short term marketing and business plans, reporting structures, handling external agencies, briefing the internal teams, branding ideas and those infinite to dos on your lists, keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing becomes, sometimes, a difficult task to perform, and very frankly, not the most important if you try to put it on the priority list.
Even if you have hired an outside agency for your competition analysis to track all that they are possibly upto, there are some absolute on-the-go tools that will help make your life easy. Let’s have a quick glance-
- Google Alerts– Set up a Google alert for every competitor of yours. This will help you stalk them on anything they publish officially.
- Become their customer- Shop for their product(s)/ services to know what sets them apart. In addition to this, subscribe to their newsletter, blog, social channels and bookmark their website on your browser. Everything that they want their customers to do to stay in touch.
- Marketing Grader– a tool for monitoring mentions
My personal favorite, this tool allows you to track their social mentions, SEO success, their blogging techniques, lead generation success. It rates each one of them and keeps the scores fluctuating as their activities fluctuate.
- Simply measured– A very advanced tool that offers almost everything you need to know about your competitors. Without switching too many apps or tools, you can ‘simply’ go to this tool and get the information instantly and later when you have time, you may download all the 35 different reports to analyze their actions and reactions.
- Go through their websites– On a regular basis, check out their websites. This is the very basic and the most fundamental thumb rule of tracking them and involves no fancy rocket science. While your way to or back home, you can quickly see their recent campaigns, new launches and most of the times, something that you were earlier unaware about them through this powerful medium.
- Talk to one of their most important brand advocate- the customer– Their customers who are their brand advocates are those who can vouch for them and vice versa. On a more casual note, talk to them about what they feel being associated with the brand, when was it that they found solace in the brand, what sets that particular brand apart. And trust me, this is the best exercise, far better than any other online predictive analysis.
- Read what their leaders have to say– You might escape from the point where I spoke about going through their website, claiming the lack of time, but not this one. It takes only a couple of quick glances to go through what the leaders from the competing team have to say about their strategy in the news/media. Trust me, I have won several marketing pitches through this exercise. The trick is to understand where they are and where they want to reach.