Modern day business strategy revolves around competition. Most of the time of a business goes into designing strategies to outsmart/outplay competitors. In today’s era every business faces cut throat competition. Intense competition requires well driven marketing. A well driven marketing strategy requires as much information about the market as possible. You need to know the opportunities that the market has to offer and more importantly you need to know your closest competitors. You need to know your competitors well to be a step ahead of them. The first step towards competitive analysis is benchmarking. Businesses select suitable competitors for benchmarking that have similar products/services or are active in the same market. Then they start collecting data about these competitors. On the basis of information collected business form strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
Now-a-days when technology and information has turned everything into commodity, customer service has become one of the most important differentiator and each company wants to offer best customer service to its customers. Businesses use social media as a customer service channel. Now if you keep a tab on your competitors average response time to address/resolve customer issues/complains, you can plan and prepare to beat that average response time and offer better customer service to your customers. This also gives you an opportunity to attract competitor’s customer who are not so happy with the customer service of your competitor. Share of voice is again a very good metric to compare your social presence with that of your competitor’s. These are just a few examples. There is a long list of metrics that you can capture and compare with your competitor and then make appropriate changes to your social marketing strategy.
By now, it is fairly clear that listening to understand what people are saying about competition is really important. ABCPQR can help you in listening to what people are saying about your competition and about the industry you are part of and help you answer important question about your competition.
- Who is having the conversations regarding your competitor(s)?
Can they be a prospective customer for your products or services?
- Where are the conversations happening?
Is it happening more on mainstream news websites or Twitter/Facebook or blogs?
Where are your competitors likely spending marketing dollars to drive word-of-mouth?
- Why are these people talking about your competitor?
Are there specific websites, blogs or Twitter accounts that talk about your competitors a lot?
Is it possible to identify your competitor’s customers, brand loyalists as well as brand detractors?
- What are the conversations saying about your competition? Are they praising your competitors or complaining about their products/services?
- How are you doing with respect to your competition on social media?
What’s your share of voice in your industry?
Figuring out the answer to these five questions will give a much better understanding of your ‘Social’ competitive landscape. It will help you to understand and strategize on what are your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and help you position your product and brand better.