There’s an insane number of aspects a person needs to keep track of when running a business. Some vary in their importance so that they can be occasionally neglected, but even that is not a good thing to do. One such aspect that people tend to forget is competitive analysis.
You must keep track of your competition as a marketer because otherwise, you risk being outperformed, swept away, and ignored. These risks often arise when small mistakes and inconsistencies grow into a more significant, systemic problem.
So to ensure that you do not end up in a problematic situation, here as some prominent mistakes in competitive analysis every marketer should avoid.
1. Ignoring Competition
The worst mistake any business owner can make is ignoring their competition. The internet and, by extension, the online business market is a very decentralized place. This means it can be quite hard to visualize the importance of monitoring competition.
So to help you visualize the situation, imagine the internet is your home town. It has a school, a couple of restaurants, some supermarkets and you want to open up a bakery. Would it not be prudent that you first see if your town has any bakeries, their prices, how do the people like that bakery, and if that bakery is making any money.
The same idea applies to online business; it’s just that you can’t physically see your competition. It’s your job to analyze the market, see if you have any opposition and how well they are performing. Otherwise, you risk going into business against someone who already outperforms you, and you won’t have a plan on how to compete with them.
This mistake might also happen while you’re already running a successful business. If a newcomer with great ideas and strategies comes to the market, and you ignore them, you might find that they’ll pull the rug under your feet.
2. Oversimplifying Metrics and Patterns
So, you’ve started to follow your competition and analyze their metrics. That’s a great step in the right direction. But make sure you don’t just analyze the numbers. You mustn’t fall into the trap of just viewing a couple of metrics and only perceiving them as numbers.
Instead, you should use as many metrics as you can to gain a clear picture of the situation. You must also look for patterns in the metrics, and they’ll allow you to maximize the effects of your marketing strategy. These patterns might be subtle and barely noticeable, but if you work hard on tracking them, your effort will be paid off tenfold.
3. Not Having a Defined Audience
In marketing, finding your niche is everything. Every business you see online is trying to find its audience so that its marketing strategies don’t fail on an uninterested audience.
You wouldn’t try to sell a sports car to a grandma or a gun to a dog. So why would marketing work any different? It’s your job to find the audience that can most efficiently be converted into customers.
If you don’t do that, you risk your marketing campaigns dissolving into the general public, where most people will ignore your attempts at persuasion.
4. Not Having a Long-Term Strategy
Like everything else in business, competitive analysis requires a long-term strategy. Starting without it is risky and might lead to other mistakes. You should have a set structure that properly reflects your ideas about what you want to achieve.
Defining your goals and methods will give you a clear indication of how you can outperform your competition. And with a proper long-term strategy, you can not only improve your standings but also slow your competitors’ tracking efforts.
If you look at a long-term plan, you’ll be able to set out points from which you can confuse your competition and set them on the wrong path. But if you work without a strategy, you’ll be left with a patchwork of plans that tell your competitors your weaknesses.
5. Ignoring SEO Recommendations
SEO is king on the internet. It stands for search engine optimization, precisely what it does. It optimizes your chances of appearing at the top lists in various search engines. Most people look for, explore, and stumble into websites through search engines, so ignoring SEO recommendations can spell doom.
So make sure to give extra thought to keywords, backlinks, visual optimization, mobile-friendly design, and other SEO tips. Your online presence will skyrocket if you follow those tips to the letter. No longer will you toil away in the depths of search engine results. Instead, you’ll sit atop those same results where everyone will see you first.
Competitive analysis is an incredibly important aspect of digital marketing. And while it takes some time to learn all the tips and tricks about it, having these mistakes laid out ensures that you’ll avoid them in the future.