We all know the saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. When it comes to a strong marketing strategy, studying the competition is always smart. It may sound bad, but it’s not. Actually, it can help you strengthen your brand. Mostly, you can learn from their mistakes, but also, you can learn from their successful strategies and imitate them giving it your own spin somehow.

Building Blocks, not Copy Machine

You can improve on them, build on their strategy. Definitely don’t copy them because it won’t do you any good. Your brand should have its own voice, its own personality, to stand out from the rest. Not to mention that blatantly copying things from your competitors carries the possibility of a lawsuit.

Healthy Competition

Take it as a healthy competition that will challenge you to work smarter on your marketing strategy. Your rivals can push you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a better proposition to your customers. Learn how they think and gain insight into what’s working for them, as well as what they might be missing. That is probably where your greater advantage is, on things they’re missing.

Stay Focused on the Goal

Never forget about your mission and priorities, both of which should focus on your customers. It’s not about outdoing your competition (well, maybe a little if you’re really competitive). Seriously, it’s really about developing a stronger marketing strategy and building a better brand to satisfy your customers’ needs. Because, at the end of the day, it’s your audience who can make or break your brand. So, don’t allow this process to become a sour rivalry. Make it a learning experience that will help shape your better version.

Where to Start

Where can you carry out this learning experience? A good place to start is social media. Monitor what your competitors are saying about themselves, and most importantly, what their customers are saying about them. You can also ask people directly through surveys questions like “Why did you choose us over [name competitor]”, or “How do our prices compare to other companies that you’ve done business with before?”.

Localbiz360 lets you compare how your business is doing versus your competitors, in the areas of social media, business listings, online mentions and keyword rankings. All these data will help you develop a solid marketing strategy that will take your business to new levels.

Always keep in mind that your focus should never be to be on your competitor’s heels. Your priority is your clients, because they are what makes your business a business. The study of your competition should always be a learning experience to assess your good and your bad, and see how you can improve.