There is an old saying: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Basically, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to anything your enemy may try while you’re not paying attention. The same is true in the small business world. It may be harsh to think of competitors as enemies (because really you would probably make good friends), but the analogy works. So keep your enemies closer so they don’t overtake you.  How do you do this?

  • Look at their websites
  • Follow them on social media
  • Google them
  • Check out their coupons
  • Read their reviews
  • Examine their ads
  • Drive by their business
  • Examine their signage
  • See where they advertise
  • See what they advertise
  • Sign up for their email newsletter
  • Etc.

Keep them close. Watch their every move. Like a hawk. And here are 3 very important reasons why…

#1 You Want To Be The Best

“Is My Competition Doing It Better Than Me?”
Let your competitor point out where you are not excelling and challenge you to excel. Like them on social media and see what they’re doing. Oh, they have lots of fans? Why? Why do they have more than me? What are they doing better than I am? How can I do better? Oh, they are in the news? What are they up to? Is there anything I can announce to the media? Oh, they have all these positive reviews. Why? What do they do that is so outstanding it compels someone to write a positive review? What can I do better? These are all good questions to ask when examining your competitor and then examining yourself. Be the best.

#2 You Want The Most Eyeballs

“Is My Competition Getting More Traffic Than Me?”
If a competitor appears in the local chamber of commerce directory as well as the  local city guide directories and you are not either place, they have access to more of the market share, and you are missing out. While you can’t share billboard space, you can certainly take extra steps to examine local advertising opportunities to ensure they don’t have a monopoly over local eyeballs. Don’t let them get so far ahead that you are chasing the steak. Also, keep in mind that being visible doesn’t equal being desirable. If they have better pictures, better ad copy, better videos, better coupons — who do you think is going to attract the buyer? Compare their efforts with yours and improve so you are getting the ultimate click. Don’t be a copy cat. Be strategic. Use their marketing as a thermometer, not a compass.

#3 You Want To Be One Step Ahead

“What More Can I Do That Nobody Else Is Doing?”
Don’t be just keeping up with the Jones’s — be the Jones’s. After a thorough scope of your competition, you might be full of creative ideas to take your marketing one step further and come up with things nobody else has thought of. Don’t rip off their ideas. Let their ideas inspire you to come up with your own ideas. Better ideas. Ideas that convert.

Also keep in mind that your competitors will likely be watching you! Set the bar high. Do more. Expect more. Own the market. Make it hard for them to keep up.

Need help strategizing? Lost your creative spark? Want an expert analysis? Get in touch with us for a free marketing review to find missed opportunities and ideas you might never have thought of 518-743-9424.

About Sara Mannix

Sara Mannix is the CEO of Mannix Marketing, Inc., a Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Glens Falls, NY. She founded Mannix Marketing in 1996 with a goal to get clients “found” on the web through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company now serves over 1500 clients worldwide and employs a team of over 30 specialists, still operating under the tagline “We Get You Found On The Web.” This multifaceted company is an industry leader, specializing in organic SEO, Link Earning, SEO-friendly Website Design, Online Advertising, Social Media and more. Mannix Marketing also has one of the largest portfolios of tourism and city guides in Upstate New York. These guides, which include Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFallsRegion.com, CliftonPark.com and Adirondack.net, reach over 10 million visitors a year. Corresponding social media profiles for the region extend this reach to millions more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.