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Your most dangerous competitors are the ones most like you.

Do you regularly keep an eye on your competition?

When defining your marketing strategy, look at the entire competitive landscape and identify your top three competitors. Then study every move they make. You can learn a lot from this exercise that can keep you from making frustrating and costly marketing mistakes.

What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What’s obviously not working? How do your own marketing plans compare to theirs? Marketing campaigns tend to follow trends but what they are doing might not be right for you (unless you are certain it is and know you can do it better).

While you might be tempted to think you need to ensure your prices are competitive with theirs, this simply isn’t so. You do need to know what competitors charge, and on what basis, so you can overcome any related pricing objections when charging more for something similar. However, the value of what you offer potential customers might well be greater and you should charge for that accordingly.

There may also be subtle differences in your target markets that can create a competitive advantage for you. Don’t miss opportunities to customize your offers and marketing materials to capitalize on your strengths and their weaknesses. Then choose strategies that consistently communicate your marketing message to a specific audience.

You cannot be everything to everyone but you can be the best something for someone. Keeping an eye on the competition can help you figure out what that is!