We spoke recently about how to make sure that your marketing strategy targets the right people. In Part 2 of our Marketing series, we’ll look at your competitors and perform a SWOT analysis!
While it might not seem obvious to go through some of these things when developing your marketing strategy, it is actually really important! The more you understand your competition, and your strengths and weaknesses, the more effective you can make your marketing message.
Get To Know Your Competition
If this isn’t already part of your business plan, you need to do it for your marketing strategy. By better understanding your competition, you can tailor your marketing message to tell people what makes you unique.
Determine who your Top 3 competitors are. Chances are you already know this. Once you have them narrowed down, find the answers to the following questions:
- What is their market?
- How long have they been in business?
- What are their target markets?
- What are their USPs and competitive differentiators?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
These answers will help you identify the ways in which you can stand out from your competition. This will allow you to focus your message to emphasize what you do better than anyone else.
This is another element that should already be in your business plan, but if it isn’t, it’s time to get to work!
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Take some time now to write down your company’s SWOT. There should be AT LEAST two items in every category—every business has strengths and weaknesses, every market has opportunities and poses threats. You must know where you stand on all of these subjects to maximize the good elements and improve upon the weak ones.
There will be many insights gleaned from the SWOT analysis if you do it properly. Be very thorough! Think of everything from social media pages to how young and technologically savvy your staff are. When you notice that you have strengths that your competition doesn’t have—or even better yet, that they have WEAKNESSES where you have strengths—go for it! Especially if it’s an area that’s not easily imitated.
You must also remember that price CANNOT be your strength. That is a losing game—only Walmart can win at that. DO NOT try to differentiate based on price!
Knowing and understanding your SWOT helps to shape your marketing strategy by focussing your marketing message on your strengths and seeking to get the most out of your opportunities, while de-emphasizing your weaknesses and staying away from the threats. Without this knowledge, your marketing plan might backfire on you.
Putting It All Together
By taking into consideration your knowledge of your competition and your SWOT—as well as the target audience from our first marketing blog—your marketing plan should be taking shape. You now know who to market to, and how to tune your message to separate yourself from your competition, relying on your strengths and focussing on your opportunities. With that in mind, it’s time to put your marketing plan into motion, which we will discuss in the final part of our Marketing series, as we talk about your 30-second infomercial, your budget, market share, SEO and social media!
If you feel you need some help figuring out what your marketing strategy should look like, contact TMH Business Coaching today for a confidential, free, no obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!