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Before coming up with a digital marketing plan, you need to know who your competitors are. Whatever industry you are in, whatever product or service you’re offering, it’s very important to have a dynamic view of your competitors. Every month, every week, and every quarter there are new entrants coming into the market. If you only focus on your top three competitors, you will miss the new entrants. So think about your key competitors AND new people who are entering the market. Know what they’re doing, benchmark them, and then gear up to stay ahead of the game.
Competitors’ objectivesrsquo; objectives
Try to understand what your competitors’ objectives are. Do they seek to gain market share? Do they attempt to capture premium clients? See your industry through their eyes. What are they trying to achieve?
Competitors’ strategiesrsquo; strategies
Next, look at your competitors’ marketing strategies. What marketing strategies do they use? Look at their advertising, public relations, and so on.
Competitors’ capabilitiesrsquo; capabilities
It’s also important to analyze your competitors’ capabilities. What are their strengths? Price, service, convenience, extensive inventory are all areas where they may be vulnerable. What are their weaknesses? Weaknesses are opportunities you should plan to take advantage of.
Competitors’ assumptionsrsquo; assumptions
Think about your competitors’ assumptions. What advantages do competitors have over you? Maybe a competitor is providing a particular service to customers really well. You might ask, “How can I provide that service? What exactly is my competitor doing? And how are they doing it?”
How do you benchmark against your digital leaders?
Tools that are used to identify digital leaders to benchmark against include:
The advantages of benchmarking are:
As Jack Welch said, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate the learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
A competitive advantage is how your company differentiates itself from the competition and makes it more likely that customers will buy from you rather than from your competitors.
It is important to adopt a competitive advantage which is sustainable and repeatable over a defined number of years, in order to retain customers and maintain growth.
Satarupa Banerjee holds an MBA from Cranfield University and an MSc from University College of Science and Technology. She has extensive experience across numerous industries including insurance, retail, healthcare and banking. Currently, she heads Direct Marketing Products in Direct Line Group where she has delivered several CRM campaigns. In the past she has also held roles as Customer Value Strategies Manager, Change Manager, and Sales Performance Manager.
Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
This module focuses on using strategic planning to drive marketing activities that will enable a business to win a competitive advantage. It covers assessing internal capabilities and addressing skills gaps, benchmarking, information gathering, SWOT analysis, evaluating digital channel tactics, and strategy implementation. It also covers documenting a digital strategy using SMART criteria and knowing how to evaluate the effectiveness of a digital strategy using KPIs, targets, and marketing analytics.
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