Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marketing 101: The Microenvironment - Competitors

I want to start this week's post with a bit of caution: even though there may not be a lot to write, this part of the Micro-environment is by no means small or light.  In fact, it is complex, requires a lot of thought and study, and must be properly evaluated.  It's your Competitors.

The marketing concept states that in order for your marketing to be successful, your business must provide greater customer value and satisfaction that your competitors.  In other words, you must do more than simply adapt to the needs of your target customers.  Let me state this again:  You must do more than just give your customers what you think they need, or they say they need.  You must gain a strategic advantage by positioning your products and services against your competitors in the minds of your customers.

This is all about positioning.  You have to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

You can't do this unless you study your competition.  You have to study them, their products, their marketing messages, and figure out how to stand out above them.

This takes time and a lot of studying.

Remember, no single competitive marketing strategy is best for all companies and situations.  You need to take into account your size and position compared to your competitors.  Large firms with dominant positions in an industry can use certain strategies that smaller firms don't have the ability to from a resource standpoint (money and manpower).  But being large is not enough.  There are winning and losing strategies for all sized businesses.  Small businesses must find the strategies that give them larger rates of return. 

When is the last time you took a hard look at your competition?


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