Let’s face it, your competitors directly or indirectly spy on you to learn how you do business, and as a prey how can you capture their curiosity to learn new strategies. Ethically speaking, your competitors should be not be spying, some call it competitor modelling, BUT many groups of bad guys do it for their own survival. What will a competitor do by knowing areas you are not best, will they help you? They should be looking inside themselves for such things instead of being overwhelmed. Some Q&A results from LinkedIn are published below:
Answer 1: Use a copy of your own long range plan to model your strongest competitors. Profile your best intelligence regarding their size, location, contract base and estimated overhead expenses. Then interpolate, from your knowledge of the market, their labor and fringe costs, as well as other direct cost. Incorporate any unique approaches you estimate your competition may offer that impact cost.
Then adjust your competitor cost model to perform “What If Analysis” to determine your best product marketing and pricing model as opposed to theirs.
Answer 2: One monitors competitors to take into consideration of their strategy, positioning, branding, marketing, business strength and weaknesses before designing a plan and launching a marketing campaign to differentiate your offering and gain competitive advantage.
If you had known this, you would not have to spy. If you did have competitors spying on you to learn how you do your business, then you can gain a business advantage by designing a major high investment plan that would trick them into their follies.
As a prey, you need help to change your mindset. You may have to seek the service of business and/or marketing consultants as they would have a objective view on your business and develop strategy required by your operation. Instead of plotting tricks to capture their curiosity.
In what ways can you outgun your competitors without spying? How can you uncover their strategy that ties all/most of their behaviours?
Answer 3: It can be important to monitor competitors and provide for important benchmarks. You can learn about trends, product development directions and overall direction of your competitors. Then you can determine if you want to follow course or go your own direction. Almost every strategic plan includes a component on competitive analysis. Even a basic S.W.O.T. has elements comparing yourself to competitors. There are also many tools out there that focus on measuring yourself against competitors, for instance that lets you see what keywords your competitors are bidding on and can help you gain insight into missed paid search/seo opportunities.
Having said all that, focusing too heavily on competitors is one of my pet peeves. I’ve been at companies where they will have a library of competitive information. But when you ask them what info they have about their customer, they pull out a small binder, dust it off and present some basic demographic / psycho-graphic info. I’ve always been keenly focused on driving a business from a customer centric point of view. If you truly study the insights, needs, wants of your customers and focus your business on meeting those needs, then competitors become much less important. Often, I find focusing on competitors to be a distraction from what is really important… focusing on your customers.
Answer 4: Invite competitors right in to your marketing campaigns. If you set up the right measures for these campaigns (like visitor journey tracking in a website) you will gain insight into which parts of your portfolio worry them most because they are likely to visit the areas in which they are weak, worried that you have this licked! stay ahead of the competition by knowing what’s different about your portfolio, establish how it meets the needs of your customer, then promote and let the competition sit back and watch… Long live competitors!
Answer 5: It is even possible that some big competitors are deliberately try to ring bells or run smear campaigns against small firms with ill-intent. How consumers and small companies can take action? Don’t get lured or fooled by the so-called popular and highly advertised brands, stand-out against monopolies, lead for a better Internet, #SaveTheInternet!
Answer 6: Unfortunately, bigger organizations are becoming more intolerant towards smaller competitors, and there lies the problem. They dream that by employing few thousand people, they are doing some great development social service, but in reality the juggadu bosses and owners are just sucking or looting money from all small stakeholders and becomes extra richer. Now they are close to power politics, and who can question their path to success? They will write or hire authors to publish biographies full of self goals and great struggle they had starting with few pennies, hiding the corrupt immoral path they followed and real bitter truth!
Answer 7: Even government service contracts and public supply sourcing include some dummy RFQ letters sent to competing firms to get an idea and satisfy “tendering transparency” guidelines, just for its name sake. The real beneficiaries inside the “bureaucratic den” of babu’s / leader’s inner circle are per-selected in most cases. Other quotes, ideas, offers and proposals from enthused participants are stealthy handed over to the darling vendor. “With great dynamic relations come great commissions, transparency is boring without omissions!”