As I speak with many professionals in the industry it seems this concept of digital marketing has finally registered - literally. Today’s golf business is turning their focus to the online consumer which I believe is a wonderful evolution of commerce.
But YOUR Biggest Problem Is... you’re not accounting for the increase in competition for your product category. If you think you can just roll over your 2018 digital strategy and hit your 2019 projections - you’re wrong!
Whether you’re aware or not, your competitors [and there’s not a single business that doesn’t have one] are desperately seeking to steal valuable market share from you.
And they're going to do it using the same digital channels you are.
Let’s take golf balls, for example, this market was relatively stagnant until e-commerce pushed innovators like Vice, Cut, Snell and the like into a growing market share. These brands are innovative because they embraced the cost efficiencies of pursuing the online customer and have built themselves a nice following of loyal consumers. They’ve been nimble enough to steal longtime customers from major manufacturers with their focus on digital marketing.
Here’s the scary thing about digital marketing...
Virtually any product category is prime for an innovator to catch them blindsided, staring at shelf space, perhaps.
There is an uprising of new product inventors and innovators as well as companies who are nimble enough to make millions online with a single product or mega millions with a boutique suite of products. And they’re all driving revenue through direct to consumer transactions, with a steady focus on improving their digital marketing game.
Digital marketing is not free, by any means, but bringing a product to market has never been easier for the small business owner. Digital marketing has helped brands cut through the archaic, cumbersome and low margin business of retail and has awakened competitors in every single product category.
Whether you're the David or the Goliath, the only way to retain & grow market share is to focus on your competition.
Here are a few ways you can track and beat your competition:
Know Your Competitive Landscape:
Set aside a few hours to research and identify small and large competitors in your product category.
Rank your competitors by estimated market penetration based on your own research.
Use simple google search by keywords to get a better sense of what consumers are seeing when they search for products in your product category.
Learn Your Competitors Marketing:
If you want to outperform you must understand how your competitors are reaching YOUR audience.
Visit their sites frequently so that any re-targeting efforts they serve to their consumers will now follow you. This allows you to track their end to end ad program.
Sign up for all your competitor's newsletters/opt-in forms
Follow ALL of your competitor's social channels
Actually, BUY their product! Get a feel for the entire experience as a customer, this can provide insight and opportunities to enhance your customer’s experience.
Show Up Where They Show Up:
It may take a little bit of work but there are a number of ways to reverse engineer your competitors lead sources. Once you’ve learned their key lead sources, pursue those channels with an innovative and unique proposition of your product. Here are a few great tools to find placement and lead sources for any website:
Google Alerts - You have to be really specific but google alerts can help you track your competitors moves. I would recommend starting with a url alert i.e. competitor.com.
Similar Web - If you’re dealing with a real competitor, meaning they have a significant footprint of traffic in your market you should be able to glean some really good lead source information with this tool. Smaller brands tend not to register - this should give you some insight as to who is making waves or not.
Social Mention - This is a great tool to help you stay up on competitors movement through a variety of social channels. This should be used in addition to manually tracking your competitor’s social profiles.
Adwords - Chances are, your competitors are using your business name and website to steal market share. Google your business name and url, see who’s ads are coming up. As a rule of thumb, you should always outbid your competitors on your business specific keywords.
Listen, your competitors are going to be charging at full speed this season. The best plan is to invest time and resources in strategies that place you ahead of your competitor's next move. This approach will require diligent research, a commitment to tracking and a game plan to innovate the way you communicate your brand story to a shrinking but very active golf market.
Need help beating the competition? We should talk...soon and before your competitors contact me first!
Edward Sanchez | Founder & CEO | email@example.com | Phone: 858.309.2899