COMPETE - ANAYLYZING YOUR INDUSTRY AND COMPETITORS What You...

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ANAYLYZING YOUR INDUSTRY AND COMPETITORS What You Need to Know About Your Industry and Your Competitors’ by Kenneth N. Thompson Associate Professor of Marketing University of North Texas College of Business Administration Denton, Texas Draft Not to be reproduced or quoted without the authors’ explicit consent.
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Virtually no business decisions are made without contemplating how the decision will affect competitors or, just as importantly, how competitors can be expected to respond to the decision. Needless to say, understanding the nature of the competition you face is essential. Competitors must be examined in detail to identify who they are, how they operate, and their relative strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, a careful examination of your key competitors can yield valuable insights into how the industry is structured, how it functions, and how to best serve your customers. By systematically examining your competitors operations, you can: Determine how the industry is structured and how firms in the industry operate. Common operating practices and ‘key success factors’ will become apparent as the analysis progresses. Identify ways in which the market can be segmented by looking for any differences between customer groups served by different competitors. Identify differences in basic wants and needs of customers and how effective different strategies may be in filling these needs. Identify customer groups that may be under-served or not served at all. Identify the market positions of competitors and the major competitive dimensions that contribute to these positions. By determining how competitors are positioned and what marketing factors are important for creating and maintaining position, you can decide how you want your product or service to be positioned to “differentiate” it from competitors. See how effective different pricing, promotion, product/service, and distribution strategies are by looking at how well they have worked for different competitors. Identify possible improvements to elements of the marketing mix to more effectively serve your own customers This chapter highlights the essentials of conducting a competitor analysis for your marketing plan. I begin by identifying the range of questions that must be addressed and then move into a detailed analysis of where and how to collect information about competitors.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMPETITORS Chapter One hinted at the major questions you need to answer about your competitors. The bottom line is that you need to understand how competition drives the way firms in your industry do business. More importantly, you need to know as much as possible about each of your major competitor’ operations. In particular, you must have a thorough understanding of how each of your major competitors markets its products and services. This understanding will allow you to identify your competitors’ objectives,
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COMPETE - ANAYLYZING YOUR INDUSTRY AND COMPETITORS What You...

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