Assuming you completed Lesson 1 (if you didn’t you can check it out here), you have a solid list of 5-10 competitors per Persona; a no-nonsense, solid group of companies to audit.

The next steps require a number of tools and great knowledge of marketing. I’ve distilled everything down into simple, easy to understand categories for you – > theoretically, you could skip the rest of the course after completing the research; and merely hire your experts to do it for you. But we recommend you have a basic understanding of each acquisition channel before making any hires – or decisions.

Here’s a simple categorization of the way modern companies acquire customers:

Paid Media

  • PPC (Search Ads)
  • PPC (Banner Ads – Taboola, Google Display)
  • PPC (Native Ads – FB, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram)
  • PPC (Remarketing -> all of the above channels and types)
  • Mobile Ads (App Store/Google Play)
  • Reputation Marketing (Producthunt, Capterra, G2Crowd -Google Local, etc)
  • Traditional Advertising (TV, Newspaper etc)

Organic

  • Content Marketing – Social Media
  • Content Marketing – Blogs and PR
  • Content Marketing – Influencers
  • Event Marketing – Webinars, Conferences
  • Cold Email Marketing/Sales Automation
  • Email List Marketing (Newsletters etc)
  • Referral or Affiliate Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing

All or most of these channels can be used for both the purposes of customer acquisition and conversion. (to a purchase/subscription, based on your business model)

As discussed previously, the primary purpose of competitor research in the “Marketing MVP” is to

  1. Determine which channels your competitors are using.
  2. Determine if they are having success.
  3. Determine how they are using said channels (broken down in modules 2 and 3 at length)

Investigating this information ensures you learn from others’ mistakes and tests an do not waste those critical 6-12 months on testing channels that won’t work.

In the next chapter, we will run through the tools and mediums to audit your competitors en masse.

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