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:
- 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)
- 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
- Determine which channels your competitors are using.
- Determine if they are having success.
- 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.