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September 22 2019.
Do you know enough about competition.

In many organisations I come across, there is a general ignorance about competitive information. It is not that they are totally unaware about whom they are competing with, but many times there is no established process/system to identify what information is required, how to collect this information & at what frequency?

In the growing economy (& even during recession) there are number of suppliers addressing the same client needs. They can be broadly divided into 3 categories;
- Your existing direct competitors, whom you deal with daily.
- New competitors planning to enter the market with a new technology/pricing.
- Indirect competiton offering alternative/substitue product-service.

Why is it important to understand about competition?
Apart from market/customer information the second most important category of information I feel is about Competition. Competitve analysis helps you to;

* Evaluate your own performance. * Identify and attack weaknesses.
* Undersand competitor strengths. * Get new ideas.
* Identify new customers categories. * Improve (!) sales forecasting.
* Reduce complacency especially amongst sales-marketing. * Accept that other too can satisfy customer needs.

What you need to know about competition?
Answers to the following 10 questions will help you with most of the information need.

1. Who are the competitors? 2. What products/services do they offer?
3. What is their pricing strategy? 4. Who are their customers?
5. What is their promotion policy? 6. From where do they source?
7. How their financial position? 8. What the organisation structure?
9. What are their strengths and weaknesses? 10. What is their business strategy?

From where do we get the competitive information?
Typically there are 3 main sources of information:

1.What competitors talk about themselves.
Mostly coming from publications/messages comany gives about itself e.gproduct catalogues,presentations, advertisements, press releases, exhibitions & company seminars, balance sheet/annual report,websites.

2.What others say about them.
From Customers, Suppliers(vendors),relevant trade magazines, financial analysts, General market information reports.

3.Paid research to meet your specific needs.
If you needa nay specific information you can seek same from specialised Market research agencies.


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