Using competitor’s ads is an effective way to gauge the current marketplace, embrace standard terms and adopt similar language as your competition (if it's been proven to work).
Direct competitors’ ads also are an excellent tool to survey the direct sales and marketing activity of other companies in your field and then adopt, modify or differentiate your strategy and tactics from theirs.
Competitors need not be those with whom companies directly compete. While you will have companies who are direct competitors in your specific niche, look to the broader markets and see whom your company is also indirectly competing against.
Periodically visit our competitors Websites to see what they're up to in regards to wording, landing page, form types etc. to help gauge the marketing techniques they use.
And, to find out who my Internet competitors are you mainly have to click Adwords advertisements (the top 2-3 and the ad on the right of an Onternet search) because they are obviously the ones hard at work promoting their site. The natural or organic results are normally full of information pages and "less specific" firms.
EXAMPLE: In the entertainment industry, when promoting a live concert, it is important to understand that one also competes against movies, live theater and stage shows, nightclubs, home video, cable TV, books and printed matter and charity functions.
Looking at their trends, language and activity, a company can see that each uses slightly different ways of promoting; but there are similarities, since each is ultimately competing for the same entertainment dollar.
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
• Who do I judge as my direct competitors in my sector? Where are they talking to people when they make purchasing or information decisions?
• Who are the indirect competitions that also affect my sector?
• What language do others use in my specific sector? What can I say that can position myself favorably compared to them?
• What are my competitors doing which are cost effective ways to reach an audience and what do I feel could benefit from a more effective use of time, money and resources?
Budget: Competitor Research- $50 - $250 a week