The first essential step in competitor and market research is to know your competitors. This involves gaining a better understanding of the other organisations in your area who may be a threat to your success.

Learning about your competitors will allow you to identify gaps in the market, uncover trends and see what marketing strategies work best for others. With this understanding of what potential customers want or need from organisations like yours, you can tailor your business and marketing plan to meet these requirements and show your value to service users.

Once you have made a list of your potential competitors (these may be people offering the same products and services, helping a similar demographic of people or operating in the same area), you can consider what information will be most informative to you, depending on your specific aims. Below are just a few examples of data about a competitor which may be of interest:

This information will give you lots of insight into your competitors, which you can then use in different ways to build your own campaign. For example, knowing their USP can allow you to set yourself apart and offer something different so you don’t overlap, but knowing their social media strategy and what works for them can give you inspiration for what to incorporate into your own plan. The way that organisations are seen by others is also important and can give a good idea of what customers like and dislike, which you can use to your advantage in your own strategy.

This understanding of organisations with similar aims to you might also present opportunities for collaboration. This may especially be the case for nonprofits who are, above all, trying to help others and make the most impact possible in their communities. By knowing where each organisation is strongest and where they are lacking, it may allow you to find ways to work together or collaborate so that you can use each other’s strengths to achieve your ultimate goal.

See our other posts detailing how to do a SWOT analysis and PEST analysis as part of your market research, or our previous post, an Introduction to Competitor and Market Research.

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