23 May 2013
One of the most important and yet underappreciated necessities for small and medium-sized businesses is maintaining a clear picture of what the competition is up to at all times. While competition research has been around for a while, the cost of undertaking the research manually can often be well outside of the budget of a small business. Long a staple of larger companies, several solutions have been created recently to bring digital competition monitoring into the price range of small businesses everywhere. Let's look at 5 of the top offerings in the field which provide a range of business intelligence services.
Mediagraph offers a quick and simple way to track the popularity of competitors by monitoring media services from major news outlets to small blogs for mentions of brand and company names. The service provides automated alerts for a chosen list of keywords, and includes various graphing and data analytics tools to allow companies to easily spot trends. This also allows them to contact any journalists or bloggers who are covering their industry, making it easier to boost their own media profile.
In a similar vein, Beevolve allows for close monitoring of social media websites, giving insights into the successes (and failures) of competitor's social strategies and the general tone of customer reactions to said strategies. This makes it quite easy to build up a comprehensive picture of where competitors are spending their marketing dollars, and which of their products are being most succcessfully promoted using social media.