Our first bit of advice to you is to tell you not to shy away – due to the confusion surrounding the topic of monitoring, many businesses elect to not have any involvement. Well if you follow this same notion, you will be missing out on a huge competitive advantage.
Depending on your line of business or your goals, certain types of monitoring will or won’t be of use to you. Let’s briefly run through the purpose of each of the types we listed above.
- Keeping track of what your competitors are up to via price monitoring and product monitoring… are they changing prices? Are they scrapping certain products? Why!
- Monitoring the public perception of your brand. Is it doing well in the Internet community?
- Social media monitoring
- The explosion of social media in recent years has resulted in what seems to be an endless number of new channels whereby people can voice their opinions and broadcast them to the world. This can be good or bad for your business, but if you aren’t monitoring what is being said, you’ll never know.
So where to start? Well, first of all have a think about what it is exactly you think your business could benefit from monitoring.
Are you a popular restaurant? Well a lot people may post a review up on the Internet after their meal. In this case, you might focus on social media monitoring.
Do you operate in a competitive industry, such as computer accessories? Well it could work wonders if you didn’t have to worry about where your pricing stood in relation to your competition, which competitor monitoring would do for you. You could use a competitor monitoring service to keep track of any price fluctuations your competitors make, reporting back to you with any changes, be that to prices or product lines.
What do people do nowadays if they want to buy something? They go straight to the Internet. Even if they don’t plan on buying it online, they will research prices, products, and the companies selling them. If there is negativity associated to your brand that you don’t know about, then you’re fighting a losing battle. If your competitors are analysing the market prices everyday through competitor price monitoring, then they will always be able to offer customers the best prices. Once customers realise this, they will buy from them in future. You should aim to be this company.
Hopefully you’re beginning to realise that, in actuality, there isn’t all that much to monitoring. Don’t get bogged down with it, jot down what your objectives are and make a decision on what will help you achieve them. Monitoring has become a big business, so you can rest assured there are tools out there to do whatever it is you want doing for you.
In our next few blog posts we will talk in more detail about monitoring competitors and your brand, and what exactly you should be doing, so stay tuned.