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Posted on Oct 23, 2013 in Business Marketing

Spying on your competition as a marketing tool

Plenty of people think of spying as fast cars, dangerous situations, full spectrum of high tech gadgets and an attractive other half and while that may be true, at least in part, when it comes to the Secret Service, it has nothing to do with business marketing, where spying can also come in handy sometimes. However, this is a completely different sort of gathering information, not less important I may add, if your goal is the success of your business. There are many reasons for which you should undertake such an endeavor, starting with getting new ideas for customer engaging and retention and ending with improving your marketing strategies and beating your competition by relying on facts and not assumptions. By spying on your competition, you can also gather great insight about their search engine optimization strategy, which might help you improve online presence and Internet exposure. As a business owner or manager, you are probably already using several marketing tools to monitor your business’ performance, but also using competitive intelligence can propel you forward.


The ad monitoring tools will help you keep track of where the competition is advertising, so that you can advertise there as well. You can also find out what keywords they are targeting by using these type of tools and the most popular ones are Adbeat, AdGooroo, which is a great help as it incorporates a SEM insight tool too, giving you insight on PPC and SEO tools, competitive intelligence, traffic data and keyword research, MixRank and WhatRunsWhere. Choosing the right tool varies depending on your exact needs, although some of them are not just spying tools, but can also help you with issues like split testing, ad buying or discovering new sources of traffic. Apart from ad monitoring tools, you should also take advantage of keyword monitoring tools, which focus solely on the keyword used by your competitors in SEO campaigns, so that you can find out what’s working for them. You can use KeywordCompetitor, iSpionage and KeywordSpy, as well as SEMrush and SpyFu.


Since you’re at this, spying on your competition to find relevant marketing strategies, you should really take a look at how consumers and Internet users are interacting with the websites of your competitors. By using competitive analysis on consumer data, you will be able to improve your targeting in several different segments. To that extent, you can make use of tools such as Alexa,one of the oldest global web traffic tracking tool, SimilarWeb or Compete. Social media monitoring tools are also of great essence for a thorough and in depth competition analysis and at this point, you can use Google Alerts, Social Mention and Topsy, although there are plenty of other such tools. The results you obtain from all of these efforts will help you determine the course of action of your competition, what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, what parts of what they are doing is appealing to the consumer base and so on, all of which will significantly help you with your own strategy.