How To Find Out Who Your Competitors Are And Then Beat Them

This article is called how to find out who your competitors are and then beat them. Knowing who your competitors are, what and how they sell will help develop your marketing strategy and make you stand out.

Who are your competitors?

Several types of competitors should be on your radar:

Direct competitors

The businesses that first come to mind when you think about competitors. They’re in your market sector or city, selling products and services just like yours. You are talking to the same customer targets. You are all playing in the same pool. However, take care some direct competitors go under the radar or are forgotten about. Some competitors will be noisier than others. It does not mean they are more or less dangerous to your bottom line.

Indirect competitors

Slightly harder to identify. They cover similar customer needs as you, but they do it differently. You will have a similar but not exact target audience. An indirect competitor example would be a newspaper shop and a supermarket. It’s not a supermarkets core business to sell newspapers and magazines, but they do. The supermarket will damage the corner newspaper shop’s sales. Same with a pet food shop and the supermarket having a pet food section.

Substitute competitors

Substitute competitors don’t sell the same products as you. But compete for customers spending money with them rather than you. Again supermarkets selling sandwiches as opposed to cafes and restaurants.

New entrants

New entrants are competitors entering your market offering the same products or services. They could also be offering a new way to do what you do, usually with technology. New entrants tend to be the most dangerous for established businesses. The success of a new entrant will be dependent on your industry’s barriers to entry. And the technology could reduce the barrier to entry too.

Why monitor competitors?

Your business has to compete within a market, and it’s clearly valuable to know who you are up against. And the smart one’s keep an eye on their competitive landscape. Answering basic questions like:

  • What’s on offer as an alternative to you
  • How much they are charging
  • Who is buying their offering?
  • How do they market, and what’s their message promoting their product or service?
  • What new products are appearing in the market?

By identifying competitors, you’ll be able to see their exploitable weaknesses. And understand the threats they pose to you. Using Competitive Intelligence and specifically Competitor Analysis tools, you may be able to stop new trends and gaps in the market for you to move into.

Tactics and tools to identify competitors

These techniques will uncover your top competitors. Most of these activities can be defined simply as Competitive Intelligence.

1. Market research

Ask your sales team to keep an eye out for any mentions of your competitors. Encourage them to report any news or rumours about them. Understand which customers use them and what they say to get more business. Survey your customers to get a feel of the market and your performance within it.

2. Search

The best starting point is Google and all the other search engines out there. Simply search using keywords and brand names you want to know about. Go beyond pages one and two and the advertising.

3. Ask customers

They have looked and maybe even used your competitors. They may be considering doing so in the future. Find out why they choose you over your competitors. And what they do that they find attractive or a turn-off.

4. Review sites

Look at your competitor’s reviews on comparison sites. Employee reviews, Google maps and customer review sites. They can be very revealing, but be aware they are painted over in a thick layer of bias.

5. Social Mention

Social Mention and other similar sites monitor many social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Google, blogs, videos, and images are all monitored for any competitor mention.

6. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb lets you analyse your website insights. You can include some of your competitors’ analytics to define their online strategy.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends shows how often your competitors are searched for in Google. This data is compared with Google’s total search volume over time. You can also use Google Trends for comparative keyword research. And provide a comprehensive perspective on competitor news, opinions, posts, and perceptions.


Stat tracks your competitors’ ranking within search engine results pages (SERPs). You can also list the keywords that you want to track.

9. SpyFu

SpyFu analyses your competitors’ domain names and determines where they are in Google. You can also look at what keywords are working for them.

10. Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics gives an overview of your and your competitors’ current online presence. So that you can see any gaps in your content marketing strategies.

11. Meltwater

Meltwater enables media monitoring and social listening of your competitors. You can also analyse competitor social media conversations and influencer developments.

12. SEMrush / Ahref/ Ubersuggest.

All these provide you with data about you and your competitors’ online performance. Including traffic and ranking positions etc

13. Industry directories

Get yourself down to your local business library. British Library in London, if you are based in the UK. Pull up a chair and do some competitive research using database the following:

ABI/INFORM Collection

British Standards Online

Business Source Complete

COBRA (Complete Business Reference Adviser)

Community Trademark search database

Derwent Innovations Index


EMIS — Emerging Markets Information Service




Frost & Sullivan



Kompass Worldwide

Local Data Online


Mergent Archives — company reports



Passport (Euromonitor International)

Regional Business News Plus


Viewpoint (Economist Intelligence Unit)

WIPO Global Brands Database

Then the are the other industrial directories like:



IQS Directory

IHS Engineering360




MacRAE’s Blue Book.

How to find out who your competitors are and then beat them

This article was called how to find out who your competitors are and then beat them. Knowing who your competitors are, what they do. And how they sell their offering will help you develop your marketing and make you stand out. It will help you beat them.



Octopus Competitive Intelligence consulting agency

The global people-powered competitive intelligence agency. We find the answers to beat your competitors.