Sunday, December 18, 2011

Marketing Tip: Market Research: First Analyze Your Competition

Have you ever tried to start "market research," but you didn't know where to start?

Truthfully, there is not any one true way to research your potential market.

When you are stuck in the beginning, one thing you can do is look at your competition.

Sometimes, you will know who is your competition, already.  If you are starting a low-price hamburger business, most of us don't have to think too hard to list McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.  Locally, we might have more places, but there is not too much research required to find these guys.

What about less obvious businesses, though?  How do we find our competitors then?

Google (or some other search engine) will tell you.

For instance, if you plan on going into business making flour, I would start with a couple of searches.

In fact, that is exactly what I did.

1. First Search-Check for Easy Grabs
My first search was "flour," but that did not lead me to any companies that MAKE flour.

So I realized that several places SELL flour, but I wanted to find places that MAKE flour.

Sometimes, this works, and it can work really well.  This time it didn't.

2. Next Search-Include Product and Action

So I decided to search for "flour makers."

While typing that, Google suggested "flour manufacturers."

3. Look for Companies and Lists of Companies

Now that I have a specific search result, now I look for places that make flour: flour manufacturers.

I try to see if any obvious companies jump at me.

I saw three (3) companies...
Savorit Limited (
M/s Atom Rice Mill (
Henan Kingman M&E Complete Plant Co. (

I write down the NAMES and WEBSITES for these companies.

Mostly, I see several lists on the search results.

4A. Check out Company Lists

So I checked out the first list on the search result page.

The first list had a lot of places in China.  They may be my competitor, but I know that I probably cannot compete with them.

I saw one list that mentioned US companies in the title:
Fibred (
Rohrer's Mill (Did not find website)
Young's All Purpose Breading and Batter Mix (

None of these companies websites are on the list, but I looked up these easily enough.

After taking a closer look at Fibred, I'm not sure they even make flour.  It seems like they make soy products.

So at this point, it looks like we have four (4) local US competitors.

4B. Add Local Town, Region, State, or Country in Your Search

In this case, "local" competitors are US competitors.  Other times, it might be regional, state, county, state, or even neighborhood.

My next search is "flour manufacturers united states."

Google suggests "flour manufacteres usa."

I select the list that is titled, "USA Flour - USA Flour Manufacturers - Made in USA"
Website: (

Here I find more companies that make flour.

5. Research Competing Companies

To research the competing companies, I would
A. Visit their website
B. Google search their company name

Here are things I would check:
  • What they sell
  • Where they are located
  • How they market
  • Any difference that I notice immediately
  • Check Reviews of Company

Essentially, I want to know whether I have competition and if I can compete.  The most important thing I want to know is whether I have a competitive advantage over these other companies.

That will not complete your market research, but it will help you get started.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

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