How to Effectively Market Your Business Online (Part 3)

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(Part 3 of 3 Parts)

Welcome to the third part of our three-part primer on marketing.  Some answers seem so

Diagram describing the integration of business...

obvious when we're planning our online business that we don't even bother asking ourselves questions about them.

In the first two parts, we looked at two questions that can stand between you and your success at making money online:  What kind of business are you in? and Who needs what you're selling?

Today, in the third blog of this series, we look at a question you've probably considered, but may not have examined closely enough:

 

Who are Your Competitors?

The Internet is a global marketplace so you might think that everyone is a competitor. This can be pretty discouraging.

But once you answer the first two questions -- What kind of business are you in? and Who needs your product? --  you narrow the answers to the third.

Your competitors are companies in the same business whose product or services addresses the same needs as yours.

If you sell something unusual and expensive, your competition is probably pretty narrow.  If you manufacture airplane wings, for example, you know who needs them and you can easily identify the handful of companies that make them.

Even if the answers to the first two questions are pretty broad, you can take steps to narrow them.  You can discover a small market in a large one.

A news broadcasting company is in, as we said in part 1, the advertising business.  Millions of companies large and small depend on advertising revenue.  And a news broadcasting corporation provides a universal need -- information.  So a news broadcasting company is theoretically in competition with any company that sells ads and dispenses  information.

This is a very broad market.  A successful news broadcasting company finds a way to make the market smaller.

The Fox News website dispenses information for the purpose of selling advertising.  And virtually everyone needs news, at least some kinds of news.  So Fox would seem to be competing with just about every company in the world that sells advertising by providing a service that is almost universally needed.

But Fox doesn't compete with the world of news organizations.  Its competitors include just a handful of TV news organizations in the United States.

Fox New effectively  reduced its competition by appealing to a small segment of its audience -- it fulfills a need for people who prefer a conservative bias in the news they receive.

Identify the companies you perceive as your competition.  And then find ways to reduce the number of competitors.  If four competitors vie for customers based on price and two competitors woo customers based on service, you reduce your competition by two-thirds if you compete on service rather than price.

Identify the ways in which those competitors provide great service and find a way to do what they do better or to provide a service no one else offers.

Find your niche, excel at filling it, and you can create wealth in any online business.

Missed Part 1 of  Want to Successfully Market Your Online Business? 3 Deceptively Simple Questions You Need to Answer. Read it here

Missed Part 2?  Find it here.

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