Ask a business owner (or their web design team) what their biggest Internet marketing challenges look like these days, and you might hear them grumble about something like higher advertising prices or how difficult it’s getting to earn and keep a top search engine spot. What they really mean is that competition, online and elsewhere, is making things crowded.
But, as true as that might be, years of experience have taught us something interesting about online competition – most of what you see doesn’t really matter. That’s because a lot of the businesses you might think of as competitors really aren’t.
To understand why, you have to realize a few things:
1. Most businesses appeal to a very specific type of customer. That is, your products or services are tailored to a very specific kind of buyer. You might feel like “everyone” is a good match for what you sell, but that’s probably not true.
2. Customers have preferences that don’t change very often. Some customers buy because of low prices, others want the highest quality, or free shipping. Whatever it is that your customers are looking for, it’s probably remained fairly constant over time.
3. There usually aren’t many companies fighting for the same customers. When you put those first two points together, it’s easy to see that most businesses aren’t really fighting for all buyers, but a small group of them.
We aren’t telling you to ignore your competitors, but you shouldn’t be obsessing about them, either. That’s because, when you look closely enough, most of them won’t really bother you as much as you might think.