One of the great deficiencies in too many businesses comes from a sense of complacency. I never cease to be surprised by the number of business owners who don't understand their competitor market. Not only do they not understand their competitors operations and marketing, invariably they are not even aware of who the real competitors are.
Advice I share with many clients is winning in business is not always about being better than your competitors. This is invariably too difficult, particularly if they hold a strong brand position in the market.
What is quite often an easier tactic to adopt is to identify what your competitors are poor at doing and focus on bat and do it better than them. This not only can be a lower cost tactic, it can also give you a point of distinction in the market that can lead to a strong brand position of your own for your business.
In reading your competition is also critical to keep abreast of technological changes. It is not enough to simply monitor what your traditional competitors are doing. You need to be out in the field gauging what is happening, what people are talking about, who they're talking about and what developments are occurring.
Just this past month we saw a major icon business collapse, just as another global company operating in the same industry failed years ago. Pixie Foto, like Kodak, failed to see what was happening with photography. No one wanted film AND photos. The world has gone digital and just as with Kodak, these people fail to see the neon signs flashing before their faces.
In Web development we have been watching the move to more traffic through websites on mobile devices. At first we played around the different approaches that we now see responsive designed emerging as the path to take (for the time being). Many websites are still being delivered with no mobile device capability and the vast majority of existing sites are not designed to function on mobile devices.
At Top Left Designs, we have been monitoring developments in this area for over 12 months and have recently decided that the technologies, tools and practices have settled down enough to warrant joining in and adopting responsive design as preferred platform for most websites. This was about understanding our competitive and user market. With as many as 30% of users viewing site on mobile devices is imperative that we embrace this technology in order to service our clients as much as our own longer-term survival.
The implications for us in design and user functionality are one thing. The flow on effect to clients with the use of content management systems is another with very little discussion or understanding outside the development community of the impact of responsive design on end users.
If you would like to discuss with us the options available to you for ensuring best exposure to your website across not only desktop but mobile devices, we invite you to call us or contact us via our Web full. We are quite happy to share advice with you and what options are available to you.
Written by: Greg Tomkins