The key to effective marketing strategy is to find a reason why a customer should buy from you, instead of your competition. By evaluating your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses you can determine what you should focus on in your marketing efforts. If your competition is weak in one area that you’re strong, you should focus on that (if your customers care about it). 1. Start by making a list of your main competitors. 2. Then ask yourself the following questions about each competitor. You can use this form to help you organize your notes. Products/Services: What products and services do they offer? Locations/Distribution: How many locations do they have? Do they offer other ways to purchase their products? Price: Do they sell lower/higher priced items? Marketing: How do they promote themselves? What advertising do they do? Core Customers: Describe who you think their ideal customer is. Customer Service: How is their customer service? 3. Review and identify each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.