5 Tools for Capturing Customers from Competitors

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Local merchants can spend thousands of dollars researching which demographic traits their customers have in common, and they can use that data to generate highly-targeted advertising and marketing campaigns. Or, they can just look next door. Consumers who visit a competitor’s business, or follow the company on social media, are indicating that they’re interested in a particular product or service. Particularly when they’ve shown dissatisfaction in some way, usually through a negative review on Yelp, those customers are ripe for the picking.

Merchants can use multiple tactics to turn a competitor’s customers into their own, from timely advertisements and relevant mobile messaging that appears when the customer shows up at a competitor’s place of business—a tactic known as geo-conquesting—to targeted social media coupons that consumers just can’t pass up.

Here are five examples of platforms businesses can use to poach customers from their competitors, each with its own take on how to tackle the challenge.

1. mFlyer: Engage with a competitor’s customers
Local businesses can reach customers as they enter a competitor’s place of business using mFlyer. The location-based mobile advertising platform from Moasis provides merchants with tools to quickly create their own ads. They can target customers anywhere they want, including nearby their competitor’s stores. Consumers who use their mobile phones while at those precise locations will see the merchant’s ad, and depending on the content or the deal being offered, they could be swayed to change course. mFlyer gives businesses an incredible level of location precision, which means the messaging in their ads can be highly targeted.

2. Socialbakers: Understand what content is working for competitors
By monitoring the activity on their competitor’s social media pages, businesses can pounce on new opportunities and quickly identify customers who are ready to defect. Socialbakers is a social media marketing platform with a focus on the performance of its clients’ competitors. Users can track their competitors and they can monitor any changes to their competitors’ pages using Socialbakers’ Tracker tool. They can find out when a competitor is “boosting” posts, see what type of content is working best—such a contests or limited-time offers—and they can duplicate that media on their own pages.

3. xAd: Reach consumers on mobile at competitor locations
xAd provides location-based mobile advertising technology that businesses can use to reach consumers nearby or actually inside their competitor’s stores. The company’s self-serve marketing platform leverages “intent-rich moments,” like when a consumer enters a store to make a purchase. For example, a mattress store could promote a 50%-off deal to consumers who walk into other mattress stores in the same neighborhood. This tactic has the ability to sway consumers who are about to complete major purchases, and merchants can feel confident that their mobile ads are being seen by real people who are in the market for their products or services.

4. AdGooroo: View competitor strategies and performance
AdGooroo offers a digital marketing intelligence platform that merchants can use to identify which keywords their competitors are using in their search engine marketing campaigns. The company’s Local Insight solution is available to merchants in 58 cities. In those specific markets, AdGooroo tracks competing ads, identifies competitors keywords, shows competitors’ budgets, and finds new traffic opportunities. AdGooroo uses interactive map reporting to assess individual markets by spend. When all this information is pulled together, businesses should be able to understand their competitor’s strategies, strengths, and weaknesses, and then exploit those weak points through SEM campaigns.

5. Perch: Tracking promotions going on nearby
Designed specifically for local merchants, Perch provides users with a live stream of social media and promotion activity for competing businesses. Reviews, social posts, and deals being promoted by local competitors are displayed in a real-time stream, which means a business will know immediately if its biggest competitor is hosting a major sale or sending discounts to customers. Perch consolidates content from Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Groupon, and Living Social. In addition to daily email digests, Perch also sends mobile notifications to users when something happens at a business they’ve added to their “Watchlist.”

Know of other tools merchants can use to capture their competitors’ customers? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.