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Know the competition: Ask 4 questions

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Your competitors can really help you a lot if you study them strategically, according to marketing consultant Donald Sexton. How well can you answer these four questions?
  1. Who are they? One simple way to identify them: Ask your customers who is marketing to them.

  2. What do they want? Do they seek quick profits or want to build long-term market share? Visit their web sites and read their annual reports.

  3. What can they do? You need to understand their capabilities and use that knowledge to plan pre-emptive strategies.

  4. What will they do? Analyze what they have done in the past and generate scenarios for what they might do next. Then decide which of those possibilities is the most likely to occur.
—Adapted from Trump University Marketing 101, Don Sexton, Wiley.

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