After doing some pretty extensive research over the course of three weeks to set up a marketing plan for one of my clients. It dawned upon how important this competitive research step is to the survival and direction of a plan. Most businesses have an idea of what image they want to convey to consumers. While this is a step ahead of a lot it isn’t enough. The image must be taken a step further by learning from direct and indirect players in your industry. After critically analyzing marketing strategies of people directly in your business can sway you in another direction then you originally intended. Watching their social media trend, looking at their discounts or sales going on, identifying their value proposition or differentiator, all of these things are good to pay attention to so you can know what is you want to do or not to do. It is very simple to learn from your competitors so you don’t head in the same direction by making the same mistakes and using similar promotions or tactics that you like with your own twist. Taking it a step further using sites like google trends can help you identify the productivity of their campaigns and promotions. Although it may seem unnecessary you must pay attention to the indirect competitors that are in the same industry just not directly competing with you. This is so important because you can identify leaders and add the same value as a leader in your industry says they are already indirect players in the industry it should not be that hard to translate over and help you uniquely place yourself in the niche.