It’s easy to get caught up in the trap that there are too many things going on to remain aware in this area. But it’s important to keep track of what competitors are doing for a couple of reasons. The first is because you want to stay positioned most effectively. If one of your competitors is making a play for one of your target niches, you need to be able to respond quickly. The second reason is to keep up with how they’re going about it. They may be using tactics that are working that you never considered. Stay in touch with your competition as much as possible and you’ll find a lot of useful insight on approaching the marketplace.
I always recommend doing a competitive analysis once a year. By keeping attuned, one client discovered that a competitor had essentially abandoned a market that wasn’t being tapped. That’s a big discovery and win. I always notice a lot of important, useful information from a competitive analysis.