Spying On Start Ups
If you want to get an idea of what a competitor is doing, start with their web page and internet presence. Check the pages for the code and look for the key words being used by the pages. Look not just at the home page but also at the pages for the management, product description, and history.
Look at the code too, is the code used a generic code, a template, a pastiche of different pages and different previous owners, or does this appear to have been crafted from scratch. Its gives an idea of how savvy they are internally as well as their fiscal resources
Check social media, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc… Look to see what they are posting and when they are posting. Sometimes you see a managed approach such as every Wednesday at 3 pm their social media feed is launched. The burst posting shows typically limited resources with a small shop batch tasking or the retention of an outside person to post for them. Do the posts appear more organic with clusters of activity and dearths? The more organic posts typically show an authentic company with a larger promotion and marketing department.
Lastly, look to see what is their most powerful pages. What pages are drawing the most hits as this may give an idea of where they are focusing most of their resources.
Ad monitoring tools are helpful to see a campaign at the outset. A software program called SpyFu can get you information on 6 years of key words and of course Google Alerts.
There are just some simple tools and techniques to get you to think about how and what a competitor is doing and thinking.