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Entries Tagged as 'Competition'

Danger! Distraction ahead!

March 14th, 2014 · Marketing, Strategy

Dangersign1_optThere’s a lot of discussion around the notion that our attention spans are shortening. Forbes recently blamed it on social media and the nonstop 24/7 media barrage.

While I think our uber plugged in lives certainly contributes, there’s more to the story. Yes, we are being bombarded with more information than ever before but we also distract ourselves when we don’t keep things in perspective.

For example, one of the greatest dangers to our focus is actually all the attention we afford our competition. Should we keep an eye on them? Sure. But we shouldn’t let them pull us off course.

Have you ever had the experience of driving along, paying attention to something off in the horizon and next thing you know, you’ve driven to that spot?  And it wasn’t where you meant to go?

The same phenomenon can happen in your business.  Most business owners I meet pay a lot of attention to what their competition is doing.  In the good old days, you might watch for a competitor’s ad in the newspaper. But today, you can track tweets, Facebook page updates, their Pinterest boards, blog comments and a whole host of other streams of information. You could literally be monitoring your competition like it was a full-time job. While we definitely need to keep an eye on the competitive landscape, there’s a very fine line.

The danger in keeping track of the other guys is that you lose track of your own path.  We tend to move towards what we pay attention to. (Re-read that last sentence…it really is that important.) You don’t want to let your competitors determine your marketing strategy and that’s exactly what’s going to happen if you spend too much time and energy keeping an eye on their activities.  When you feel it happening your brain needs to broadcast – Danger! Distraction ahead!

Or else, you’re at risk of:

Deplete your resources: You have only so many hours and so many dollars. If you let your competition re-direct your attention and your marketing messages – pretty soon, you’ll run out of opportunities to tell your own story.

Look like you’re playing the “us too” game: No one is impressed with a copycat. Even the coolest idea or product benefit falls flat when someone else has already claimed them as their point of difference. No one’s going to see you as an industry leader if you’re always a follower.

We know that it takes a fair amount of repetition to seed your message. The last thing in the world you want to do is invest time, money and your audience’s attention just to divert it with a completely different message that is in reaction to your competition. It’s like getting to the final mile marker of a marathon and then swerving off course, only to have to go back to the starting blocks when you want to resume your own race.

You want to be the leader in your industry, not follow someone else.  The best way to beat your competition isn’t watching what they do.  It’s doing what you should be doing.

If you have and follow a marketing plan — you can enjoy the best of both worlds.  The marketing plan keeps you on your course and heading in the direction you have determined.  When you know where you’re headed and keep checking the map to see that you’re on course, you can afford to peek at what the competitors are doing.

You should keep an eye on your competitor…but you shouldn’t let them change your game plan. It’s much easier to stay on track if you have a well-defined track to begin with.

Odds are, if you set and follow your own course, your competitors will be the ones following you.

 

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Are you Marketing Smart

October 17th, 2012 · Books, Marketing

Marketing Smart by my friend John Gumas from Gumas Advertising is a collection of proven strategies and tips to help you take on your competitors and win!

The book is straight-forward, pragmatic and actionable! Be prepared to dog-ear, highlight and nod your head as you read.  You know I don’t love books that tell you what you need to do but don’t tell you how to do it. No worries with this book — every page is a how to primer!

Marketing Smart is written specifically for those professionals who are creating marketing strategies/tactics for Challenger brands — fighting against a bigger competitor who is likely to outspend them every time.

John’s got tons of practical counsel on how those Davids can take their Goliaths and win.

As you know, I like to ask the authors a few questions when I’m reviewing their book.  Here’s what John had to say about Marketing Smart.

If you had to describe the content of your book in a single sentence (no run ons) what would it be?
Proven marketing strategies and tips designed to help Challenger Brands maximize their promotional efforts so they take on their larger competitors and win!

What one book that you’ve read do you wish you could claim as your own?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

In your opinion, what is the one trait that all uber successful business people possess?
Drive

What’s the biggest business mistake you’ve ever made and what did you learn from it?
Recognizing opportunity. It only knocks once, so I now make sure I analyze everything as that potential big opportunity.

Why did you have to write this book? What truth or insight was missing from the human consciousness — that you’ve now answered?
I felt there was a real need to write a marketing book designed specifically for Challenger Brands. I wanted to provide proven and practical advise in a step by step format that they should put into use immediately.

After someone is done reading your book — what do you hope they do as a result?
They understand what being a Challenger Brand really means and they learn the strategies needed to be a successful Challenger Brand Marketer. And as a result, they’ll refer back to Marketing Smart for real answers and “how to advice” for years to come.

Ready to take on your Goliath?  Get your copy of Marketing Smarts here.

 

 

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