How Your Competition Forces Your Marketing Hand

It’s hard to rest on your laurels when the bar is being raised continually.

Resting on your laurels is a dangerous strategy, especially today. Many industries have been turned upside down because of changes in the marketplace and the speed of innovation around technology. We see this firsthand all the time, and our clients are continually having to reinvent themselves to not only maintain a position, but to remain relevant.

To get even more specific, you cannot assume your competitors are sitting still. They are learning how to connect with buyers, likely yours, and bring value. Here are some things you may not necessarily see your competition doing, but they are learning and implementing in their marketing strategies:

  • Growing a tribe. There are steps based on trust that are required in today’s marketing approach. Your future customers likely get to know you first as part of your tribe. As familiarity and trust grows, they raise their hands. If your competition is building tribes rather than simply selling harder, then they win. Your competitors may claim an audience that becomes loyal to them, and it is difficult to win over loyal tribe members if they are already engaged in another conversation.
  • Building online assets. It used to be that real estate and equipment were the bragging points of business. Today, those are liabilities. Assets are what can get found and create interaction between you and your customers. Systems that create an experience, provide knowledge and promote collaboration work 24/7 and are accessible to the world, regardless of geography. If your competition has this set up and you do, then guess where your customers are likely to flock.
  • Continual innovation. Look at anything marketing related, and there is a half-life. Something you see from five years ago looks old and irrelevant. It is much like wearing outdated jeans. Having a fresh overall brand and look is important to the perception of how new visitors experience your brand. If your competition looks fresh and appealing and you pale in comparison, then you may not even get the shot of having a conversation regardless of how substantive you may be.
  • Being a resource hub. If your competition is continually educating your market and is known for their knowledge, then this leaves you as a substandard comparison if you are not keeping up. When we are online, we are looking for information. The information providers get to build a relationship with us as buyers. The more your competitors fill this gap, the more irrelevant you can look as a brand.

Perhaps in the old days, it was a mere spending game. If your competition outspent you, then they could get more eyes and ears on their brand. Today, it goes much deeper. Buyers are engaged more deeply and can access everything with a mouse click.

Consider what happens if you sit still and let your competitors continually build an advantage. Reality can sneak up on you suddenly and marginalize your position.

What is your competition doing that you need to respond to?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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