Be Different or Be Dead: Your Business Survival Guide

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In the marketing plan of the future, many more pages will be dedicated to the competition. This plan will carefully dissect each participant in the marketplace. It will develop a list of competitive weaknesses and strengths as well as a plan of action to either exploit or defend against them. What does all this portend for marketing people of the future?

It means they'll have to be prepared to wage marketing warfare.

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More and more, successful marketing campaigns will have to be planned like military campaigns. Strategic planning will become increasingly important. Companies will have to learn how to attack and to flank their competition, how to defend their positions, and how and when to wage guerrilla warfare.

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They will need better intelligence on how to anticipate competitive moves. It's all about pursuing the right competitive strategy and understanding the four types of marketing warfare: defensive, offensive, flanking and guerilla warfare.

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My book Marketing Warfare explains it all. The mind is the battleground. Competitive positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of your prospect. It's also a body of work on how the mind works in the process of communications. I've written a number of books on this subject.

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In essence, you must deal with the fact that minds are limited, minds hate confusion, minds are insecure, minds don't change and minds can lose focus. The biggest competitive mistake usually made is that of trying to be everything to everybody in the mind. It's one idea to a customer in the mind, and once you begin to blur what you are, your position becomes weaker. This only opens up the customer's mind for your competitor. Countering a price attack. A low price is a big draw but there is an inherent problem with this strategy. Competitors have pencils so they can mark down prices instantly, which makes price a very bad differentiating idea.

When attacked by a low price competitor, the best counter strategy is to push quality and reliability. This move sets up the benefit of longevity. Paying more for a product that lasts longer makes sense to most people.

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It also puts your price competitors on the horns of a dilemma. Adding more quality to their products only raises their cost structure. It's hard to be cheap and high quality at the same time. Staying ahead of competitors. The best weapon for a strong brand is "new and improved. You need to get into the depths of competitive positioning.

There’s more where that came from:

No other company in the history of marketing can match Gillette's efforts in the razor blade world. They are constantly adding blades and features to products that often replace existing products in which they have invested heavily. Today, they have over 60 percent of the razor blade business, a number they have held for decades. They also have very few competitors because most have discovered that taking on Gillette can be costly and not very productive.

If there were a competitive hall of fame, Gillette would be at the top of the list. Stay nervous.

Be Different or Be Dead, Your Business Survival Guide

Finally, paranoia is the key to success in competitive positioning. What I mean is that constant diligence is critical in a competitive world. As I said, everyone is after everyone's business, so a good worrier is a good marketer. The biggest mistakes I've witnessed are companies that didn't take their competitors seriously until it was too late. The level of competition in today's world is exceptional and only getting better. It is truly the survival of the fittest.

What people have to realize is that flexibility is a necessary mind-set if you want to succeed. You can't predict the future so you must be ready to adapt. Seven ways to win in a commodity market September 04, Many of the more than 5 million businesses in the United States compete as commodities hamstrung by not understanding how to grow and thrive. On the monopoly-to-commodity continuum, the closer one is to the commodity side Digital Marketing vs Sales: Digital dictates need to reset sales and marketing August 22, When I was a kid and my dad wanted to buy a car, the first place he would go was the car dealership.

Dad wanted information and the car dealer had it. The dealer used that information as bait to get you in to the dealersh Trout's seven 'Abouts' shape marketing strategy July 25, Marketing strategy is first about finding your difference, then finding the best way to get your differentiating idea into the minds of your prospects and customers. The explosion of choice for the consumer is the direct Want to be like Buffet and Socrates?

July 10, No less an authority than Warren Buffett believes reading is essential to business success. A Columbia University student asked Buffett what he could do to prepare for his career. Buffett thought for a few seconds Innis Maggiore hires web developer and project manager, and promotes art director Learn More. Our Difference. Our Agency. Our People. Our Portfolio. Our Blog.

Contact Us. Previous Post. Next Post. Your name. Your email address will not be published. There are more competitors now than ever before and they are forming faster than ever before, making it critical that businesses find a way to stand out in the crowd to attract customers. The SE is the feeling a customer gets when they transact with an organization. This is a tough one to learn, but try desperately not to overreact when things are not going your way. Try this method: pause, breathe, think,then respond thoughtfully.

This allows you to get control over your emotions before opening your mouth and blurting something out that you may regret later. You absolutely must covet uniqueness in order to be heard, seen, and be paid attention to in this amazing world of zealots all seeking success and fame in whatever they do. Sounded like a good idea so I wrote the book literally from my presentation Power Point slides. What are you working on right now? How do you bring ideas to life? What motivated you to write your new book? What advice would you give someone aspiring to be an executive in an organization?