Marketer gets morning coffee ☕️.
Gets daily dump of emails from execs forwarding every piece of competitor marketing they see on Linkedin, email drops and industry sites. 😖
Today, some of it looks pretty good. So you start Googling the competition.
What are they doing? What messaging are they using? What channels are they clearly all over?
Ugh. They’re clearly killing it. We’re so behind. 😞
👎 Just Because They’re Doing it Doesn’t Mean it Works…
Here’s the hard truth: often your competitors are more lost than they appear.
Even more deceivingly, sometime they’re playing with marketing dollars they’re being forced to spend by VCs. Unlike you, they have the luxury of not being all that worried about performance and ROI right now.
Trying to replicate their channels thinking, ‘if they’re doing so much of this, it must be working’, can be a one way ticket to massively wasted budget.
👎 If the Messaging Isn’t Resonating, the Channel Doesn’t Matter
The reality is it’s really hard to know if a competitor’s messaging is on target or not. What might seem to be great headlines and solid copy might not be at all.
Assuming they have it nailed and replicating their approach could be just repeating their mistakes.
If they’re using flawed messaging, the channels they deploy that messaging to won’t matter. They can try to brute-force it with extra spend, but that’s not going to last.
👍 Go Your Own Way: Focus on Your Customers Instead
Amazon didn’t focus on what other ecommerce stores were doing. They obsessed over their customers first. What did they want? What did they need?
What does that mean for marketers?
The only way to really nail your messaging and GTM is to truly understand what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects.
That means gathering the intelligence on what matters to them. How can you do that?
Here’s four ways:
- Survey existing customers. Send them out a survey to complete with a little gift card incentive for their time. Give them free-form fields and some open-ended questions to get insight into the terminology and language they use to describe their problem.
- Listen to recordings of AE and BDR calls. What pains did the customers bring up? What were their objections?
- Pick up the phone/zoom and interview some customers yourself. What caused them to choose your solution? What decision criteria did they apply to their buy? What did you do better than your competition?
- Ask for access to closed/won and closed/lost CRM data. When your team won a deal, what were the reasons? When they lost, what were the reasons? Address these in your content, copy and GTM campaigns.
Doing the research is hard, and that’s the reason your competition probably hasn’t done it. Chances are they’re just taking internal corporate verbiage and positioning and regurgitating it into marketing campaigns.
However, as you dig into the research, you’ll be rewarded as you see patterns emerge. These patterns, the signals in the noise, are your messaging points. Lean into them and no matter what channel you pursue you’ll be miles ahead.
In short: your competitors don’t have the answers – your customers and prospects do. Keep the focus on their needs and your competitors will be wondering how you’re doing it.😎
Speaking of differentiation, competition and messaging, check out the podcast episode below where Neil Patel shares how he approaches a new campaign👇