You versus Them

  • Originally published 3/5/19 at https://www.scotthoward.me/you-versus-them/ and written for business owners and marketing decision makers.

    Today I am going to share with you a piece of the Consumer Journey that every single consumer encounters before they spend money.

    They have to decide if they are going to be your customer, or someone else’s customer. From your side of the sales counter, it’s a You versus Them battle.

    But the Them is not the customer. Them is your competition.

    Business author Mark Faust wrote a pretty effective piece that includes 4 questions that you need to ask before you spend a dime on advertising. It’s called Sizing up the competition

      The best lens through which to see your competitors is that of your customers. Regularly asking customers who and what the alternatives to your solutions are may increase selling effectiveness.

    The following questions will help you establish positioning points for a product or service:

    — What do you offer the customer that no one else offers? (Points of competitive uniqueness.) Unique advantages of a product or service are rare.

    — What do you offer that is demonstratively better than the competition? (Points of competitive advantage.) Advantages are most powerful when you have proof of your advantage’s reality and value.

    — Where are you equal with your competitors? (Points of equality.) Calling out an equality may help neutralize a competitor who touts it as an advantage.

    — What are your weaknesses that may hinder your offering to the customer? (Points of competitive weakness.) This weakness can be repositioned as a chosen weakness that highlights the competitive advantage of your offering. A higher price may mean better quality and service.

    Most business owners I talk to about advertising don’t know enough about the other choices that consumers have or they simply are not tuned into the consumer journey that potential customers take when deciding if they spend money with You versus Them, your competition.

    As a result we see and hear ads that really don’t resonate and differentiate.

    The typical advertisement ignores those 4 questions and that is both dangerous and a waste. Fortunately for you, this is one of my strengths; To create an advertising campaign that answers those questions so the people who hear your ads learn why you and not them are the ones to spend their money with.

    Does this sound like something important to you? Contact me and we’ll see how I can help you.

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