Crushing your competition provides space for your business to grow and thrive. And, every day the digital world gets more competitive forcing brands to up their game if they want to be one of the fittest that survives. Otherwise, it’s impossible to make a name for yourself and carve out a niche to attract customers. While it might feel challenging, it is not impossible, so here are five tips to help you crush your competition, and, if you want more, read the post accompanying the image above, which shares additional tips for how to crush your competition.
How to crush your competition
1. Develop a unique selling point
A unique selling point, also called a USP, refers to something your brand does better than your competition, be it your amazing customer service, the innovativeness of your products, the depth of your product line, or some other factor. In crafting a USP, ensure it fits with your capabilities and with consumer demands for some segment of the population (your target market). Then focus on developing that USP to its fullest and communicating your superiority effectively to your target market.
Also, choose a USP that’s hard for your competition to match if you want to crush your competition. For instance, price is easy to match as competitors quickly drop their prices to match yours, leaving everyone with lower profits. While you may not believe price wars happen, they do; with devastating consequences often leaving only the competitor with the deepest pockets as the sole survivor. Instead, chose to develop USPs like delivering customer service, which are hard to match due to the many moving parts involved in implementation.
Before launching your business, you had a business plan. However, this plan may not work the way you anticipated. Maybe your market changed (sometimes cultural attitudes change on a dime or the neighborhood shifted since you began operations). Or, maybe a new competitor moved into your space and puts the squeeze on your business by matching your USP.
Adjusting your approach might mean improving internal communications with a Hosted PBX System for Small Business. Or, maybe you must rethink your marketing strategy by choosing a different USP or innovating products or customer service. For instance, introducing a chatbot to deliver on-demand customer support might improve your customer satisfaction and improve sales. Or, maybe you need multiple changes (or pivots) to succeed.
A case in point comes from Adobe co-founder Charles Geschke who tells the story of rejecting offers from several leading tech companies in the early days of his company because their offers didn’t match the product identified in their business plan, which called for selling a bundle of hardware and software. Apple only wanted to license its desktop publishing software while Microsoft only wanted other parts of the bundle. Luckily, on advice from their board, Geschke accepted both offers, pivoting to take advantage of the opportunities to generate the cash needed for expansion. Of course, we all know the end of that story, as Adobe continues to pivot into new areas, such as design and marketing through its Marketing Cloud and Creative Cloud.
3. Accept risk
No successful business reached lofty heights without taking a few risks. If you want to stand out from your competitors, taking risks may seem dangerous while, in fact, the real danger is avoiding risks. However, taking risks often makes some business owners feel nervous, as they worry the risk won’t pay off. It is natural to have these fears but you must fight the inclination to avoid risk or failure is likely your future.
IBM is a good example of a company that initially avoided risk when the world evolved from a mainframe world to one dominated by first desktops, then laptops, and now phones with more computing power than early computers. IBM rejected the transition as it threatened their dominance in huge, room-sized computers. Plus, they didn’t have the skills and salesforce necessary to shift the conversation from technical aspects like temperature-controlled rooms for their devices to user-friendly issues like weight and screen resolutions. These issues kept IBM from effectively developing a robust personal computer market. Luckily, they pivoted to buying up industrial software companies like Lotus and SPSS until the market shift again favored their skillset and they developed supercomputers like Watson. IBM is now a leader in quantum computing, the next big thing in increasing computing capacity.
4. Make your business an appealing place to work
You can’t expect to crush your competition if you do not make your business an attractive place to work. A fantastic company that recognizes the tremendous value of their employees attracts the best talent available, then retains them. Otherwise, it’s impossible to provide value to customers and, by extension, other stakeholders like shareholders and vendors.
Attracting and retaining your internal customers, for that’s the best way to think of employees, requires attention to both hygiene factors, such as salary, perks, and good supervisors, and motivators, such as opportunities for growth and recognition [source].
5. Check out your competition
There is no way you can crush your competitors if you don’t know what they’re doing.
Evaluating your competitors’ methods, products, and strategies enables you to improve on what they’re doing already. You can fine-tune their ideas and develop a marketing strategy that is bigger, better, and more effective in gaining and retaining customers.
Online tools help you monitor what competitors do. For instance, SEM Rush offers paid tools to monitor your competition, allowing you to capitalize on their strategies. This post offers additional tools to monitor and respond to competitors’ strategies.
6. Consider hiring a digital marketing agency
New digital marketing techniques are always on the horizon while existing options like Facebook change the tactics you use to ensure success. That means you must navigate through new digital marketing techniques if you want to beat your competitors. Unlike traditional marketing, where much of your success relied on catchy phrases and beautiful images, digital marketing requires a different skillset centered around technical know-how, such as the one below. If you don’t understand these more technical aspects of digital marketing, you should outsource digital consulting services.
Hiring a digital marketing agency. reading the posts on this website or hiring us, help you stand out from your competition. Your company is more likely to succeed if it invests heavily in online marketing as an effective and low-cost option to market your business. Without sufficient training and expertise, you should hire an agency in charge of your online platforms or you risk wasting your money and time, or, worse, damaging your brand with inept tactics. Hiring an agency lets you focus on other areas without worrying about increasing your online sales.
One advantage of a digital agency is that it offers excellent services in evaluating and monitoring a company’s digital platforms, a set of analytics skills that can’t be faked. Analytics look at your website’s traffic and provides insights able to increase visits and convert more leads to customers. A great digital agency evaluates, assesses, and suggests changes to your digital marketing activities to stay ahead of competitors. This means they are always on the move since digital platforms need updating regularly. Your company can face healthy competition through online platforms.
Crush your competition
Don’t expect to see dramatic changes overnight from improved strategies designed to crush your competition. However, as long as you continue to improve your business from the inside while also looking at what is happening in the external environment, you can develop a consistent business plan that helps your company stand out from the competition and attract customers who become loyal, allowing you to enjoy the growth and stability you want.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.