Marketing in today’s highly competitive world is challenging. Standing out from the crowd of competitors can be difficult. And if you believe that you aren’t making an impact, ask yourself:
- Are you simply following the marketing trends?
- Are you trying anything and everything?
- Are you actually researching your competition to see what they are doing and what is working?
No? Then Houston, we have a problem.
While it’s even more difficult to compete in the digital arena, especially with big brand names, how can a small business compete effectively?
Simple: You can’t be complacent and wish that you’ll become number one in your market. Your success will actually depend on the research and marketing plans you create and put into action.
You need to run your own race by getting back to and mastering the basics whenever you think about your marketing strategy. If you don’t do the basics well, you will never succeed with the advanced tools available now.
You can’t run before you crawl.
1: Look At Your Competition, but Don’t Obsess
You need to know who your competition is and what they are doing, but what you also need to know is how you can do it differently and better.
2: Research & Analyze Your Industry
More than researching your competition, you need to research and analyze your industry. Do you know the the trends and what is coming up for the next 6 months to a year? Be proactive about these things so you can be prepared before they happen.
3: Be Unique
Your offering must be different than that from your competitors. What’s “your juice”? You are at a disadvantage if it doesn’t stand out. It’s time to re-think what makes you stand out.
Offer something different that can be seen as better than your competitors in at least one way. Maybe you are more affordable but offer more value, or you provide a different service. Either way, you need to have that one thing that makes you stand out.
You can also be unique in how you market yourself. You have to be if your product or service is exactly the same as your main competitors. Think about ways to market differently and stand out that way as well.
4: Develop Your Online Brand & Image
In today’s competitive market it is not enough to have cute business cards, brochures and a website. You need to develop your brand and image. There are many ways to do this:
- Invest in a killer website. Even if this means outsourcing, please…just do it.
- Invest in Content Marketing and SEO Services.
- Create a company culture that will speak for you. That’s the power of building a solid brand.
- Develop a strategic business and marketing plan: implement, track, tweak when necessary (see break down below).
5: Create, Implement, Track and Tweak Your Business And Marketing Plan
No business will survive forever if they don’t take the time to do the basics right. Creating a business and marketing plan is where everyone should start. Then, implementing and actually utilizing, and tracking your plans and budgets.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not taking this part seriously.
Maybe you developed a budget, but then you never actually look at it until it’s too late. The same goes with your business and marketing plans – you create or hire someone to build them, but then you never follow through and actually use any of the startegies.
Most of these tips you know and I;m pretty sure, you’ve heard them before, but may have forgotten about. After mastering the basics very well, then you can branch off and kick more ass by breaking the rules from time to time. While it is not easy to be unique and run your own race, the fact is that that very statement is what will set you apart from the crowd.
“The way you step up your game is not to worry about the other guy in any situation, because you can’t control the other guy. You only have control over yourself. So it’s like running a race. The energy that it takes to look back and see where the other guys are takes energy away from you. And if they’re too close, it scares you. So, that’s what I would say to my team all the time: Don’t waste your time in the race looking back to see where the other guy is or what the other guy is doing. It’s not about the other guy. It’s about what can you do. You just need to run that race as hard as you can. You need to give it everything you’ve got, all the time, for yourself.” Oprah Winfrey