Inbound Marketing can not only transform your approach to the way you capture leads and build brand advocates; it can also alter your perspective and belief about how you treat your competitors. If you’re doing inbound marketing correctly, you’ve created great offers on your website such as free downloads containing whitepapers, case studies, useful tips and tricks. Each one of these can yield a lead conversion that welcomes another member to your community. But what if that lead is a competitor? How do you feel about giving your competitors your latest case study revealing your strategy and tactics? Isn’t this information they could use to potentially compete against you?
1. You’re not the first one to do what you do. If you think that the services you provide are truly unique, that’s a personal opinion that’s not likely shared by your customers. Finding out a customers’ perspective about who you are and who your competitors are can help you uniquely position yourself. The best way to do this – get to know your competitors. That’s what Sam Walton did. He constantly visited and studied other stores, what they offered, their prices and their service. This was before the days of Inbound Marketing, so he had to do it the old fashioned way, on foot. Connecting and comparing with your competitors today is a lot easier online and a natural occurrence when using Inbound Marketing. Could you imagine, just 10 years ago, walking in the front door a competitor, and saying, can you make me some copies of your latest case studies and how-to tips?
2. If you try to do everything, you’ll be great at nothing. If your sales pitch contains the phrase “one stop shop” or “everything you need to do x, y, or z”, then you may already be leveraging competitors to be able to provide a large offering to your customers. But if you’re not brokering these services or operating some type of big box store, you’re probably struggling to compete on three things: price, quality and service. If you do everything, how can you be great at all of it? With inbound marketing it is easy to continuously connect with a many like-minded suppliers that have complimentary products or services that will make yours better! Instead of doing everything, consider offering less. Develop a minimal number of products and services that you are truly great at delivering. Refer everything else to the great library of competitors you now know and trust. Your competitors now become brand advocates and spread the word about you. Everybody wins - you, the customer, and the competition.
So what if someone is a competitor and discovers all your secrets? Friend or Foe, it’s about respect and sharing common interests. If you are great at what you do, you might become even better by leveraging new relationships. Better yet, you might help someone else become great. Either way, it is certain that the rest of the community around you will watch and listen as well. Giving away your secrets with Inbound Marketing will help position you as the thought leader in your industry.
Now, go steal some of our secrets in our Resources section!
Photo credit: Fathzer