Innovation can be difficult to come by when every company spends most of their time looking at what their competitors are doing. That just results in a lot of copycat marketing, where everyone in the same industry is doing the same thing. You might find condo project marketing or real estate project sales agencies, for example, adopting similar tools and methods to others and hoping for a different result. While it can be smart to keep tabs on your sales competitors, you will have a tough time leading the pack if you don't look anywhere else. Watch the consumer instead. Thanks to social media, it's easier than ever to watch the consumer.
- The consumer is further ahead than any company today. You are not likely to overtake them. If you want to gain ground and even overtake rival companies, try keeping pace with the consumer. The consumer is in complete control.
- Consider how it works for a different industry than your own. These consumers view on average 10 different pieces of research (blogs, review articles, etc.) before making a buying decision on things like running shoes and car tires. What do you think they're doing when they look at a car, a pickup truck, or a new home in a condo or a real estate project? They probably do even more research than that.
- So your customers are actually keeping tabs on your competitors in such a way that you may as well just follow the customer to stay in the loop. They read all about what your competitors are doing. They walk into stores and scan barcodes with their smartphones to get more information.
- If you're not active on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter, customers are going to find someone who is.
The lesson here is to be savvy about new technology that your customers are using, in order to find out what they are doing. That way, you not only know where to find them, but you can make it easier for them to find you. If you want to know what great results come from following my advice, go to Amazon.ca and find a copy of my ebook It's Not The Market, It's Your Marketing.