All week, we’ve been talking about the various elements of a solid inbound marketing strategy. Today, we end the week with the most important aspect of your marketing strategy: differentiation. That which makes you different when compared to all of your competitors, real and substitute.
The way we present this to our clients is with one simple question: What makes you remarkable? We use that term because it sets the bar higher – for us and for you.
Here is an example. Let's say I asked you, “What makes you different from your competition?” You might reply, “Our people make us better – their experience, their passion for what we do, etc.” That might be hard for me to argue with. It might even be true that your people are, in fact, better. But marketing isn’t about reality; it’s about perception.
When I ask, “What makes you remarkable?” and you reply with, “Our people,” I get to challenge you. Do you think your competitors are saying, “Yeah, our people are pretty average.”? They’re not. They’re saying that their people are great, too. Which means that, by definition, this part of your business is NOT remarkable. This pushes clients to work hard to come up with that which actually makes them remarkable. And guess what? They come up with remarkable aspects of their business when challenged to think more.
What we learn is that almost every business has remarkable aspects that they’re not talking about. They’re not telling stories about or marketing these remarkable elements that already exist in their current businesses. By pulling these out, polishing them up and making them more prominent in their new marketing, we generate more visitors, leads and sales for our clients.
Being remarkable and different is hard.
Why? It’s hard because, as human beings, we generally want to fit in, not stand out. We feel uncomfortable when everyone is looking at us, right? When your business says something no one else is saying, it’s uncomfortable. It’s risky, we know. But it’s what you MUST DO to generate leads. By design, solid marketing helps your company stand out, not fade into the scenery.
Being remarkable is not something you do once.
Companies that truly embrace this concept know that it’s not a one-and-done exercise. It’s something you do every day, week and month. Clients we work with create a list of remarkable elements and then, over time, work to build these elements right into their business. As they create these elements, we include them in the marketing we’re already executing. Adding these new features allows us to always have new, fresh, truly different stories to tell. It makes the ongoing marketing to clients and prospects much more interesting, effective and lead generating.
Being remarkable is not optional.
No fluff here. If your business isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible. If your business is invisible, it’s going to be almost impossible to hit any reasonable revenue growth goals. You have to work to make your business remarkable, especially in today’s world. Today, when you have 10 seconds to get someone’s attention on your website – and with the click of a mouse, I can see a whole page of inbound marketing agencies – it’s more and more critical that your business stands out. Either it's remarkable or it’s not. There is no almost in this game.
Being remarkable changes how you think about your business.
Once you get comfortable with this concept, it changes how you think about your business. You’re never going to be satisfied with OK, very good or fine. You’re going to start pushing your people to do more, to be better, more creative or more customer oriented. What took you 24 hours to deliver, you’re going to be thinking about how to deliver in two hours. Why? Well, if industry average is 24 hours, then 12 still isn’t remarkable. It’s good, it's better and it's fine as an intermediary step, but your goal should be delivery in two hours because that would be remarkable.
Why should we even care about being remarkable?
In case you weren’t paying attention, let me reiterate why you want to be remarkable. If you skipped over the entire article, don’t skip this:
As human beings, our brains are not equipped to remember details like the features and benefits associated with your product or service. We don’t remember how many years you’ve been in business or how many people you have or how many offices you retain overseas.
What our brains do remember are the stories associated with your business, and the best stories always have to do with those remarkable aspects. The more aspects, the more stories. The more stories, the more buzz about your business. The more buzz, the more visitors, leads and sales. It’s that simple.
Don’t take my word for it. Ask around. What are people saying about your business? Then, think about what you WANT them to be saying, the stories you want them to be telling. Finally, build out remarkable elements that support the stories you want told.
Start Today Tip – Make a list of what you think makes you remarkable. Don’t judge it; just write it down. Ask a few of your sales people to tell you what they tell prospects when someone says, “What makes you different from your competitors?” Then, take that list and ask yourself if your competitors are saying anything similar. If they are, or you think they are, cross the item off your list. This will leave you with a very short list ... or perhaps no list at all.
Don’t worry. Now, think about what you do and how you do it, and come up with a new list of what you think you do that your competitors don’t. This might include process, service, technology, policy or methodology. These are the perfect raw materials for true remarkables. Start telling these stories, and watch your prospects' eyes light up and their wallets fly open.
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