Take a moment to reflect on some of the brands you interact with regularly. And then answer this question: Is there a reason you choose Starbucks over Dunkin’ Donuts? Or Netflix over cable TV? Or your local farmers’ market over the supermarket chain? Even if you can’t pinpoint the reason you are loyal to one brand over another, I guarantee the company behind that brand has a very accurate profile of the kind of buyer you are.
But how about your own company? Let’s be honest: your business is just one of many offering the same service to the same array of potential B2B customers. You and your competitors likely share many of the same goals: generating new leads, establishing greater brand awareness, and, ultimately, increasing revenue opportunities.
Many companies recognize that a highly relevant marketing initiative will be of great value in achieving those objectives. And whether you choose to do it in-house or turn to an inbound marketing agency like echogravity, it all starts with one question. It’s the question we ask every new client before kicking off their marketing project: What makes you different?
So What Makes You Different?
It’s a simple question. But the implications are complex. Because the truth is, from the customer’s perspective, there’s often very little beyond the main service offering to clearly distinguish one company from the next. So how do you change this?
The short answer is a whole lot of research and a little bit of marketing magic.
Even if you already have an idea of your company’s differentiators, you’re probably going to have to do some digging. You need to know why your customers choose you over your competitors. What makes them come back time and again? How are you helping them overcome challenges and resolve their pain points?
It’s also worth asking your employees for their insight. After all, they’re the ones on the frontlines, selling to your customers and interacting with them over the lifecycle of your service or product. How do they make your company stand out from the crowd when they’re selling your core offering? Which differentiators are most successful in winning over a valuable customer?
Competitive analysis is also key. What are your top competitors known for? How do they set themselves apart in your industry? How often are they winning over your customers? Do they have a niche or add-on that you haven’t considered?
Finally, go back to the beginning: Why was your company founded in the first place? What were the founding mission and values and how have those evolved over time? What’s the background of your current leadership team and how does that leverage your business?
Owning Your Differentiators
Once you have your research down, it’s time for that generous portion of marketing magic.
You could be the most unique company in the world with an incredible product or service, but very few brands can survive on mere word-of-mouth marketing that may result from your superiority in the marketplace. You have to be able to present your differentiators in ways that reach and engage with your target customers.
Let’s look at an example. We partner with many staffing and recruiting companies to execute their marketing initiatives, so we’re often asking, what sets a staffing agency apart? If a staffing firm’s differentiator is their personal approach to the recruitment process, that message has to come across in every digital encounter in order to strengthen that brand image.
This includes, first and foremost, their website. An outdated website that’s written in a stiff, formal tone, that makes it hard to find information, and is difficult to navigate doesn’t exactly shout “personal.” If their social presence is scarce, irrelevant, or badly managed, this definitely doesn’t reinforce a personal approach to business.
On the other hand, imagine visiting the websites of your favorite brands. You don’t usually have to think twice about where to find the information you need, and it’s often a pleasant and engaging visual experience. If you interact with their social profiles, you anticipate a voice that reflects the awesome service you’ve come to expect.
The Question We Ask Every New Client
The viability of your business starts with being able to fill a gap in the market. Likewise, the unique qualities that bring your business to success must be reflected in every aspect of your digital marketing endeavors. If not, you risk blending into an overcrowded marketplace where you’re shouting – and failing – to be heard.
That’s why we ask every new client at echogravity the same question; we want to know what makes you different. Only then can we build a strong marketing foundation that can create new business opportunities for your company.
Curious about leveraging your differentiators? Let us know. It’s our specialty.