Getting heard today can be incredibly difficult. With so much “noise” around and so many marketing and promotional messages intruding our business and personal space how do you make sure that your marketing gets noticed. In a congested market sector now may the time with your marketing, dare to be different.
Now you might not be lucky enough to have a golden egg that looks dramatically different from all the other white eggs in the market place.
Communicating messages that look just like your competitors might not be enough to get you a sales enquiry.
In this article we will look at some of the marketing approaches that might help get you noticed.
Dare To Be Different – Six Marketing Approaches
- Closely and critically watch what everyone else is in your market is doing – what’s brilliant, good, bad, shocking
- Then evaluate and establish how you can do it differently creating a better customer experience
- Embrace the new – this could be through a variety of aspects
- Technology – how might AI be used to differentiate your services
- Culture – what if your staff could all work flexi time or from home. For many businesses the issue of Covid and working from home has transformed how they operate
- Thinking – how does an industry different to yours solve a problem. So you may be an engineering company- you might look at how an airline deals with an enquiry and processes an order
- Global – If you are based in the UK, how are things done in the US
- Be bold and imaginative.
- Without stereotyping certain industries attract certain types of people. So in an accountants practice you might find you have very logical, linear, non creative people.
- If you currently hire people who don’t have these attributes think about hiring a different type of person, or using 3rd party people with these attributes.
- Challenge your customers –
- Make them think, are they expecting the same old same old.
- What if you were to give them a completely new experience
- Are they die hard – we don’t want / like change
- Would they embrace things being done differently if it provided a better experience
- How entertaining and enjoyable is it to buy from you.
- Do you make your customers smile ( think of Mailchimp)
- Can you shock your customers in a positive way.
- Smiling or shocking may make you substantially different
- Disruption – being a disruptor within your sector
- How can you turn things upside down or look at things from a different perspective in order to stand out positively.
- What if lead times were dramatically reduced, a lifetime guarantee ( think of the impact of the Kia 7 year warranty in the automotive sector), do something so different you stand out
Excellent examples of Marketing Differentiation in 2022
- Ever since its creation, Apple has been well-known for its innovative products, including their Macintosh line computers, the iPod, iPad, and of course – the iPhone. And it has successfully managed to distinguish them from their competitors through a multi-layered approach: Product Design – Their iconic, elegant and minimalist design on all Apple’s products is one of the first things that makes the brand stand out from its competitors. Their products not only display a different visual style which is aesthetically pleasing, but is also well-thought to simplify the use of each device. Pricing Strategy – Apple prices for most of their products are significantly higher than those of competitors, set with the idea of being proportionate to the level of quality – with Apple still maintaining high profit margins.
- Product innovation – Their cars are not only environmentally friendly and extremely high tech, but also have a very distinctive and beautiful aesthetic. Tesla’s product differentiation includes: the possibility to customize your car; Regular software updates; Solar panels and supercharging compatibility.
- Hand made – one of the main reasons why Rolls Royce has managed to establish itself as a leading super-luxury product is its exclusive craftsmanship. Even though the company, is now owned by BMW, it stands firm by their handmade motto, confirming that very little robotics is involved in the production of their cars. Customisation – no two Rolls-Royce are ever exactly the same – customers tailor their vehicles with variations in wood leather, colour, and other requirements
Marketing Example: Marketing Dare To Be Different In The Food Sector
The trading performance of some supermarket retailers has been a roller coaster ride.
Almost everyday we read stories about how some are doing well whilst others struggle and are looking to reduce stores or make head office savings. For every success story Lidl / Aldi / Waitrose there is a story of Woe i.e. the main 4 supermarkets.
A food retailer nutcracker analogy
If you think of a nutcracker with a walnut in the middle.
- On one handle is Aldi and Lidl (the cut price / budget retailers)
- On the other handle is Waitrose and M&S.
- In the middle is everybody else and they are having there nuts crushed.
Factors Impacting Food Marketing
- In 1963 food and drink as a proportion of income was 25%. In 2015 this reduced to 8%. So from £2.50 out of every £10 being spent on food this has reduced to less than a £1
- Historically the big 4 supermarkets have relied on in store promotional items making over 40% of their sales.
- Compare this to Aldi and Lidl who don’t rely on promotional offers or pricing to sell
- EDLP = Every Day Low Price – as the food retailers look to move away from Bogof and multi buys.
- For some everyday value has led to the brands becoming farm orientated (note these may not be real farms}
- M& S food on the motorways is a franchise operation.
- Note Shopping for tonight represents 40% of food sales for M&S
- Aldi and Lidl deliberately don’t sell branded alcohol in store – this could be for a number of reasons.
- It could be that they are looking to develop there own in house brands to the younger audience who are visiting the store and fancy a perfectly good bottle of whiskey and don’t care that its called GlenBollo$&
Marketing Example: If you had a Small Boat For Sale, could you dare to be different in your marketing approach?
If you had a small row boat for sale what would be the best / most effective way to advertise to prospective buyers. We will consider how traditional offline marketing methods compare to the wonderful world of digital marketing.
We will consider the importance of imagery, copy and physical evidence. You may have noticed the colourful picture of the flowers that doesn’t look at all like a small row boat for sale. That could be good or bad, but at least something grabbed your attention.
Small Row Boat For Sale Advertising Options
There are a number of ways that you could go about trying to make people aware of your small row boat for sale.
Advertising in the Local Free Press Classifieds
- Advantages – Its potentially free, you are reaching your local audience.
- Disadvantages – You are limited on the amount of characters / imagery plus what if your prospective customer isn’t a local
A poster in your local chandlers / marina
- Advantages – You are getting your message directly in front of your prospective target audience i.e. its boat owners who visit the chandlers. Who do boat owners know and talk to; other boat owners. So an advert here is almost like targeted direct mail (as long as it gets noticed). Additionally you could probably leave the boat at the chandlers so it could actually be seen and the chandlers could take a percentage of the sale price
- Disadvantages -It will probably cost you money to place the poster. The audience will probably be very familiar with the item for sale so will know their stuff and negotiate harder, so more difficult to get a premium price (unless its a premium product)
E Bay (on line platform linking buyers and sellers )
- Advantages – The platform is used buy people who are looking to purchase. You can categorise your small row boat for sale so that it appears in the area where people will be looking within Ebay
- Disadvantages – Cost plus how do you get your product noticed ahead of others or achieve the optimum sale pricing
How can Farmers Buying Group differentiate themselves
For those involved in agricultural activities a farmers buying group can be the perfect format to allow them to make savings on core items that they use on their farm.
Essentially a farmers purchasing group acts as a co-operative whereby members purchasing requirements can be accumulated together and then the group can negotiate a discount against the bulk order volume.
These groups tend to be regionally based to allow savings to be made on distribution and delivery. What if you are positioned geographically that you could choose from a number of farmers buying groups – what would be the difference that makes you choose one over the others?
Advantages of Farmers Buying Group
Most Farmers purchasing groups will have a team of experienced and professional buyers whose sole role is to obtain best value for money across a comprehensive range of products and services required for day to day operation of a farm.
Typical goods and services include
- Fuel – from heating oil through to petrol and diesel
- Chemicals – where significant savings can be made on bulk volumes
- Seeds – where they will deal with brand leading suppliers
- Animal Health being able to offer the wide range of potions and treatments
- Machinery – from log splitter’s to augers, chainsaws to grease guns. The range of machinery is often large and provided through specialist suppliers within each category
- Electricity – one of the core areas where it is possible to make significant savings when buying as a collaborative / co-operative group. Many new members are often astonished at the potential savings available through bulk purchasing this commodity
- Vehicles – many well known manufacturers will provide discounts on vehicles to members farmers buying groups
- Building materials from timber to concrete, fencing to roofing.
A buying group will often attend the local (or national) agricultural shows like LAMMA, Cereals, Driffield Great Yorkshire Show, World Ploughing Championships. By attending these events it allows members to meet up and network with other members plus meet with buying group buyers and discuss future / additional procurement need. Ideally they wil have a great website design that makes it easy to purchase and identify the benefits
Differentiating a Bespoke Software Development company
To differentiate itself from competitors, a bespoke software development company can employ several strategies and tactics. Here are some ways to stand out in the market:
- Specialise in a niche: Instead of being a generalist software development company, focus on a specific industry or technology niche. This specialisation allows you to understand the unique needs and challenges of that sector and position yourself as an expert in delivering tailored solutions for those specific requirements.
- Offer a unique value proposition: Clearly define and communicate your unique value proposition. Identify what sets your company apart from competitors, whether it’s faster development times, superior quality, cost-effectiveness, exceptional customer support, or innovative approaches. Highlight these differentiators in your marketing materials and conversations with potential clients.
- Prioritise client collaboration: Emphasise your commitment to collaboration and communication with clients throughout the software development process. Actively involve them in decision-making, provide regular progress updates, and ensure their feedback is incorporated into the development cycle. This client-centric approach can build strong relationships and foster trust, setting you apart from companies that are less attentive to customer needs.
- Showcase a portfolio of successful projects: Create a portfolio that highlights your previous successful projects. Showcase the range of industries you’ve worked with, the complexity of the solutions you’ve developed, and the positive outcomes achieved. Case studies, testimonials, and client references can provide potential clients with tangible evidence of your capabilities and demonstrate your track record.
- Focus on innovation and emerging technologies: Stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the software development industry. Position your company as an innovator by offering expertise in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), or virtual/augmented reality. Being at the forefront of technology can attract clients seeking forward-thinking solutions.
- Invest in employee expertise: Ensure your development team consists of skilled professionals who excel in their respective domains. Encourage continuous learning and professional development among your employees. Certifications, advanced degrees, and industry recognitions can demonstrate your team’s expertise, adding credibility to your company’s capabilities.
- Provide excellent customer support: Stand out by offering exceptional customer support even after the software is delivered. Promptly address any issues or bugs, provide regular software updates, and be available to assist with ongoing maintenance or enhancements. Going the extra mile in supporting your clients can foster long-term relationships and generate positive word-of-mouth referrals.
- Foster a company culture that values client success: Develop a company culture that puts client success at the forefront. Ensure all employees understand the importance of delivering high-quality solutions and exceeding client expectations. Emphasise teamwork, collaboration, and a commitment to delivering value to clients at every stage of the development process.
Differentiation requires a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of your company, including your expertise, client relationships, processes, and culture. By combining these strategies, you can set your bespoke software development company apart from competitors and attract clients who value your unique offerings.
Marketing Dare To Be Different
For SME companies looking to differentiate themselves in the market, a summary of some marketing approaches they can adopt to stand out from competitors:
- Targeted messaging: Develop a clear and compelling value proposition that resonates with your target audience. Understand their pain points, needs, and desires, and tailor your messaging accordingly. Highlight the specific benefits and advantages your products or services offer to address their challenges effectively.
- Content marketing: Create valuable and informative content that showcases your expertise and provides solutions to your target audience’s problems. Publish blog posts, articles, whitepapers, or case studies that demonstrate your knowledge and offer insights. Share this content through your website, social media channels, and email newsletters to establish yourself as a thought leader and trusted resource.
- Personalised customer experiences: Leverage customer data and insights to deliver personalised experiences. Segment your audience based on their preferences and behaviour, and tailor your marketing messages accordingly. Use email marketing, targeted ads, and personalized landing pages to create a customised journey for each customer, making them feel valued and understood.
- Social media engagement: Be active on social media platforms where your target audience is present. Create engaging and shareable content, such as infographics, videos, or polls, to encourage interactions and conversations. Respond to comments and messages promptly, showing that you value and listen to your audience. Establishing a strong social media presence can help build brand awareness and foster a sense of community around your company.
- Strategic partnerships and collaborations: Identify complementary businesses or influencers in your industry and explore opportunities for collaboration. This could involve joint marketing campaigns, co-hosted webinars or events, guest blogging on each other’s platforms, or cross-promotion. Partnering with reputable and like-minded companies can expand your reach, lend credibility, and attract new customers.
- Customer reviews and testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and testimonials about their positive experiences with your company. Display these reviews prominently on your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials. Positive feedback from real customers adds credibility and builds trust, making your SME company more appealing to potential clients.
- Local community involvement: Engage with your local community by sponsoring events, participating in charitable initiatives, or collaborating with other local businesses. By actively supporting local causes or organisations, you can enhance your brand’s visibility and demonstrate your commitment to the community. This approach can resonate well with customers who value supporting local businesses.
- Exceptional customer service: Provide outstanding customer service at every touchpoint. Train your employees to be responsive, knowledgeable, and empathetic in their interactions with customers. Promptly address any issues or concerns and go above and beyond to exceed customer expectations. Word-of-mouth referrals generated from exceptional customer experiences can be a powerful differentiator for SME companies.
Consistency across all marketing efforts is crucial. Maintain a cohesive brand identity, deliver on your promises, and continuously monitor and adjust your marketing strategies based on customer feedback and market trends. By adopting these marketing approaches, SME companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and build a loyal customer base.
If you would like to know more about marketing dare to be different contact Andrew Goode MBA, MSc, FCIM Click here to arrange a call
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