“We all sell the same thing… there’s no difference between what one company offers compared to another.” Those are the words a manager of a large, but struggling technology solution provider revealed to me.
Here’s why that view is a problem…
When you see yourself as marketing essentially the same technology products and services your competitors sell, you immediately become a “victim” to brutal price competition. You are reduced to a commodity where the company with the lowest price wins.
Winning the lowest price war is the least profitable way to build a business. Lowest price attracts the most disloyal group of buyers in any market. I call them “the cheapskates”.
Second, your competitors can easily cut your legs out from under you, by beating your price. ‘Winning’ comes down to who’s willing to earn less. Even maybe taking a loss.
That’s why communicating a competitive advantage that makes you the only logical choice is critical.
If you can’t see and articulate a clear competitive advantage, how much less will your potential client see a reason to choose you over someone else?
There is a smart technology marketing solution to fierce competitive markets. Cutting your managed service contract rates isn’t the way to go. There are more profitable ways to win the lion’s share of the market without dropping your price. How? Well, here are just a few ideas:
For starters, become a celebrity within your industry. Become the high-price leader who only deals with a certain caliber of clients.
Differentiate your company by the way you market services to clients.
In every industry there are marketing strategies that are accepted as “the right way” to build a business. Unfortunately when you do what everyone else is doing, you sound and look like everyone else. You become a commodity.
Instead of becoming an ‘also ran’, borrow strategies from other industries.
Using marketing techniques uncommon to your technology industry instantly makes you distinct. You sound unique because no one else sounds like you. And if anyone tries to copy you, they instantly sound like a copy cat. A “me too” loser.
This is an easier process when you have a list to work from. If you need some ideas, go to my list of articles at http://www.andrebell.com/articles/ and grab the report of 101 ways to market your company.
Besides differentiating yourself by selecting from over 100 different marketing strategies you can:
- position yourself as first in some category or accomplishment or activity
- be contrarian in your marketing approach or service
- set yourself apart by being exclusive in the type of client you will accept or the types of services you deliver
Another step is to take a non-traditional approach to marketing. Traditional marketing involves paying more and more money in ads or worse, cold calling people who don’t want to hear from you.
A non-traditional marketing approach focuses on what you’re already doing (or should be doing) and making it more responsive and more predictable without sounding like everyone else.
This is critical because in today’s global marketplace differentiating yourself in the mind of clients and potential clients is the key to a company’s survival. Failure to differentiate is the number one reason I believe companies struggle unnecessarily.