Launching campaigns, media blitzes, flanking a competitor… these war terms leaked into the advertising world after men returned home from World War II and joined the advertising troops on Madison Avenue (see Don Draper). The mindset of “blowing the competition to smithereens” is deeply ingrained in today’s marketers. But, there seems to be a big shift from competition to collaboration underway.
Not all marketers are recognizing the shift. As of a few weeks ago, I hadn’t even accepted it.
Admit When You're Wrong
Caddis said we were going to be transparent during the process of treating ourselves as a client. So here is my moment to eat crow.
When we met a few weeks ago, I thought the content Caddis creates should focus narrowly on one persona: the person who needs our services. Then, after working through competitor analyses and defining ALL our marketing personas, the reluctance I had to create other kinds of content faded.
Two weeks ago, I didn’t feel comfortable posting detailed blogs about our process and how it makes us better than our competitors. But when we figured out how people in Nashville were finding our agency, it all made sense. Our clients were finding us in different ways, but the one constant through our target markets was referrals. Referrals from competitors whose skill set did not meet the needs of their prospective clients led to new business.
There's More To Gain From Collaboration
Of course competition is healthy, but if we are willing to get past the essence of rivalry, there is much to be gained from collaborating with our competition. In order to capitalize on the opportunity, the competition needs to know you. That relationship can be cultivated by the content you create. At Caddis, we want to be thought of as industry thought leaders, and industry thought leaders achieve that status by replacing petty competitive concerns to serve the community with valuable information.
So my mind was changed by Jake, Jesse and the exercises we did. Blogging about marketing trends, the methods we use to help our clients solve problems and how prospective clients may be able to solve problems themselves takes an attitude shift from trying to grab the biggest slice of pie to an attitude of growing the pie for everyone.
While those who are stuck in the pure competition age of finding new ways to do the wrong things cheaper and faster, there are collaborators finding success by working together to develop programs, products, services that will position them to be the best competitors in 2013.
What are your thoughts on creating content your competitors can benefit from? Do you embrace this perspective? Comment below and let us know.