The all-important differentiator

Let’s face it, there isn’t an industry in the world that isn’t flooded with companies all claiming to do the same thing. Everyone, from shoe manufacturers to dentists, is flooding the marketplace; and if you’ve figured out there’s a market for a service or a product, so have 10,000 other people.

That’s why the most important thing you need to know for any marketing strategy is what makes your business unique. What do you bring to the table that will make a potential client pick you you’re your competitors? Before you do anything else, task yourself with figuring that out. Learn what makes you different—discover your differentiator.

How do you do this?

The simplest way to do it is to talk to your existing client base. Find out what attracted them to you and, far more importantly, what keeps them coming back. If you engage your clients in a conversation about why they like you, you’ll find that many of them have the same basic answer. There will, of course be those driven by price or convenience, but the majority of your clients/customers will have similar answers. This is true whether you are a service or product manufacturer.

The goal is to narrow it down to one clear difference so that you can focus your marketing energy around that singular concept. Sometimes it might be something fairly general, like your best-selling shoe is comfortable or visually appealing, or it could be more specific like, “I am always greeted in a very engaging and friendly way by the staff.” That single nugget of information can help you understand how to market to any audience, let alone one you’ve chosen to target.

Don’t worry too much about how your competitors are executing their marketing strategies. Focus more on what makes you different, and build your marketing plan on that.