What’s better? Being one of a kind or making the most noise?

Igor PauletičInbound Marketing, Sales

In Slovenia, if someone tells you that they’re involved in digital marketing, they’re most likely talking about advertising within the Google and Facebook advertising network. They’ll also tell you that they’re specialists in website traffic analytics and that they may manage their customers’ Facebook profiles. Even if they’re doing other things as well, most likely they only stick to the part of marketing that has to do with promotion, and they have probably never heard of Philip Kotler.

Promotion is only one of the Ps in the marketing mix. I think this is the part of marketing that should only be tackled at the end, when we’re confident in the product’s value to the customer. Companies often forget this.

Fooling the customer?

Often I come across companies that know that the uniqueness of their product’s value to the customer is questionable. They know that their product is not significantly different from those of their competition. Sometimes it actually is different, but to the advantage of the competition. Nonetheless they want to invest in promotion rather than the revamping their product’s unique value. Like it or not, such cases always make me feel that these companies are asking me to give them ideas for how to use promotion to fool the customer.

Promotion is the last step in the selling process. The first step is a high-quality product. Click To Tweet

Listen, the times are gone when you could bet on ignorant customers. They practically no longer exist. Today all information is only a click or two away, and we have our phones with Internet access constantly in our pockets or in our hands 150 times a day. Betting on uninformed and ignorant customers in this day and age is madness. Today’s economic model of society is no longer based on uninformed customers. Full transparency and limitless and effective dissemination of information is the core value highlighted by today’s winners.

We can see others clearly, but we’re unable to recognize our own mistakes. Click To Tweet

We’re all good at understanding the examples of others, but we find it practically impossible to take a critical view of our own situations. We think we can hold back on development and still retain our ignorant customers. Development devours its own young. If your development doesn’t, your competition’s surely will.

Record companies managed to destroy Napster, but that only prolonged the sale of CDs for a short time. They didn’t want to understand what customers were looking for and what a new value for them would be. Apple understood that, sorted out the copyrights with authors and performers, and offered iTunes to the market. But consumers gradually moved on. Now we want to stream music limitlessly through Spotify and similar services for a monthly subscription. Who in this chain would benefit from promotion alone? Only Spotify and its contemporaries, in my opinion. The others probably turned to something on the periphery, if they’re still present in the market at all.

Devour your young!

FrodX tries to offer its customers what they still can’t get anywhere else in the market, at least not as simply, conveniently, and inexpensively. We’re aware of all the followers that track our footsteps and try to offer our uniqueness from three years ago for less money. We can compete with them by lowering our prices and optimizing our operations, or by reintroducing solutions that our customers want but aren’t able to find because there aren’t (m)any providers on the market that offer a comparable range of products. Usually this means that with every such step, stories in which followers gradually increase while we’re adding new features come to an end, at least in financial terms. We don’t fight to be cheaper, but for the cheaper options to become irrelevant, or at least not comparable. We seek to go the extra mile, as the Americans would say. Considering the business we’re in, this path seems more natural to me, even though with every new step of development, we make everything that came before it less interesting.

Constant progress demands victims in our own ranks. So devour your own young! Click To Tweet

Something similar applies to all industries in which the product is the end result. When Philips makes a real market breakthrough with its smart toothbrush that can keep a record of and report how effectively I brush my teeth, and when parents realize that collecting toothbrushing data on a smart toothbrush is a tool that makes children have more fun brushing their teeth and do it better, all “non-smart” toothbrushes will turn into second-class items. Their only market advantage will be that they are cheaper. If such a toothbrush had been produced by GlaxoSmithKline (Sensodyne, Aquafresh, etc.) and if GlaxoSmithKline “had devoured some of its own young,” Philips wouldn’t have interfered in their line of business. Mattel realized early enough that someone with a new approach could interfere with their business and so they decided to come up with their Hello Barbie instead, which I’ve already written about. Amazon is also known for devouring its own young, as is a series of other global household names. What about you? Are you betting on being cheaper or offering more to your customers?

 

igor.pauletic@frodx.com

 

About the Author

Igor Pauletič

Founder and CEO of FrodX, who uses his rich experience to assist customers to transfer the latest technological, operational, and social trends into their business operations. He mostly focuses on new product development, omnichannel sales architectures, and go-to-market strategies. As a team member, he fills the role of the idea generator and constantly challenges the status quo and established decision making patterns.