This is my first entry at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix. So I'm like the new guy in prison, and that means I need to pick out a few of the heavy hitters and "kick their butt" on my first day, or else I'm going to become their "you know what"....

Of course, I'm not really going to do that today, but I will use that example to lead in to a topic that most marketers seem to have forgotten. And that is...

You don't always have to play nice in the sandbox to accomplish your marketing goals.

Marketers have become too nice for their own good. There used to be a time when marketers would directly compare their service/product to one of their competitors. Sure, some industries still do this type of thing, mainly telecommunications, insurance providers and other industries where the competition is fierce. But not enough other types of small- to medium-sized businesses do this anymore. Why?
I have two grocery stores near my home that are convenient to me, therefore, they are both in my consideration as a resource. Store A has had me as a customer for years, and now Store B has opened and is trying to get my business. Store A has done nothing to keep me shopping, and when I asked the Store A manager why I should continue to shop at her store instead of Store B, she could not give me a clear reason. Meanwhile, Store B gave me 3 very clear, solid reasons in a marketing message that directly "took on" Store A. Price, quality and experience.
Where do you think I shop now?
As a consumer, I want one answer when I'm shopping for a service, and that's "why should I use your service/product over your competition?" If you can't answer that question for in clear fashion with pointed benefits, then I'm not buying from you, unless I have no choice.
As a marketer, I am darn sure that I've prepped my sales staff with enough information to easily answer that question. And frankly, if my product/service isn't better, why am I wasting my time selling it? Time to get on the right team, because your team is going to lose.
As an executive who the marketing team reports to, what's the benefit of not telling your customers why your product is better than your competition?
More marketers need to toughen up and start seriously considering their approach when it comes to comparitive competition. In an ever-changing world of fast-paced consumerism and technology, it's becoming harder and harder to weed through the noise for the clear signal.

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