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Much The Same, Only Different?!


Dave Trott is someone that I read pretty regularly. His thoughts about marketing and advertising in today’s world are pertinent and just this morning I read a piece that he wrote about 30 years ago about the state of advertising at the time.

The money quote was about how everyone is trying to do everything the same as everyone else but a little bit better.

Isn’t that true in so many places?

In my work on revenue and opportunity creation, I spend a lot of time focusing on how to get people to retarget their strategies onto the people that are most likely to be receptive to their arguments.

Here’s the framework I use to make decisions about strategy:

  1. What is the value we want to create?
  2. Who can really buy this value?
  3. How do we reach them?

The challenge for most organizations is that they are afraid of differentiating themselves. They are stuck on the treadmill of doing exactly what everyone else is doing, just a little bit better.

To make real progress, you have got to be willing to do something different.

It means that you have to move past the point of doing things that everyone else is doing, but a little better.

Here’s what I mean:

  • Instead of talking about the things that are benefits or that are important to you, you spend time talking about and framing your marketing efforts around what is important to your target market.
  • Instead of framing your marketing efforts around features, you want to talk about outcomes and benefits.
  • Instead of talking about tactical things, you need to focus on the strategic…big picture things.

If you are just doing what everyone else is doing, you have to focus on being unique and different.

That’ll make a difference.

Being a little different, that’s not going to be too helpful at all.