How to Beat the Clutter and Your Competition

by Ken Mueller on June 5, 2012 · 19 comments

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300px BILLBOARDS AND ADVERTISING CLUTTER ROADSIDE   NARA   546184 How to Beat the Clutter and Your Competition

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Our world is filled with clutter and competition.

No matter what business category you’re in, odds are you have to fight tooth and nail to get noticed above the noise and clutter.

Turn on your TV or radio, and you’ll be bombarded with advertising clutter. Sometimes it seems as if there are more commercials than programs. Everyone has a commercial. Do you want your commercial to stand out?

Make a better commercial.

But then again, people aren’t watching your commercials, are they?

Newspaper? Full of ads and clutter. Everyone has a print ad of some sort. Do you want people to see it and respond?

Create a better ad.

But the news for newspapers isn’t quite so bright, either.

Websites? Yep. Everyone has one of those as well. Just Google your business category and see how many others are vying for that top spot in the search engine results.

Build a better website.

Ah, social media. Everyone is on Facebook or Twitter. How will you cut through the clutter?

Do it better than anyone else.

When all is said and done, our customers have options. Lots of options. Too many options, to the point of paralysis.

But even if you create better ads, or have a better website, or even are better at social media, it’s not a guarantee of anything. It might help get a few more people through the door the first time, but that’s not enough.

No matter how much you improve your marketing and advertising, you can only go so far.

But if you really want to make a difference, take a look at your business. Look at your business model and culture. Re-evaluate what products and services you are offering. Examine your customer service.

Your business consists of all of the above.

Do it better.

Better services. Better products. Better quality. Better prices. Better value. Better customer service.

Marketing and advertising, no matter how savvy and creative, can only hide so much. They are your words about your business. Your claims. Prospective customers will only believe so much.

So back up those words. How?

Do it better.

Better services. Better products. Better quality. Better prices. Better value. Better customer service.

And then the most important marketing will take place:

Word of mouth.

Your happy customers telling others that you do it better.

Sounds simple, eh? Now go take a look and see what you have to change in order to do it better.

 How to Beat the Clutter and Your Competition
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15 comments
LizJostes
LizJostes

I think there are several ways to "do it better". One thing (which we are making a point to work on right now) is to revisit pages of your site to see if everything is still relevant/correct/up-to-date and check through any materials and/or templates you use to see if those need updating, too. Sometimes simple things like reviewing and tweaking can make a difference in doing better, especially since social media changes on a daily basis.I agree that you should keep somewhat of an eye on your competition, however I think taking a look at either gaps in services you provide and gaps in services in the marketplace are wise moves for business growth. So instead of thinking, "I need to replicate what THEY are doing", try to think like your customer and what other needs they might have that aren't currently being met.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

I too see your point here Ken but I caution people from 'do it better' only because if you are constantly looking at your competition and weighing yourself against them, you will get bogged down. You wil lose focus and vision and creativity. You sop copying and replicating without being really innovative. Now, on the flip, if we consider 'do it better' when we think of the last thing we did, I love this. Do something great- awesome! Next time, let's do it even better!

Shonali
Shonali

Ken, I both agree and disagree. Yes, "do it better" is a good principle to follow. But I would make it, "Do what YOU do, better." Because chances are that the quality of work people will get from, say @ginidietrich and me, is about the same. And I don't say this to be arrogant, but because I know Gini, and we've had enough conversations, even without working together as such, that I believe we're pretty much on the same wavelength and approach things in the same way. But there are certain "Gini" things that she does, that only she can do, and there are certain "Shonali" things that I do, that only I can do. It is in that differentiation that we stand out, each to our own prospects/clients, which is why they come to us, and not to anyone else.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

There is SO MUCH to think about. I sometimes get overwhelmed at all I should be doing for my small business and I'm in this world. I can only imagine how other small business owners feel. But if you try to keep it simple, it will alleviate a lot of the feelings of paralysis.

girlseeksplace
girlseeksplace

 @Shonali I agree with your idea of doing what you do better. We can't be in constant competition with the world, whether it's people we know or people we don't. Sometimes, there are things we have to let go of in order to figure out what works best for us.

Erin F.
Erin F.

 @ginidietrich Ugh. Being overwhelmed seems to be a constant state at the moment. I need to remember to show myself some grace instead of tallying everything I haven't accomplished.

Latest blog post: My Little Loves

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @Erin F.  @ginidietrich Well, just realized I'm not getting notifications from Livefyre! Didn't know these comments were here! But I think you guys have the right focus. I know you understand that the best way to do things is first, and foremost, to do you job better. Then the real magic happens.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @Erin F.  @ginidietrich  @Shonali Oh I agree completely. I'm not saying we should all be all things to all people. The "do what you do better" was implied here. We can't be anyone else. But in terms of being PR practitioners, I'm saying you guys should, and do, do it better than others, with your own touch. That's why I clarified some of the propositions. For some, it's competing at a better price. For others, it's a higher quality product. There's room for all of those. Not everyone can afford the high end stuff, so we need to find our niche and do THAT better.

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