Why aren’t companies bolder to differentiate themselves?
Once again, this morning, I came across a website for a digital (pharma/healthcare) agency. And, once again, there was the familiar list of bullet points, similar to this:
- Digital Strategy
- Web Analytics
- Creative Services
- Digital Sales Aids
- Audio/Video Aids
- E-Mail Marketing
- Microsites, Campaign and Brand Websites
- HCP Social Media
- Medical Animation
- Mobile/iPad Development
- Application Development
- Web Development
- Social Media
It could have been any of a number of such firms, because most of them claim to do – well, everything. Just like all the others.
Yes, I understand that agencies want to give the impression of being a one-stop shop so more marketing dollars can flow into their coffers. You’re afraid to miss out on some piece of work because the net is not wide enough. So you do bullet-point marketing. But at what price?
You’re now just like everyone else. “Will Work for Revenue.” There’s a biz-ugly word for that: Commodity.
In my Vendor Selection workshop, I show a web page with a very similar “we do it all” bullet point approach to training solutions. It’s disingenuous, really. Nobody does 10-12 disparate things well. And customers instinctively know it.
I’ll tell my pharma clients the dirty little secret: vendors may be ABLE to do 5-10 things, but typically, they’re going to do 1-2 things really well. That’s the differentiator. And, when doing clarity consulting with small companies and individuals, I say the same thing. Narrow your message down to your uniqueness; don’t broaden it to everyone else’s generalities.
It’s actually quite a liberating experience to move away from the broad message, where you’re competing with everyone; and instead, defining and promoting your unique offering.
It’s best not to lead with the 5-10 things. Clients cannot remember you for that – you will be dumped right into the commodity bin of their memory banks, soon to be deleted. Instead, lead with your tangible, demonstrable differentiator and build your message around that. Become a trusted supplier of something you excel at, and maybe the door will open later to some of the other things that you do.
“We’ll Do Whatever!” is not a message that sets you apart in the minds of your clients. Focus. Differentiate. De-commoditize.
Unlike everybody else!
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