Archive for April, 2010
So what does competitive strategy really mean?
Differentiation! Plain and simple.
You may sell the same product or service that many companies do in your marketplace. If you are the only provider of said product or service in your marketplace and you have no real competition, you are an extremely lucky business person. But you won’t be for long.
We are already seeing a overflow of companies providing the same thing and beating the heck out of each other on price. Squeezing every nickel and dime out of customers until the quality of service reaches the lowest it can possibly go, and you find yourself arguing online with some guy on eBay for $1.55 in postage.
It really is all about how you twist it. Michael E. Porter, the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts says, “The essense of strategy is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals do,” and “A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve.”
is that the question?
Fantastic tidbit from New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller yesterday:
“Twitter is too hard,” he said, (Evan Williams, Twitter’s chief executive.) It’s amazing it’s grown so fast given how hard it is to use.” He showed a screenshot of a Google search for ‘I don’t get.’ ‘I don’t get Twitter’ was second only to ‘I don’t get drunk, I get awesome.’ ”
I must be honest, I have begun definitively delving into the Twitter experience only in the last few months, and I am afraid I don’t get it either.
So, let’s see. Get to work at 9am, have coffee and chat. Morning meeting lasts an hour or so, then return calls and emails. Well, looky-there, it’s lunch time. Back in an hour. Back in front of the machine, and returning more emails and calls. 2pm, finally time to get some real work done. Appointment at 3pm, and a training Webex at 4pm. It’s 5pm, got to get the kid to soccer practice by 5:30pm.
Looking for ways to reach that elusive customer? Want to find something that can cut through the clutter and really catch their attention? Want to stand out with your product or service?
You can’t. Not really. I hate to disappoint, but it just isn’t possible. Our individual worlds are so full of clutter now, there isn’t any guaranteed, bonafide way to make sure you come out on top.
We have email clutter, junk mail clutter, cluttered online advertising, and clutter in the newspaper. Heck, you even turn on NPR in the morning, and you realize that the 15 sponsors of the morning program have just cluttered your news.
How do we as consumers deal with it? Do some of us shut down, or drown it out? Are some of us impervious to it? Or, do many of us act on it…or at least, some of it…even subconsciously?
There is far too much information out there to prove to us that enough customers and potential customers will act on our marketing efforts, that it seems completely worthwhile to continue. But how?
The word ‘buzz’, as it is used here, is that not-so-pithy word used to describe the hum of the masses. Everyone Twitting and Facebooking and blogging about the latest and greatest gadget, guru, or gripe.
What seems to be taken for granted in today’s marketing world, is just where all of these Tweets are coming from. Companies that monitor these sorts of things say that street cred is all you need to get the word out. The more people read what any “informed” individual writes…the more credibility this person has?
Obviously my question does not apply to every blog barker online today, because I have read quite a number of these, and many of them are exceptional. They can be written by researchers, executives, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and journalists.