There is a lot of talk about elevator pitches in marketing.
But the rules have changed. On one hand everyone is talking and nobody is listening. Everyone is hustling. Everyone is taking but not giving.
On the other hand, the pitch opportunity has been stunted. You no longer get the time it takes to travel twenty floors, you have the time it takes to travel two floors. The battle for attention is fierce. Competition is a click, swipe, text or call away.
So before you invest another penny in your website, send another email newsletter, attend your next networking event or connect with another ‘prospect’ online come up with some responses to these questions and then get them trimmed down to 10-15 seconds. Fifteen seconds is all you have.
Q1: What needs are you trying to meet or what pain are you trying to eradicate? (Establishes your reason for being and your core strengths)
Q2: Who do you do this for? (Establishes your audience)
Q3: Why should they listen to you? (Provides the evidence of your strengths)
Businesses and business owners that have a clear, unequivocal response to these questions market better, more efficiently and more effectively.
I’ve met and read about a clutch of companies recently that claim to have no out and out competition. A risky proposition in a globally focused, increasingly service economy.
One example is container security. A multi billion dollar business. Some companies provide locks and security, some providing tracking and tracing. One company claims to be the only one doing both. That doesn’t mean there is no competition – far from it, there is an abundance as all the players in security or tracking have a share of the pie.
The problem is magnified when products are commoditised by professional buyers.
We’ve seen how the fallout of the ash cloud has negatively affected airlines but delivered massive revenue for ferries, trains and hire car companies. Granted, it’s a difficult thing to plan for, but companies and tourist boards in the UK will now all be putting extra effort into promoting their offering to a larger number of people now likely to stay in the UK this summer.
This topical example demonstrates the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to considering your competition – and factoring threats into your business planning.
Thinking outside the box is not the easiest thing to do. We all get tunnel vision but it is critical to keep an eye on what is going on in the market.
Today’s challenge: Set yourself fifteen minutes today to research broader competition using Google. Whether you are in packaging, adhesives, chemicals, tourism, publishing or insurance, there are other companies doing things differently and succeeding. Having them on your radar enables you to have a plan to tackle them.