Financial literacy

Why the strategy of doing the same as your competitor doesn't work, and it's not a strategy at all?

Why the strategy of doing the same as your competitor doesn't work, and it's not a strategy at all?

So much is said about the importance of strategy that one starts to experience "banner blindness" towards it, failing to grasp its meaning as the brain filters it out. Yet, strategy is the backbone of your business development, without which there would be nothing to hold onto.

A brief text on why trying to emulate competitors won't succeed and why it's not worth spending time and money trying to copy someone else's promotion model. And here's why

Ask questions

Recently, a client approached us at Ubanksy: "I want to produce video content to promote my company on YouTube," he said. "That's great," I replied. "But what exactly is your objective with this?" "What do you mean, 'for what'? Don't you get it? Everyone's making videos; it's a trend. I think we need video content to compete." "Compete with video content?” “Yes, with them too? But what specific goal do you want to achieve with these videos?" "We want to become more popular." "Why is that?" "What do you mean, 'why'? Well, I just want to clarify if this your ultimate goal, or it is just an intermediary step towards something else you're aiming for?" "No," he says, "I want the company to become more popular, more noticeable." "Alright, what other types of content have you produced aside from videos?" "Honestly, we haven't done much else," he admits. "We have a website, but we don't post news. Sometimes we send our clients emails about promotions or sometimes texts. So, why did you decide to start with videos?" "Because I like what our competitor is doing and want the same. I want our company to look more reputable."

Do not waste time and money trying to repeat after a rich competitor

Together we look at the competitor's YouTube channel. It turns out the competitor is quite a large company, about ten times the size of our client. The videos produced by this company are based on content where the team travels to exhibitions in different countries roughly every one to two months, actively promoting their product by purchasing sponsorships, participating in workshops. The content is shot by a professional videographer, the videos are edited by a skilled editor, and the team collaborates with a scriptwriter. Indeed, the videos are of good quality, but the budget is quite substantial. I share all this with the client, emphasizing that to produce similar videos, they would need an equivalent budget. I ask how often they attend exhibitions. Turns out, not very often, maybe once a year. I inquire about other public events the team partakes in. Webinars? Workshops? "No, we don't do any of that," he says. Sometimes they attend corporate events out of town. Almost all employees work remotely. "There isn't much content to gather from that. But some videos can still be produced, such as instructional ones. I point out, "Look, your competitors have a strong point - their active trips to exhibitions with a significant budget allocation. They maximize their content, squeezing PR from it, creating diverse content to accompany their trips with releases, articles, news. They produce photographs, videos. Honestly, they're doing a great job, and you can see the strategy, the team's coordinated efforts, and understanding behind their actions. Do you have such resources in your company?" "No," he says, "we don't have those resources yet. But maybe we can do something similar?" "We can do similar or better, we can do something unique for your company. Let's focus on your company's strengths”.

Always keep in mind what is your main goal

After all, you're not selling videos to clients, but a product. Let's look at what's unique about your product and company, what client pain points it addresses. Let's think about what you want your client to know about your product. Maybe, in the end, your client doesn't even need videos, or if they do, not the kind you're thinking of. Everything will depend on the marketing plan we come up with based on specific, measurable objectives we define together. We won't just make videos, but we'll integrate them into your business model, into your strategy so that all your efforts support each other, creating a comprehensive perception of the company."


So, the conclusions are as follows: The client decided to create videos not because it arose from the needs of his business and customers, nor because he conducted surveys or analyzed feedback, but simply because he wanted to emulate what he liked about his competitor. He didn’t even forecast how much money and new customers his YouTube channel should bring in, what budget would be required for it, or how he would manage it. If you think he's just a naive client, you're mistaken. I encounter this approach in 90% of companies. And many of these companies spend money on projects without receiving any return on their investments. Therefore, I constantly remind people: what works for one might not work for another at all. This is because one pursues it as part of a marketing strategy, while you try to mimic only the visible part of that strategy, as in the example above. Don’t spend money blindly; learn to think strategically.
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