OK, so the title seems like a contradiction. How can someone avoid the inevitable? The answer is to do something different marketing-wise to your competiton.

Many companies look at what other businesses in their industry are doing and simply copy it. They work on the idea that these established companies have set the standard for marketing in that industry and so that is how it is done. The problem with this is that all the marketing from that industry looks the same and nothing sticks out, so you only achieve a medicore return at best.

A company must market in a different way to its competitors if it is to make an impact and succeed.

But, it can be dangerous to try something on a large scale that is untested. It can be a waste of money and time to try something that you’re unsure about. There are two ways to avoid these problems:

1.  Look at successful marketing in other industries

Look at what has worked well in industries other than the one you are in. Ask yourself:

• What exactly did they do and how did they do it?
• Why did it work for them?
• How can you take the essence of their idea and adapt it for your industry?

I often look at marketing from other companies and dissect it.

Does it work, if so why?  If not, how could it be made to work?

Then I ask myself: “How can I apply this learning to one of the marketing plans that I am working on for a business in a different industry?”

For example. I love the hugely successful Two Dine for £10 offers from M&S. This type of package offer can be applied to any industry from restaurants through printers to accountants.

2. Test, Track and Tweak

This is something that you should do for every new marketing campaign. It is simple:
1. Pick a small sample (say 100 prospects) from your database.
2. Send your new campaign to them and measure the results
3. Get feedback on your campaign.
4. Tweak the campaign
5. Repeat from step 1 with a different set of prospects until you are happy with the results you get
6. Roll out the campaign to the entirety of your database.

This approach ensures that you get good results before you break the bank.