Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stop Thinking Like Your Competition

Ever wonder what your competition is thinking? They're thinking exactly what you are thinking -- "I wonder what my competition is thinking?" The truth is that most law firms are so busy trying to guess what other law firms are thinking that they're not being strategic, or creating some great new campaign, or doing anything productive at all. Mostly, law firms are being reactive... not proactive. Kind of sad isn't it? But I depend on this truth.

Several months ago I launched an ad campaign featuring the attorneys at my firm. Recently a pack of other firms are doing the same. PLUS, the local publications are filling up with advertisements from local firms. Interesting.... If I do anything that is different from the herd -- the herd follows.

So, being a strategically minded marketer, what is my next move, considering that whatever I do the pack will follow?

My next move is to NOT do anything they are already doing! I call this "180° Marketing". In order to stand away from the crowd and have my message heard I need to be doing anything that is different from everyone else. Now that my competition is spending their precious budget on ad space I need to focus somewhere different. Of course you'd like to know where... but that would be telling too much. I'll just say that 2007 marketing dollars will be spent on something different than my competition.

I don't spend a lot time on wondering what my competition is thinking. I choose instead to think about what they are not thinking. That place is where I will accomplish the most good. If you spend any part of your day reacting to the marketing moves of your competition by doing similar things than STOP IT RIGHT NOW! I can assure you that being different will always pay greater dividends that being similar.