Every company is at its own unique stage of growth. Of course, the big wigs don’t really have that much of a problem when it comes to market influence. It is the small and mid-sized companies that have to grapple with ways and means of getting to the top. Moreover, the exponential increase in start-ups has only served to intensify the competitive environment that many companies have to grapple with today…
See also: 5 Marketing Tips for Startups
One does not need rocket science to point out companies that are dominant in the market. In any case, these companies have invested a tremendous amount of time, resources and effort to achieve their market dominance. This can be attributed to the exclusive market knowledge that companies have particularly when it comes to the behavior of customers and the mechanics that shape market trends as well.
Debunking Marketing Advantage Illusions
Lecturer and marketing strategist Frank Bradley once said that the illusory marketing advantage is one that can be easily matched by competitors. Indeed, the biggest mistake that companies make in marketing today is to think that their marketing secrets are in fact secrets to begin with. In any case, the world is experiencing tremendous growth in knowledge and information. Thus, you can be sure of the likelihood that someone has your marketing strategy in mind.
So what’s the catch?
If everyone possesses the same weaponry, then technically speaking, everyone’s even. Unless of course you fail to consider the fact that the variation lies squarely on the company’s unique mentality. Frank Bradley in his book "Strategic Marketing in the Customer Driven Organization" also stipulates that marketing advantage ultimately boils down to how well the company chooses its strategy.
How then does one gain Marketing Advantage despite Tough Competition?
From what we’ve discussed, it’s quite obvious that at times we get the wrong answers for asking the wrong questions. In this case, one is supposed to choose the right strategy by considering these options…
1. Focus on Targeted Market Segments
When you focus on the entire market, then your impact is significantly diluted and subdued. Plus, let’s face it, you’ll rarely find everyone liking you let alone your company. This should guide you in determining the kind of people or market segments that are likely to boost your market dominance:
- Marketing efforts should, therefore be prioritized towards market segments that have a potential added advantage.
- After all, no ruler extends their territory without having a kingdom to begin with.
- Similarly, there’s no hope for marketing advantage if your company has no clue as to the targeted market segments that can seriously bolster its market dominance.
2. Expand into Differentiated Products & Services
To cope with tough economic times, many companies have opted to launch into the deep by offering differentiated products and services that are in fact diversified from its initial stock:
- This involves identifying market gaps and finding out ways of exploiting them to the max using readily available resources.
- This can be done by delving into complimentary goods to accompany initial products.
- In doing so, the company achieves marketing advantage by widening its scope of products and market outreach all at the same time.
3. Consider Alternative Channels of Distribution
Every market boasts of dominant channels of distribution:
- Take the supermarket chain for instance, whereby dominant products are prioritized and given the top shelves, while the newbies will often be found at the bottom shelves, unless of course back door tactics are involved.
- Nonetheless, this harsh dominance locks out new products from ever being noticed.
- Thus, many companies have opted for alternative channels of distribution that have no established dominance, such as multi-level marketing, hawking and many other diverse facets of small scale retail.
4. Experiment on Varying Manufacturing Methods for Higher Quality & Lower Production Costs
Price fixing is a very significant factor in market dominance. We’ve seen small companies pushed aside primarily because dominant companies lowered prices to unsustainable levels:
- Thus, to guard your company from such uncertainties, it is very important to weigh in other manufacturing options and see whether they can lower production costs or improve quality.
- After all, most consumers seek to purchase the cheapest product that reaches their quality threshold. This is a very significant variable in gaining marketing advantage.
See also: 4 Ways to Achieve Your Marketing Goals
Everything in life has a bottom-line and marketing advantage isn’t exempted. There has to be a principle that resonates clearly throughout the marketing efforts one chooses to pursue on behalf of their company. And I think Ann Handley puts it best when she says, “Make the customer the hero of your story.” Simple!