Competition is a great thing. Because of
competition, we’ve seen an inﬂux of innovation and
an eﬄux of complacency. It’s our competition that
keeps us growing and looking for new ways to win
in our industries.
But competition can be ﬁerce and if you’re not
proactively trying to stay ahead and outthink your
competition, you might ﬁnd yourself out of the race
This guide will give you 4 ways to outthink your
competition using marketing that keeps your
“In business, the competition
will bite you if you keep
running, if you stand still,
they will swallow you.”
- Victor Kiam
Traditional marketing methods like television
commercials, magazine and newspaper ads,
mailers, and billboards promise lots of impressions,
but are those impressions actual people who will
buy your product or service?
Imagine you own a store that specializes in tools and utensils for
left-handed people. Now imagine that the only people who ever
came in your store were right-handed people. Unless those right-
handers were buying gifts for their left-handed friends, you’re
going to go out of business pretty quickly.
Now imagine if the only people who ever came into the store were
left-handers and they’ve been waiting for a store like yours their
You might be asking if that’s even a possible scenario. It is.
The premise of inbound marketing is creating the right content for
the right person at the right time. All of your marketing eﬀorts are
geared towards your ideal customer and giving them information
they need and are looking for.
The ﬁrst step in this style of marketing is creating your
personalized buyer personas. According to HubSpot, a buyer
persona is a semi-ﬁctional representation of your ideal customer
based on market research and real data about your existing
Once you’ve created your buyer personas, you’re then able to
create marketing content that these personas want and need and
are searching for online.
No longer are you wasting your time and energy talking to people
who aren’t interested in your service. Leave that up to your
competitors. You’ll quickly pull away from them and have a head
start on completing sales to these qualiﬁed leads you’ve
“If you want to keep growing, you have
to challenge everything. Even your
own thinking and beliefs.”
- Bill Gould
In many industries, the water can become muddy when trying
to distinguish one company from another. In the banking
industry, for example, you’d be hard pressed to ﬁnd a bank
that doesn’t oﬀer online banking, a mobile app, and other
technology that makes the customer experience very easy. A
bank can’t set it self apart by solely claiming they have great
So what is it that separates you from your competition? What
makes you Waldo? Sometimes you have to wear a red and
white striped shirt so people can spot you in the crowd.
In diﬀerentiating yourself, ﬁnd that unique thing that makes
you, you, and talk about it.
(Photo credit: whereswaldo.com)
“When positioning a brand, aggressively
avoid becoming a "me too" by assertively
being a "who else?”
- Crystal Black Davis
As a general rule of thumb, most companies will spend anywhere between 5 and 10 percent of their total revenue on marketing to
maintain their current position. Of course, if a company is looking to grow or push a new product line, they could spent upwards of 50%
of their total revenue.
That being said, you don’t have to spend that money on marketing techniques that are out-dated and fairly ineﬀective at reaching your
target customer demographic. As your competitors continue to spend money on traditional marketing services and media outlets, you
can implement an inbound marketing campaign at a fraction of the cost.
Not only are you spending less money, you’re gaining more leads as we talked about in the previous section. The money you’re saving in
your marketing budget can be utilized elsewhere to help your company reach other goals.
Outthinking your competition can be tiresome. You’re choosing to implement strategies that many around you aren’t utilizing. That in itself
can become draining, and at times, lonely. Finding a company or person, who has already implemented the topics we’ve discussed, and
is having success will be vital in keeping you focused and inspired.
As you and your company continue to grow, you’ll ﬁnd yourself being approached by others who are in your position now. You’ll be able
to help them just as you were helped in becoming a stronger individual and leading a stronger company.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick,
an ear to listen, and a push in
the right direction.”
- John C. Crosby