In the Jurassic Marketing World, Are You Indominus Rex...or the Hamster Ball?
BY: SHERRY GRAY ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015
In marketing, you might fall anywhere on the food chain, and your competition might fall above you, below you, or be running alongside. Let’s take a look at the Jurassic Marketing World, find your spot in the cycle of life, and evaluate what your strengths are.
The undisputed top of the food chain (on land, anyway), the Indominus Rex is big, bad, and toothy. As a small business, you can’t compete with the giant predators in your field. Major retailers like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Walmart, who can afford prime time commercial spots, run continuous multichannel advertising campaigns, and offer your customers more variety and lower prices.
Two kids in a hamster ball
You’re probably much more like the kids in the hamster ball. Small, inexperienced, seeing the marketing world for the first time. But also smart, capable, and nimble. When faced with an impossible situation, they changed tactics, figured out what would work, and found a way to save themselves. (Sorry for the spoiler, but come on. You had to know they were going to live.)
If you’re wondering what this has to do with marketing, it’s simple. It’s hard to compete with the monsters of marketing. You can’t throw around the money and influence available to mass marketers. But you’re closer to the ground and you can outmaneuver competitors on the local level.
Sometimes it’s better to be in the hamster ball
The big guys can get so mired in their own legends that they’re blindsided when they fail. Sears was an Indominus Rex for more than a hundred years. Then they started to fail. They lost sight of their own vision. Their promise was to deliver quality good at reasonable prices. When they stopped delivering on that promise and began to look like a discount chain, their sales tanked.
When you’re a small, nimble business, you’re running as hard as you can to find the right path. It’s exhilarating. You have the option to try new things, to build your image from scratch. You can try new things and stay one step away from being eaten alive by learning from your mistakes.
Understand your environment
Unlike corporations whose heads are above tree level, you’re close to the ground. You have the local advantage. You can engage in ongoing, honest communication with your customers and neighbors. Using a CRM like Insightly to full advantage will provide you the inside data you need to get personal with your customers and deliver the incentive they need to choose your company over even the biggest competitors.
The audience is rooting for you
Here in the U.S., we have a soft spot for the underdog. We’d rather buy from the little store on the corner than a giant mega-corporation that sells the same cheap goods in every corner of the globe. We want those little raptors to take down the Indominus Rex. That’s who we are. You can use that to your advantage.
Be the family owned business or the plucky college-kid startup. Put your idealism and your passion on your sleeve. Ask your customers for advice...and ask them for help. Give your customers a front row seat to your success. And the most important thing is this: be persistent.
It might take a while to get out of the forest. You might feel the hot breath of Indominus Rex on your back. But as long as you keep rolling, dodging, weaving, and finding new strategies to outpace both the giant predators and the herds of stegosaurus running alongside your hamster ball.