The Data Driven Competitive Takeaway: How Data Helps Marketers Rise Above Rival Companies
How interesting would the Jedi be without the â€śDark Sideâ€ť of the Force? Would Batman be as endearing without the Joker? Would Superman seem as super if he didnâ€™t have a man like Lex Luthor to challenge him? Itâ€™s illustrated all over sci-fi and comic book cultures, but in business as well, itâ€™s clear that with a great rivalry comes a great amount of intrigue. For marketers in particular, rival companies not only present an opposing standard to be graded against, but also an opportunity to take on new leads by taking them away from the competition. Fortunately, like a bite from a radioactive spider, data can give marketers a great deal of power to responsibly run effective takeaway campaigns, and hereâ€™s how.
Keep Your Customers Close, but Keep Your Competitors Closer: Marketers need a thorough knowledge of their customerâ€™s pain points, but to run effective takeaway campaigns, they also need to know the pain points for their competitorâ€™s customers as well. If for example, a marketer knows that a certain installed technology integrates better with his or her companyâ€™s product than with the competitorâ€™s product, that marketer can target customers of the competitor with that specific installed technology and make a solid, data-driven case for switching over.
Truth, Justice, and the Data-Driven Way: When facing worthy adversaries â€“ usually other marketers on the other side of the branded line â€“ marketers canâ€™t slip up and make inaccurate claims or unsupported statements. Marketers know marketers; so of course, marketers know when to call shenanigans on situations when marketing spin is substituted for the truth. This, however, isnâ€™t necessarily a bad thing. When rival marketers keep each other honest, accurate, and value-oriented, both the rival companies as well as their target audiences win. One of the best examples of an honest, healthy rivalry paying off for both rival companies in the B2B marketing space is the marketing automation platform duel between Eloqua and Marketo. The key is that these two companies donâ€™t shy away from admitting that the other exists. In fact, smart takeaway campaigns actually use the existence of a competitor as validation for the demand of a product or service within a given market. From there, data on effectiveness or customer performance can speak volumes for why a target audience should chose the takeaway option.
Smash Puny Market Perceptions: When inaccurate industry assumptions or outdated market perceptions get in the way of customers gaining the most value for their money, a good marketer knows itâ€™s time to suit up and smash the detrimental perspectives. Whether his or her own company has pushed these points of view in the past, or if a rival company has ridden the misinformation wave, a savvy marketer will empirically shoot down empty assumptions with hard data. Even if the takedown effort makes a rival company look better, the objective of this kind of competitive takeaway, however, isnâ€™t in making a better case than the competition, but instead, making the case first. In a study of an online discussion forum, the first commenters had a distinct statistical advantage for receiving positive sentiments from the community. Naturally, this pattern makes sense, but applied to competitive takeaway campaigns, the significance is that even in a highly commoditized market where all providers are more or less equal, marketers can outdo their rivals by being the first to deliver value.