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Be Different - Get Attention
By Debra Murphy, Masterful Marketing

In order to get attention, you need to sometimes be a little daring. If you look and act the same as your competition, why would anyone notice you?

The purpose of marketing is to get attention from your target audience for your products and services so that they want to find out more and potentially do business with you. In order to get attention, you need to sometimes be a little daring. If you look and act the same as your competition, why would anyone notice you?

Of course, you need to stay consistent with your brand identity and not do something that can hurt your image in the market. But you can step outside of your comfort zone and be different without conflicting with your brand. Being bold can help you cut through the clutter and stand out from your competition.

Some ideas to help you be different:
  • Position your business differently - Take a look at how you are positioning yourself to your marketplace. You need to differentiate your business from your competition to get the attention of your prospects and customers. If all of your competitors say and do the same things, figure out what is unique to your business and present that difference in a way that gets attention. Effective differentiation can make your business the yardstick that all others are measured against.

  • Look different - Your marketing materials - web site, brochures, business cards, and logo - should project your brand identity in a way that stands out from all the others. If you are going to advertise, be sure your ad is different from all the others in the publication. Don't simply go black and white because of the cost. Try adding one color to the ad to make it stand out. If the publication offers four color advertising, make sure you create an ad that catches the eye. Don't be a little afraid to create an ad that has a standout image with very crisp and very brief content.

  • Try something different - If all your competitors are implementing the same marketing programs, try doing something else. If your competitor's web site is purely informational, add some interactivity to yours. If no one is advertising, try doing some very targeted ads or try implementing some pay-per-click advertising. Look at your competition closely and see what you can do that they do not.

  • Offer something different - Include a guarantee, a free consulting session, a year of support services or some options that your competitors cannot. Make it compelling so that it can not be overlooked.

  • Say something different - When you talk with prospects, talk about what you do that no one else does. Don't lead with the same messages everyone else talks about. Take the time to figure out your key differentiator and lead with that message in everything you do.
Figure out what you do that is different from your competition and communicate it clearly and throughout all of your materials. If you don't know what that is, you may need help from some outside party to listen to you talk about your business and point out things you do best. Many times, business owners do not see the value in some offerings because they seem "simple", but it may be your key difference over your competition.

If you are going to spend money on marketing, you should be sure that you do what you can to tastefully and effectively get your target's attention.

Debra Murphy is founder of Masterful Marketing, a marketing coaching firm that empowers small business owners and independent professionals to take control of their marketing to get better results. She helps you change how you think about your business and put activities into motion that attract your ideal client. She started Masterful Marketing to ensure small business owners had access to the knowledge available to larger companies so they could live their dreams and build a business around their passions. Although her knowledge of marketing covers all the traditional channels, she specializes in online and social media marketing to make sense of it all to those who want to use it to effectively market their businesses.

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