Love is battlefield. And so is business and marketing.
Your enemies outnumber you, out-muscle you and outpace you.
But you’re probably not doing it right if you don’t have any…
However, this post is not about the crazies who blame everyone for their lack in life nor is it about the suppliers, partners or employees who will inevitably try to screw you over.
While these have a penchant for coming from behind and stabbing you in the back, overall there’s only a handful of truly nasty people out there in the world who will be your enemy.
Now they have a habit of moving around a lot. But you can handle a handful, right?
If you have been in business for any period of time you will be acutely aware of these 3 market enemies on the battlefield.
If you’re new, these enemies may seem like three unsurmountable mountains you must overcome.
‘Ignorance on fire’ and ‘hard-work and enthusiasm’ may work to some extent in the beginning but the trail ahead is littered with the bodies of those with good intentions.
What you need are battle-hardened strategies and well-oiled systems that are deployed consistently over time.
While marketing can seem like a battle some days, when you start to really understand your unique strengths and competitive advantages there’s no reason why you can’t bring a Bazooka to a knife fight.
The first step to gaining a competitive advantage is to understand the terrain and your enemies ahead.
Market Enemy No.1: Obscurity
Obscurity is marketing enemy number 1. Especially in the beginning.
Obscurity is not necessarily a mountain you must overcome. It is an all pervasive, stifling fog that blankets the landscape. Not only is it your ‘fog of war’ but it’s also the fog the separates you form your potential customers.
If you are not getting the results you want in your business it’s not that your customer service needs to improve or you need another competitive analysis most of the time the problem is that your cliental have no idea that you exist!
When most people start a business most of them start off by holding a opening party, by telling their friends and family and by posting a thousand flyers.
While the good will of others is always appreciated, good will is not something you can rely on.
And seeing the success of both of them its hard to argue. However, I would hasten to add that ‘Being everywhere’ works if your ideal clients is everywhere.
(Which in this day and age many people are).
More importantly, be seen AND heard in the platforms and arenas where your audience is already captivated and engaged.
Sometimes that means you can be the hotdog seller walking through the stands, sometimes that means you have to be the gladiator willing to bleed.
Which neatly ties in to enemy number 2.
Enemy No.2: A Lack Of Attention
Who commands the most attention in business wins.
The good news is once you can lift the fog of obscurity off you getting attention isn’t that hard.
The bad news is, according to a recent study, most of western society now has the attention span of a gold fish (if we’re lucky).
Getting attention is easy. Keeping attention is hard.
Despite a world of machine gun fire, and celebratory dopamine dumps a lack of attention is akin to blindness, and deafness. But your audience isn’t blind to everything. Just you.
In a world of smartphones, instant messaging, online notifications, 24-hour news cycles and banner blindness the irony is that most businesses find themselves walking through a desert of attention.
So how to we get and MAINTAIN Attention?
The interesting thing to note is that the very people whom we are trying to get attention from also have the answers. In this case the same zombie hoard also has its own cure.
People move in the direction of the things that help fulfil their values.
People pay attention and hold attention on things that are higher up in importance in their values.
People get annoyed when they perceive that something (which is demanding their attention) is moving them lower down their chain of importance.
For example: A young boy who values playing video games and will spend a lot of time playing them. You don’t need to inspire or motivate him!
The only time he will stop is when a friend who is more important calls, or his mum threatens him with hell-water and brimstone if he doesn’t clean his room OR a better game comes along – Bloodlust Mech Destroyer 2!
But those things that are which deemed lower on his values: Girls, Facebook ads, his sister wanting help with her dolls will get minimal scant attention.
In a recent study in Denmark a group of smokers and drug users were effectively cured by focusing on one thing. They simply helped them focus on working on projects that helped the community that helped them feel a sense of belong and purpose. And 90% of them quit because this new path helped them fulfil their values better.
So the takeaway is when you help people fulfil their values or show them a way to fulfil a new value thats higher up their chain of importance then they will give you their attention.
There are 101 courses on getting attention, on using A.I.D.A and advanced copywriting. What is most important is this:
Is Your Product/ Service going to move your audience up of down their list of important values?
And even if you think it can how can you create an angle makes them think it so?
Which finally leads me to marketing enemy no.3
Enemy No.3: Apathy
Even if you have escaped from the fog of obscurity, even if you’ve managed to traverse the attention desert and reverse the selected blindness of the populace you face one last enemy.
The last enemy of any marketing warrior is not hatred its apathy. Apathy is death.
You actually want hatred over apathy because at least people are thinking of you!
While hatred may be an extreme emotion, apathy is a lack of it.
There are some things that combat apathy:
– Novelty/ Newness
– Danger/ Excitement
Overall what these dot points illustrate is that you can’t fight apathy with logic.
Shouting “Oh my new widget does X,Y,Z! Buy it!” doesn’t work.
Because nobody cares.
There is an old saying in network marketing, ‘No one cares about your business until you show how much you care.”
The only way you can truly fight apathy is first with emotion and second with relevance.
How does your solution actually solve a REAL NEED/ WANT in their life thats relevant right now and potentially in the future?
If you can’t answer that with conviction get another solution!
And if it does solve a real need can you argue forcefully and with passion?
Zig Ziglar said [tweetthis]‘The one time you lose a sale from having too much enthusiasm is nothing compared to the times you lacked it.’- Ziglar[/tweetthis]
So show how much you care. Show your enthusiasm – not in a Brady Bunch type way but in a deep centred enthusiasm that comes from focusing on the needs of your audience.
The Road Ahead
The road ahead is long and treacherous. Your enemies out number you and outflank you.
Business is not for the faint hearted, it’s not a casual sport or hobby (unless you want hobby results).
But the rewards can be great, the spoils are war can be yours for the taking.
One proven strategy towards dominance is to not go at it alone. Together we are stronger.
In life, as in war, ‘Those Who Dare, Wins.”
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