Before I start, I just want to let you know that this article is my own personal view about this particular question.
It’s a common sight: marketing materials that tell you how much better one company is than another.
Is it right to do that?
In my mind, your marketing should always be about your customers.
That means no grand statements about how great you are, how big your premises are or how you’re the ‘best in your field’ (unless you have some concrete evidence to back up such a claim).
Everything you write must be about your customers, how you can benefit them and how their lives will be so much better if they buy from you.
I’m better than you
It’s very tempting to write something that tells your customers how crap your competition are in comparison to you.
You could shout from the rooftops about how you’re cheaper (although they could lower their prices and blow that argument out of the water), that you give better customer service than they do etc., etc.
But is that really the right way to be going?
Is that the best way to sell yourself to potential new customers?
Are you hiding something?
To my mind, when I see a company taking this path within their marketing I immediately think they’re hiding something.
If they’re so much better than their competitors, why do they need to slag them off like that?
Surely, your marketing will have more effect if it concentrates on how you can benefit your customers rather than telling them how bad your competition are?
After all, if the only angle you come up with is to denigrate your opposition what does that tell people about you?
· That you don’t have enough confidence in your own company?
· That you don’t really have anything to shout about?
Does it portray you as the type of company they’d want to do business with?
My advice to clients has always been to never, ever slag off a competitor in their marketing and to always concentrate on the benefits of their own products or services.
But the big boys are at it
That is my view and I’m going to stand by it, but I was amazed to see two ads in the ‘I’ newspaper a few days ago.
Both ads were from 3 (the mobile network) and fly in the face of everything I believe in. Rather than telling the reader about a particular benefit you get from being on their network, they opted to highlight the charging policies of EE and O2.
So what does this mean? Is it OK to shout about the shortcomings of your competition to highlight how great you are?
To my mind, this is still a lazy way of marketing yourself. It doesn’t show any imagination, or belief in 3’s own service – surely, if their solutions are that amazing they should be able to advertise them in a way that makes them stand out rather than relying on a cheap tactic like this?