Bad marketing advice is all around us, and if you’re unable to know it when you see it, you could end up taking that bad advice and causing catastrophic damage to your brand. That’s what inspired me to start the “Marketing Myths” series. This will be an ongoing series where I will tackle some of the most common marketing myths I encounter in my work.
If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, you can check them out at the links below:
So, now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s take down another myth, shall we?
Today’s myth hits very close to home for me. The myth is that “if everyone else is doing it, it must be right.”
Excuse me for a second while I go bang my head against the wall a few times.
Okay, I’m back, albeit with a slight headache. I can’t even begin to tell you how many clients I’ve had that have said something along those lines. They will be discussing a project with me, point to some work done by their competitors, and suggest that I basically rip it off and slap their names on it.
Now, this is problematic for a couple of reasons.
- Copying a competitor’s marketing makes it impossible for your company to distinguish itself.
- What if your competitors are doing it all wrong?
Just because all of your competitors are doing something doesn’t mean that they’re right. For instance, tons of companies have hopped on the daily deals bandwagon. They send out deals through services like Groupon and Living Social.
Now, many companies have seen success with daily deals. They’ve attracted some new customers and brought in a little foot traffic to their stores, but these daily deal websites also have some major downsides to them. They can create short-term losses, attract the wrong kind of customers (bargain shoppers who have no loyalty), devalue your product, decrease your Yelp ratings, and as a result, decrease revenue over time.
But try explaining this to a client who sees all of his competitors sending out coupons through these subscription services. You have no chance of convincing them that it might not be the best choice for their business.
Of course, this is just one example of what I’m talking about, but there are many other situations where clients believe that since everyone else is doing it, it must be right. It wasn’t all that long ago that clients wanted to hide keywords in the background of their websites, because, hey, everyone else was doing it.
Don’t be a sheep, blindly following the herd. Think for yourself, and dare to try something different.