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Hey all, back by popular demand we're doing an Exit Five live session this week all about SEO and Content Strategy; I'll be hosting with guests Mitch Briggs and Betsy Koliba from Demandwell.
*Yes you'll get the recording if you register
Let Them Copy You
And Don’t Waste Time Worrying About It
(Instead, Invest In Your Secret Sauce)
They can copy your website.
They can copy your pricing.
They can try to “steal” your customers.
But if you have a secret sauce, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Let them copy the things they can see online.
What does secret sauce even mean?
The options for secret sauce are as varied as businesses can be.
If you have the exact same product, but any of the following differentiators...you have something that will change the outcome of your recipe:
The list could go on forever. I think you get the point.
In general, you don’t have to be better than your competition at everything, only at a thing or two that are very important to customers. So when one small thing gets copied, or even a medium-big thing, remember this^
Let’s look at an example: a competitor steals copy from your site.
Hypothetically, there’s a reason yours is so great (a secret marinara?). Maybe you listen to Gong calls every week and that’s where you got the idea. Stealing one line of copy doesn't include all the knowledge in your head, or your future genius ideas.
When the copy goes stale (it always does) you’re perfectly positioned for the next great message, and they’ll be stuck with the old stuff.
Now, if they copied your idea of listening to Gong calls every week, then you’d have some real competition to be worried about.
It’s so important to stay the course when things like this happen - I’ve seen companies waste time that could be spent doubling down on strengths, instead thinking about how to keep potential threats at bay i.e. filtering through webinar reg lists to remove competitors instead of preparing for the webinar.
Every ounce of time that you spend reacting to competitors who are copying you, is time that you aren’t spending making your business/brand/whatever stronger.
You already have the upper hand, you’re getting copied for a reason. What did they copy?
Just an idea but… what would happen if you double down on that. Use your advantage to make that thing even better.
If it’s a feature, or a webinar strategy, or the format of your case studies…you have the advantage of having come up with it yourself. You know what’s working and what isn’t.
Your copy gets stolen from the website? Go back to your notes from Gong calls and think about how the rest of the site can be infused with your novel insight.
Don’t hide your secret sauce from prospects
Sometimes the secret sauce is a product functionality. Sometimes it’s a GTM strength. The GTM strengths are often shared with prospects by their very nature. A podcast, an email newsletter, a case study collection, etc.
From a product perspective, it’s a little less clear how to best shout it from the rooftops, but I honestly think it’s still better to not hide.
The last two companies I worked with both had legitimate features stolen by competitors (one was previously a partner, the other was previously a customer). It’s messy, and emotional and scary when a company close to you does something like this.
One company carried on with their work. They thought deeply about how they would differentiate against this newest competitor, and kept on winning. They had a huge head start on the feature, and they weren’t going to let an ankle biter scare them.
The other reacted by trying to hide their “proprietary technology” from everyone (including prospects and customers).
When you hide your product sauce, the following happens:
A prospect asks a question on a call about how the software works, and the salesperson says it’s proprietary, and can’t really explain how it works.
People want to know how things work, because it helps them figure out if they trust that process.
If it’s hard for a champion to explain why they’re advocating for your software over another option because they don’t understand your differentiators, it's gone too far.
A company with a rudimentary version of a feature (and maybe some beta customers) is lightyears behind you in terms of:
Why am I talking so much about product?
Because this is an insanely ripe opportunity for marketing to step up to the plate and take action.
Marketers - I challenge you to rise to these kinds of occasions.
Don't: Spend time figuring out how to hide better
Do: Spend time refining positioning, understanding competitor weaknesses, crushing the things you're great at.
You just got yourself a promotion.
Hope you are having a productive week.
PPS. BBQ sauce could work, if it's good.
🎧 Podcast #102: Partner Marketing at Zapier (with Miranda Babbitt)
Miranda Babitt is Senior Partner Marketing Specialist at Zapier. She leads partner lifecycle marketing and previously worked in a similar role at Thinkific.
Miranda shares an overview of partner marketing in B2B SaaS, what partner marketing looked like in the past vs. what the role is responsible for today, where partner marketing fits in strategically at Zapier, applying principles of lifecycle marketing to partnerships, examples and success stories based on what’s worked at Zapier.
Join the Exit Five Community
Please join us in the new home for Exit Five (and our dedicated iOS + Android app). We have officially moved our community to Circle - our own private community on the web, with a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android. It's bumping over there already and I've been loving the feedback from members so far.
Here's a video overview from me breaking down the new Exit Five community. You can join the community right now for free with a 7 day free trial and then choose monthly or annual billing (or to not join) after your trial. Hope to see you in there.
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