By Matt Ford
In business, it’s often a common mistake to think that the raw value of any business is ultimately what wins competition. If your product is just that good, nothing else really matters. Not marketing, not sales, not financial management etc.
Obviously if you go any further, even a startup rookie’s going to find the idea stupid. Still, this misconception manages to slip through professionals’ minds in more subtle ways. In the end, even if they invest in, say, marketing, they still end up on just the product alone to make a sale.
The results can be disappointing if a product just doesn’t seem to stand up to the value being offered by larger, more popular competitors. You end up spending more money on development even though you know that you don’t always have the resources to compete that way.
What you need is a way to multiply your value without always going back to your workshop and come out with something else to sell. Don’t forget, there are still Davids who’ve knocked out their Goliaths. They didn’t always need a magic growth potion to compete. They used something else to multiply what would’ve otherwise been a lower value.
Here are two examples from Forbes:
“You can put the greatest seafood restaurant next to an average steak house in an urban area, and that steak house will do more business than the seafood place. If you go to the water, you can put an average seafood place next to the greatest steak house, and people are going to eat seafood.” – Tilman Fertita, World’s Richest Restaurateur
“Not everything on Broadway has to be a Pulitzer prize-winning play. We are a tourist industry. Wake up and smell the coffee.” – Philip William McKinley on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
In both cases, the value itself wasn’t seen in the product or the service but where it was placed. It was aimed right instead of focusing on what was being sold. Best of all, a concept like that is simple enough that it can apply even in the context of B2B marketing.
- Create your audience – There are many ways you can do this. You can claim a niche section of the market and specialize it. You can take advantage of locations or industries (kind of like the examples above).
- Organize current customer base – If you already have a decent following, try to organize it so you can send more relevant content and marketing messages. What do customers in a managerial position prefer versus those further up the ladder?
- Minimize process hiccups – Sometimes you can get more sales simply by having a faster process of qualifying B2B leads, setting appointments, and shortening the presentations by a minute or two. You may not be making much on each sale but the speed can easily accumulate the value and multiply it.
And as you can see, these are arguably cheaper most of the time compared to throwing more money at your R&D department. You could even outsource some of the non-core functions. Multiply your value instead of adding constantly to it.