Competition in the past
has embodied such beliefs of "kill or get killed" which has fostered paranoia
with many individuals and companies. Our competitive thinking has been to: defend,
hoard, knock off competition, defame and win at any cost. A view propagated
by Intel's Andy Grove that, "only the paranoid survive."
Do we prosper more from
paranoia or can we actually prosper more from altruistic behavior by entering
into relationships of reciprocation. Moving into the millennium finds that we
are experiencing trends of new competitive thinking that is largely driven by
Internet marketing. Affiliate programs, partnering, free, value creation, and
a host of reciprocal marketing strategies are being used for driving consumers
to patronize online business.
The operable word for the
consumer is "reciprocal." The consumer is driven by, "I will give you my business
in return for value over and above cost and time." Speed, convenience, quality,
accessibility, enjoyment, aesthetics and problem solving solutions are the value
creations that customers look for today.
While altruism is surfacing
as an edge for marketers there are other influencing strategies that lure the
consumer, such as increasing amounts of PR (public relations) coupled with fully
integrated off-line, on-line marketing. Just as magicians or illusionists mesmerize
their audience with words and props, we seduce the consumer with an assortment
of means and marketing weapons. Integrated marketing plays a vital role for
small companies and Multinational Corporations. Think of your marketing weapons
as your magic kit for shaping your message with a multifaceted approach that
promotes and elevates your business for high visibility and generates an enthusiastic
response in the marketplace.
Before deciding which weapons
are best to influence, motivate and capture your audience, don't lose sight
of your primary goal: to sell your products and services. Planning is essential,
however you need to know for what it is you are planning. Yogi Berra said: "If
you don't know where you're going, you could wind up someplace else." Knowing
where you are going will have to include the Internet. The days of not being
on-line have gone.
The anatomy of today's multifaceted
approach to positioning requires the integration of on-line marketing into your
planning. Business Week's June 28 cover story concludes: "Any company that relies
on the traditional sales force will now have to do some soul-searching…Companies
are finding they need new skills, from logistics and distribution to marketing."
The landscape is rapidly changing for all business. Here are some key points
for growing your business in the year 2000:
1. Be more targeted in selecting
your niche markets.
2. Fine more diverse ways
to sell goods and services, maintain customer loyalty and confidence while building
3. Growth of your business
may require more altruism in your marketing mix, as evident today.
4. PR will play a vital
role in the growth of your business. Small and large businesses need to use
PR to rapidly define a product concept or brand and for luring consumers.
5. PR and technology accelerates
direct selling, making it faster and more cost effective to reach customers
locally and globally.
6. Use media releases for
optimizing your marketing campaigns. They can change perception and give instant
third party credibility to your launch or re-launch of products and services.