Marketing: The Key Differentiator

by | October 29, 2010

Josh Anderson of One-Into-Many is our guest blogger this week.  He offers a great summary of our Equinox Focus topic “Reconceptualizing Your Business.”   Josh is also a founding member of the Advantage Consortium.


Everyone is fighting to differentiate themselves in the market. A market that has become commodity oriented. They are asking for more value at a less cost. None of us like competing in this environment. Something needs to change.

Ok, so you know you have to think about and do business differently.  But what does that mean?

As you peel back the layers and begin to understand your core value, a level of excitement rushes in.  Suddenly people in your organization get a sense of vigor as the focus starts becoming clear.  The question is does anyone else care about your value?

So we are challenged to find the market for our value and then to described that value in their terms.  The natural instinct is to error on the side of not saying words that might dissuade a potential buyer.  Stories and messaging end up being broad and encompassing of many potential customers for fear of losing even one good selling opportunity.

This thinking is having disastrous effects as companies move from the information age to the conceptual age.  As they move from local competitors to worldwide competitors, their story and messaging is lost and ignored. Their efforts are left for dead.  The common fix?  Get better at sales

How’s that working for you?

Conceptual Age businesses put the marketing discipline front and center.  It becomes the foundation from which they build all relationships with suppliers and customers.  It becomes the core system they test and measure continuously.  Marketing efforts become focused and speak directly to a very narrow segment of the market…a market that is controlled with virtually no competition.

So what does doing business differently mean?  It means using marketing to produce results that are unthinkable today.

Welcome to the conceptual age.