Marketing only works when you say something that the competition doesn’t say. This is when you stand out from the crowd and present the customer with something to think about.

Alternatively, if you simply say what everyone else is saying, it becomes a shouting match, and the winner is usually the one with the biggest budget. An inefficient, expensive affair.

I see too much “me-too” marketing. It is the oldest trick in the book to copy the competition and hope to achieve better results. It is a popular approach because it requires very little creative input. “Just do what they do” is the typical brief. It’s a shortcut that doesn’t work.

Like with any conversation you are having, if you simply repeat what the previous guy said, people quickly lose interest in you and move away. You need to add something to the mix or present a different view to maintain interest.

No matter whether you are in a business or consumer market, when you walk into the proverbial room, you need to present a unique case through your marketing. Something that makes the customer sit up and take notice.

A crucial part to any marketing strategy is a competitor analysis. Do yourself a favour and open your website together with those of the top alternatives to you. Now determine whether there is a fundamental difference between what you all say. I have recently completed such an exercise for a large business services company and the results were a reality check for management. There were about five firms all saying the same thing.

Marketing should not be a shouting match. It should be an exercise in informing the customer about something they didn’t know, or that they will find useful, because no one else has told them something quite like it.

Don’t do “me-too” marketing. Think it through carefully!