Double down on competition to double your growth. I’ve always been a fan of ignoring the competition, but you can double your growth by having a smart focus on competition.
The hard data
We have around 1700 active plans in our two databases (860 + 851). I analyse those plans almost every day and find so much gold! And every week, I share the best nugget I’ve found in that week. Here’s something you’re going to want to know about:
- You can include or exclude competition analysis in your Funnel Plan – it’s an option which is often turned off.
- In a simple split of our database in half (stack ranked by growth), the top half of plans are twice more likely to have included competitive analysis in their plan than their slower growth counterparts.
We have 3 parts to our business – planning, training and execution (providing marketing services for our smaller clients). In the marketing services side of our business, we’re often working for companies who deal with early stage markets, and are yet to gain the level of momentum desired. They are often dealing, therefore, with buyers who are not yet convinced that they should buy anything, let alone from the business who is offering the product/service. This is what one of my favourite business authors, Geoffrey Moore, refers to as ‘crossing the chasm’, which is described in his books “Crossing the Chasm” and “Inside the Tornado”.
The chasm is that period when you’ve run out of early adopters but don’t yet have what you need to satisfy the early pragmatists in the ‘Bowling alley’.
On the planning side of our business, we have companies dealing with all stages of the market maturity – very late, very early, and everything in between. Moore argues, and we also have argued in all of our planning workshops, that at the early stages of the market you should ignore the competition. This is because often there is no competition at this stage. And the bigger argument for the buyer is whether or not they should buy this product/service at all, and not so much about from whom. So ignore the competition!
But here’s the rub: once the market kicks into hyper-growth – what Moore calls the ‘Tornado’ – you don’t ignore the competition, rather you attack them. At this stage, buyers are no longer working out whether to buy. They now need to be convinced that they should buy from you.
And the connection?
Fast growth plans in our database are for companies in the ‘Tornado’. So they need to focus on their competition – double down on competition. Slower growth companies – plans that are for slower growth periods – are either before or after the ‘Tornado’ stage. Therefore, they don’t need to focus on the competition.
So it seems like our Funnel Plan customers are smart – they’re using competition analysis only at the right time when they’re in hyper-growth.
What can you do?
- Understand where the majority of your market is in their adoption.
- If in the early stage, ignore the competition.
- If in the hyper-growth phase, focus on and attack the competition – enable competitive analysis in your Funnel Plan. Use the ‘help’ function in Funnel Plan if you need assistance.
- Watch the two videos about market maturity, which will help you understand when to focus on your competition.
- Video one – in the ‘Target’ page of your Funnel Plan.
- Video two – see “How to beat the competition by ignoring them”
- Turn off competition analysis in your Funnel Plan at the early stage. Enable the competition if you’re in the ‘Tornado’ stage – only available in paid plans.
- If you don’t have a Funnel Plan, act now and gain the benefits of our free version. Get yourself a free trial here.
Our thanks to
- Hugh Macfarlane for How to beat the competition by ignoring them (video/blog post)
- Geoffrey Moore for Crossing the Chasm
- Claudia Ivanka for production
- Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show.