Keep Your Friends Close – But Your Competition Closer!

This is a guest post by one of my clients, Chris Spoerl at Magic Pool Services in Orlando. Chris took my post a few weeks ago on paying attention to your competition to heart…to say the least! What would you do if you were in his shoes and thought your competitors were duplicating your efforts?

“All war is based on deception.” – Sun Tzu

Marketing is a tough business, and if business is tough, people will do whatever it takes to succeed.  I am referring to your competition folks, and sometimes if you are not careful, they will try to get the best of you.

This weekend we attended the 2011 Orlando Pool and Spa Show, which is basically the pool-a-palooza for the pool industry.  Vendors from across the United States and the world display the newest products and technologies and there are also continuing education courses and training seminars.

I noticed that one of our competitors had recently hired a marketing firm (this after contacting Darren and him telling them that he had an existing relationship with us) to revamp their website and handle their social media.   The local pool company owner is also on the board of directors of the trade show, and invited their marketing guy to speak at a seminar called “Internet Marketing.”   This was going to be a great way for my competitor to do some self promotion.

What they failed to tell the attendees, is that they were modeling their marketing attempts after mine.

Needless to say, I found a way to attend this already booked class, and when we arrived, the speaker was pretty surprised.  He quickly went to our competitor and told them “I didn’t know your competitors were attending”.

We had definitely caught them off guard, and they were completely off their game for the entire 45 minute presentation. In fact, one of my industry peers with Lake Nona Pools tweeted:

“We just suffered through an internet marketing class. Felt more like a promo. #Fail#opss

The moral of the story is keep an eye on your competition and keep them honest, sometimes by any means necessary including Black Ops.