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Chase Your Customers not Your Competition

Kaleigh running.
Image by ryancbriggs via Flickr

2009 was the year of action. No longer was it good enough to talk about what companies *could* do, you needed to do it. If you presented at a conference and didn’t have any personal case studies of either yours or your companies you were wasting everyone’s time.

Now that we’ve moved past The Tipping Point it’s time for everyone else to play catch up. Everyone else will want to replicate the successes other companies - and in many cases their competitors - have had. The problem is that most of these new efforts will be based on 2009 examples.

2010 is a different world than 2009.  Most companies that try to play catch up this year will be playing catch up to the wrong people. They’ll be playing catch up to their competition.

Almost every industry has someone who’s entered the social media space. Either they’ve started a blog, a Twitter account or a Facebook Page or even at least advertised on one of the many blog networks.  Those who haven’t will feel increasing pressure to enter the space.

In my experience companies that play catch up are usually just copying what came before. This is a bad mistake for two reasons:

  1. Your competition has moved on. No one wants to be a “me too” marketer.
  2. Consumers are even further ahead of your competitors. You should be catching up to them.

I’m afraid that 2010 will be a lot of rehashed 2009 social media tactics.

Consumers are the trend setters. Consumers are driving the demand for mobility. Consumers are the ones who created this new marketing world we live in, not your competitors. They’re the ones with blogs, YouTube channels, Twitter, Posterous and making mashups. They are the ones who will define what comes next. You should not just be chasing customers for their business, you should be chasing your customers for their innovation and creativity. Learn from them and their business will follow.

Learn from them and you’ll crush your competition.

This post is an Updated Post. An Updated Post is where I take an older post and update it based on current thinking or examples. The original post can be found here: Chasing Your Customers vs Chasing Your Competitors

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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