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Ask Mr. Marketing Columns

In business, competition’s closer than you think

Driving through Encinitas, I noticed Gelati & Peccati Pizza under construction where a burger joint used to be. It’s G&P’s second San Diego location and is opening at a busy intersection on the main drag.

I’m a pizza lover from way back, so this is good news. Only… Mr. Moto’s Pizza is directly across the street.

As the new place isn’t open yet, I couldn’t compare menus or prices. Assuming they’re similar, the new kid on the block will be wise to:

  • Promote with coupons, radio, and social media
  • Donate to charitable events
  • Hold an open house to welcome the neighbors and influencers
  • Visit local groups, like Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce

The new guys have a huge opportunity based on their novelty. Lots of folks will check them out once, and the trick will be to keep them coming back.

Mr. Moto will obviously also need to up their game. If the existing operation doesn’t market itself more aggressively and creatively, the new kids will eat their lunch.

Sorry about that!

This is a timely reminder that no matter what you sell, there’s always someone ready to muscle in on your turf. You must constantly acquire new customers to offset the attrition of people leaving you to buy elsewhere.

All of which boils down to this; just doing things the way you’ve always done them doesn’t fly anymore. I promise that, regardless of your industry, there’s someone gunning for you. To survive and thrive, you’d better have a few tricks in your bag that you can pull out at a moment’s notice.

This means understanding your customer, your product, and your market. It requires an ability to look at other industries and markets for ideas that can be applied to your business.

It mandates regularly updating your marketing plan and demands a willingness to think a little differently than you have in the past.

The good news: if you’re prepared for the inevitable day when new competitors appear, you’ll already be positioned to beat back their challenges…or at the least, learn to co-exist.

But if you stubbornly take an attitude of “We never had to do this before,” you’re asking for trouble when that new guy finally opens his door.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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