When marketing, you need to find your ‘purple cow’, Jan Clarke says.

Do you keep a track on what your ‘competitors’ are up to? Perhaps you even obsess over it? Yes?

If you do, you are definitely not on your own, it is a huge problem, but why?

Having a grip on the trends in your market is good but being overly obsessed with your competitor’s activity is both unhealthy and counterproductive.

The same can be said for staying stagnant and ‘always doing the same safe thing’.

Marketing trends

In marketing there will be trends and particularly in your market place you will see dental practices all carrying out the same type of activity. In fact, it’s where one will receive inspiration and ideas from, seeing what others do.

The problem comes, though, when you see what the competition do and just keep following and copying. I see it as fundamentally soul destroying as you’ll never catch up, always be one step behind. This sends a message to your team, if not to all your patients too, that perhaps doesn’t fill one with confidence.

How do I change this?

Some of the larger dental practices and corporates may well have their own marketing department and budgets that far outreach yours, so is it possible to ever be ahead of the game with these larger competitors?

Probably not if you’re going to try and play the same game, what is required is a game change!

Game changer

Let’s consider an alternative approach, to be yourself and disrupt the market. Only you can be you!

In Feck Perfunction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life a great quote is: ‘What’s stopping you from achieving your goals is not lack of knowledge or talent and certainly not other people; it’s your own fear’, ‘the fear of expressing who you are – lest someone actually sees you. Our instinctual fears are a healthy mechanism, keeping us safe; but professionally, fear = stop.’

We don’t like to stand out from the crowd and so it is easier to follow what everyone else is doing, these tried and tested, sanitised systems.

But what if we step out from those constraints and try something different, (within our GDC limitations), put our head above the parapet? What’s your ‘purple cow’?

Seth Godin, who is a world-famous marketer and one I would recommend following for his superb blog, has also written several books, one being Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.

If you haven’t read it I would recommend buying this, it is a quick read, a very short book, but wholly transformative when it comes to marketing your business.

Being remarkable doesn’t necessarily cost much nor does it need a large budget, but it does need focus on your team, systems and procedures to ensure you are producing and delivering the best service you can.

Being remarkable and understanding what your ‘purple cow’ is, allows you to be different, stand out from the crowd and disrupts the marketplace.

I personally feel smaller businesses have an advantage over larger ones in that they can control their systems, services and customer service much easier than larger companies.

You do need to put the fear aside and not follow the crowd. Be certain about who you are, what your business is about, your ‘why?’

Once certain about this everything else will follow, there is no need to check in with the competition and follow what they do obsessively, indeed you will become the business that others follow and look to.

The plan

  • Know and understand your ‘why?’
  • Communicate this to your team
  • Decide as a team the areas that require more work
  • Do listen to your team and disrupt the status quo, allow things to be carried out differently
  • Encourage those team members that do not embrace change and help by showing good leadership skills to help them change
  • Agree what your ‘purple cow’ is and start to be remarkable.

‘Being remarkable’ is a great marketing tactic and once you understand how you can be remarkable, marketing your business will become easier.

I would encourage you all to be yourself, let others see who you are, face the fear and be different, don’t follow the crowd. Be so remarkable that the crowd follows you!