I don’t intend to steal Gangplank‘s thunder or Derek Neighbors‘ passionate discussions on collaboration versus competition — but I want to add some perspective to this. As the guy who listens to the industry and what other customers are saying and how other companies behave (directly or indirectly), I see a lot of in-fighting. It’s getting tiresome and ugly for people to watch.
Enough fluff. (Time for examples.)
I see the email marketing industry as a whole consuming itself with damaging claims:
“This one has better deliverability.”
“This one has more users.”
“This one has way more people recommending it.”
In these examples, it makes people focused on one brand, one carrier and not the feature-set as a whole. What I’m saying is, consumers focus on the competitive claims of one email service over another without actually considering the concept or strategic benefits of that service.
It’s not the consumer’s fault. It isn’t.
It’s the company for not acknowledging to customers the right service at the right time. This is advocacy. This is honesty. This is valuing your prospects’ interests over your own.
The other day, I advised someone to get started with Constant Contact or AWeber instead of using my company. I have no shame in that because for someone who was merely starting out, we’d be overkill. However, I do support the notion that every company has its time for customers. A progression path, you might say.
For any company – B2C or B2B – there is always a progression path for people to graduate into. Knowing where you fall in that progression path is way stronger than simply competing for total market share.
I like competition. Believe me, AT&T and the iPhone taught me better on why competition and quality of service matter. Competition on hard, concrete features — not fluff or commercials — is what matters. Supporting industry peers despite inferior differences is key to growing relationships and trust.
In case anyone wonders why I recommend different company to different people, it’s because I can’t help but respect them for their strengths and be honest and upfront with what you need. I’d much rather you use the right service at the right time then graduate to our service instead of going through a rocky road with our service and defaulting to a lesser service.