CopyCat marketing is not a new idea, and it has become a big problem with internet marketing. It is very easy to find a website or a marketing plan that is just what you think you need and copy it directly. However, curiosity can kill the cat.
Although it might seem easier and cheaper to just copy what is already out there, it is always going to be more effective when you craft your own message and marketing plan. Undoing problems will always cost more than doing things right in the first place.
Here are some things to consider as you develop your own personal marketing plan for your business.
- Shrinkage: Marketing isn't one size fits all, some companies have spent considerable effort and energy analyzing what works, and what doesn't, and what works for their market might alienate yours. Make sure you are truly targeting your own specific audience and not just poaching someone else’s.
- Be Unique: Good marketing means standing out, not blending in. As the marketplace gets more and more crowded, so many ads and promotions look the same, find what makes you unique, and lead with that so you look different and people take a second look.
- Stranger Danger: Many businesses try marketing strategies that they see being utilized elsewhere, but there is always the risk of copying a strategy that failed miserably elsewhere. Make sure that you have considered the potential success—don’t accidentally copy a strategy that stinks. When you copy someone else’s plans, this is definitely a big risk that you take.
- Early Birds Get Worms: In the internet marketing space, there are often "trends" and some strategies that are obviously swiped and copied across the board. One week, I received 3 emails that were worded practically the exact same way from three different marketers. When that happens, the first person who sent it is the one who is thought of as the thought leader, and the subsequent implementers look like followers, so you may be doing your competition a favor by if your marketing reminds them of the company you are emulating, and discrediting yourself in the process.
As you develop your marketing plan, you certainly want to know what works well for other businesses like yours, and you will want to imitate some parts of their strategy or style. But, always take the best from the best, and pick and choose your strategies and techniques from a variety of places to build your own unique marketing plan!
Remember, doing it right, from the start, will get you further than any kind of CopyCat marketing, which could cost you all nine lives!