Fixing Your Marketing; “Me, Too” Doesn’t Work

Why doesn’t your marketing work? Reason #3 – The Two Last Words of a Dying Marketing Campaign – “Me, Too.”

A lot of marketing success is just dumb luck, other times its extensive research. But once somebody hits on something that works, a Mother Duck/Duckling phenomenon kicks in. If it worked for the other guy, maybe I should try it, too. Maybe not.

So we try it, and it works! Then a few others jump on board and pretty soon that unique marketing tactic is being used by nearly everyone in the same industry. Now the tactic is no longer yielding the results it did when only a few people were using it simply because it’s no longer unique and the customer sees no difference from one company to the next.

They’re all in lock step waddling down the same path.

Every medium has suffered from this as it proved to work, became popular, then saturated and then ineffective.

The problem is that we confuse cause and effect. We think that since everyone in our industry is doing it “this way” that it must work, so we do it, too. There is safety in numbers and if I’m going to spend a lot of money on a marketing campaign, I want to know that everyone else would do it that way, too. But if everyone is doing it that way, cut and run. “Me, too” is a bad advertising strategy.

Formula websites are an alluring form of “Me, too” advertising.

People pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to be let in on the secret formula of how to build a unique website that will get you traffic and results like none other. So thousands spend money to be sold the same formula, so they can be nearly identical to everyone else who has paid to get this secret.

I’m guessing the formula still has some verifiable results. I also know that every time I hit one of these sites, I leave immediately because I believe whoever bought the formula is banking more on the formula than on the actual value of their product.

I’m an early adapter, but as others begin to see this formula repeatedly, it will be a big problem for all those that banked their identity on being unique by being exactly like tens of thousands of others. The saturation effect isn’t far away.

What can you do to be different? Where can you make a splash where no one else is skipping stones? Are your competitors all in newspapers, TV, radio, Yellow Pages, direct mail? It’s counter-intuitive, but the more your competitors are concentrating their market in traditional mediums, the more you should think about going a whole different direction. You’ll get a much bigger bang for your buck.

“Me, too” is a waste of your money and time. Waddle down your own path.