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So I got out the door and realized that I had a 9AM over in Stow and I was starving. I was up too early. Didn’t get real coffee experience. Was at the point where it made little sense to go to the office first and was way too early for my appointment. So I decided to stop at that Farmer Boy there by the Swensons, Carovoliss Club, DOntinos…. You know as North Hill becomes C Falls. I decide I will grab a quick breakfast. Now I am a sucker for grabbing a bite to eat at any meal. I love dining out. I really do. I also love cooking but I really do enjoy eating out. And of all the meals that you can choose to eat out… I LOVE breakfast. They say that food has significant memories attached to it and emotion attached to and I totally believe that. Because I love breakfast for that reason. 

It was always a big treat to go out to breakfast with my Dad. 

My grandmother… same thing.

Family would grab breakfast after church growing up… when we would visit my other grandparents, Pop and Nana out in Arizona… same thing. I remember going out to breakfast. So I can easily be talked into breakfast because it just has such muscle memory for me.

Anyway I am in my booth and I have ordered my Heman or Hillbilly or whatever it was… and they don’t play music in there. Like most restaurants are playing some sort of music or have on tv’s or nothing at all… they were playing talk radio. I can’t remember what channel but it was an interview of someone that had something to do with Boston Mills or Brandywine… the ski area. So there I was sitting at my booth, waiting on this absurd pile of food that I had ordered, spping on my properly-creamed coffee, going through emails on my phone, half listening to this interview when something caught my ear. The host had asked the ski resort guy about his competition and that the weather was likely playing a role but maybe other indoor things like bowling and movies and other activities… to which the reply surprised me… the fella said NONE of that is our competition. Netflix is our competition. Wait… what? So he went on to explain a little further… not just Netflix but everything that represents…. Which really is home and convenience and not having to leave and sitting on your rump. Interesting… so this also reminded me of the story of Netflix. You know how they went to BLockbuster and tried to get them to buy into the company or buy the company… not sure exactly. But Blockbuster kinda blew them off. BTW the deal was for only 50M. But they laughed them off. Their reasoning was because they said people loved the experience of coming in the store and picking out their movies and getting the recommendations of the workers and all that. What they didn’t anticipate was that people would like the experience of staying at home… MORE. So all these Netflix references, lol. Here’s another one. A few weeks ago I was asked by a local establishment that serves social lubricants, adult beverages, to come in and talk a little about customer service. Now obviously I have a long background in serviuce industry and then in sales with Revol and Verizon so I can certainly talk about customer service. But in reality what we need to be talking about is customer experience. When I asked the team there “who is your competition” and they predictably rattled off all the other establishments up and down the street here I asked them to think a little bigger and less obvious. THese aren’t really your biggest competition. In fact they are actually complimentary… help you be a bigger, more attractive destination. Your real competition is HOME. At home the drinks are cheaper. I have the remote. The jukebox is playing all the right songs and at the volume I like. I can sit in my underwear without anyone indicating that’s not really appropriate. Your competition is home. How do you beat home? Give them a better experience… only thing you actually can win at.

So I tell you that to tell you this. I meet with a lot of businesses and whether we are in onboarding or just discovery or just networking… the idea of their ideal client or customer is always discussed. Who is it that they do business with or want to do business with? Probably heard this called a buyer persona or avatar… Now most businesses have a decent grasp of this. Many old school marketing companies would get all sorts of nuts with this concept and build out this fictitious model or avatar of that person…. Sally Stay at Home has 3 kids and 1.2 dogs or whatever. So this is important but what I see is that business owners pretty much know their audience. They know who they are doing or want to do business with. The question they can’t always answer is who is their competition. Not really. THis is actually the question that tells you what you need to know. This is that magic question that will change your messaging. Because if you are talking to the right people but not using the right language…. It doesn’t matter. You may as well be talking gibberish or to the wrong people. The question that changes your messaging or even your offering or strategy… is “who is your competition”. If Blockbuster could have answered that question when Netflix came calling you would Blockbusting and Chilling this weekend.

Exercises like this are how we start working together at Digital Sandwich. They are all included in our Digital Marketing Workbook. When you start working through this thing you end up with a one page strategy. We call that strategy a digital marketing operating system. It’s guidelines. It’s a framework. It’s peace of mind. It’s the damn sandwich.

Small business owners tend to live with uncertainty because their ideal customers aren’t finding them predictably.

Even worse, finding those customers sounds expensive, confusing, and risky.

By creating a Digital Marketing Operating System (DMOS), we make client acquisition automated, simple, and measurable.

Business owners can sleep peacefully knowing there is a system in place that allows clients to find them.

When a business deploys a DMOS they create a predictable, repeatable, and scalable way to connect to their ideal clients.

Hope you all have a fulfilling and safe weekend. Try leaving everyone you encounter this weekend just a little better than you found them Take care everybody.

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