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How Do You Compete Against Big Money?

November 03, 2014

By Jason Falls

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The question was posed: “How do I compete against Booking.com, which has a billion-dollar ad budget?” The audience member was a destination marketer. I was the unfortunate speaker left to answer.

Even my friend Tom Martin, in the audience after having talked earlier in the day at TBEX Europe last Friday, perked up. He later told me, upon hearing the question, he thought, “Ooooh! This ought to be good!”

It’s not easy competing against those with big dollars. Whether through paid advertising, paid search or engaging agency partners with massive teams and resources, when you are a have, you can easily outshine the have-nots.

You have to create great content – those “Holy Smokes!” moments that push an emotional trigger in your audience.

My answer was simply this: You have to create great content – those “Holy Smokes!” moments that push an emotional trigger in your audience. If you do that well enough you have a chance. Alas, it might be your only chance. And I’m the first to admit that doing it well enough even once is lottery-esque for most brands.

But do you think Michael Dubin shuddered under the pressure of going up against Schick and Gillette when he launched Dollar Shave Club? Do you think the folks at Blendtec gave up trying to sell a more expensive version of a Cuisinart or KitchenAid?

If they had, we wouldn’t know who they are.

All it takes is one idea to work. But to get to that you probably have to go through dozens, maybe hundreds. It’s the fail fast, fail cheap, Lean Methodology coming to life in the marketing world. If you don’t already understand what Lean means, read up. And apply that to your content so you can find that gem of an idea sooner rather than later.

Can you compete with the big boys? Yes. Is it easy? Not at all.

But if it weren’t possible at all, no one would bother to try.

Keep bothering.

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