In the movie Talladega nights, Ricky bobby famously said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While that may be true in NASCAR, it’s absolutely true in business.
Jack Welch was one of the most successful business leaders for decades at GE. One of the ways he did that was by requiring his business units to be number one or number two in market share or they were divested.
The good news is marketing can help you with this. I want to talk about some of the ways you can be first in your market with the help of your marketing efforts.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
First, I want to talk about a book called the 22 immutable laws of marketing.
If you haven’t read it, it’s an easy read and it’s a great peek into the truths of marketing.
The first two laws in the book are The Law of Leadership, which is to be first in your market, essentially. Be the leader.
The second is The Law of Category, which is that if you’re not first in your market, find a market where you are going to be first.
Those two laws are the essence of how marketing can help you here. It starts with thinking about what it is that you do and who you do it for.
What do you do, and for whom?
The second law isn’t telling you to move to a new market; it’s telling you to be more specific about what your unique value is and what you do for those in your space.
The better you have those two things defined – those two ends of the spectrum, what you do and who gets it (and what they get out of it) – the better you’ll be able to be the only one in your market that does that special thing, for that special group, in that special way.
Commit to it
Once you have that foundation, frankly it gets a lot easier. You just commit to that, and
have all of your employees know what that is, that value you provide and what it is you’re doing for your market.
That way they will all be communicating it and behaving consistently with it. Your prospects and customers are watching your actions, and will understand intuitively your leadership.
All of your products should be focused that way. All of your marketing, too – the experiences that your prospects and clients have as they get to know you, work with you and use your products.
If everything you do is organized around the truth of what your value is, your target audience will see you as the only one that can do that.
And you will be first.
You can choose to be first in your market, or you can choose to be a commodity on a race to the bottom.