2 reasons why copying someone’s marketing does not work

Have you ever thought about copying what someone else does online?

Or maybe you already have?

I have. 

I remember when I started my old business, the digital agency Autopilot Your Business, which I ran from 2010 – 2016.

In the beginning we sometimes copied marketing collateral other companies used. Or said more politely, we “modelled” other people’s stuff. Not blatantly word for word, but the overall look and feel.

My business partner and I would find landing pages and copy some of the design elements and flow of text, then make them our own. We would find marketing videos, transcribe them, rewrite the text inside and record our own based off of the other video.

Did this strategy work for us?  Sort of.  Pieces of it did.

We were missing something though and these campaigns we ran were never a huge success. Why? We missed a couple of the most important things you need to focus on in marketing.

The 2 things that are missing when copying someone’s marketing:

  • The Offer
    An offer is how you are packaging your products or services and selling them.  It is more than just the product itself. It includes any bonuses, your unique method of delivery and customer service.  When you get your offer right it is easier to sell what you have.I remember with one of our campaigns we just chucked in a few bonuses because someone else included them on their landing page.  I did not give these much thought to see if they even made sense to the overall product we were selling and added value. Not good right?You can never really copy someone’s offer because what you sell is going to be different from them, just by the nature that YOU are different. Start a campaign by building out your offer. Then your marketing collateral will be different than someone else selling a similar item because the way you are selling it will be different.
  • Customer Journey
    This is the path someone can take in your company from lead to customer and onwards. You craft offers to support someone at each step they are with you.  When copying someone else you tend to only see one part of their customer journey, or are using something that works for their target market and not yours.I remember a product we created when we were trying to sell mostly to new business owners. Everything we did was too advanced – from the language in the emails to how we described what we were selling.  Yep, it bombed!  Why? Because we were using ideas we found online instead of focussing on what resonated with the audience we were trying to help.

I see too many people with great products and ideas remain a “best kept secret” because they get stuck in the cycle of modelling others instead of looking at what makes them unique.

Here’s what you can copy:

  • The overall flow of a marketing campaign
    Of course it is a good idea to look at other companies and see what they are doing to get ideas.  Click on their ads.  Sign up for their products.  See how the process works.  Then write down what you like and don’t like.  Think of the areas you can use that make sense to your offer and your target market.
  • Certain elements
    Get inspiration from elements in someone’s landing page, things they said in a video, or ads you see that are different and inspire you.  I like to keep swipe files in a folder on my computer where I write notes about the elements I like in that particular item.

Get inspiration from others, but craft your own marketing based on the path you want someone to take with you and the offers you create.  We are at a time right now online when your customers are looking for something new, something that speaks to them and meets them where they are, instead of pushing them through a cookie cutter funnel.

Need help crafting your offers or customer journey?
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