Every so often, I get an e-mail from someone at an agency that targets high school and college students. The subject line is "Clear Alternative to [INSERT COMPETITOR’s NAME] – College & High School Marketing".
I understand that they’re trying to build visibility and equity while positioning themselves in opposition to the agency that, in their minds, occuppies the #1 slot. Problem is, just because I’m on their e-mail list (not sure how I got there in the first place!) doesn’t mean that their company means anything to me. More importantly, even if I don’t know this #2 company, they’ve made me curious about the #1. Why? Because they mention them!
I’m now disinclined to give the #2 company a shot because they seem to suck at marketing themselves. Further, before I can evaluate the validity of the subject line–Are they, in fact, a clear alternative?–I have to check out the #1. So, basically, this company is doing wonderful marketing for their competitor.
So: Don’t mention your competitors. And certainly don’t spell out for people that your competitor is the #1. Instead, sell people on the benefits of working with you. Talk about all of your happy clients. Offer case studies that have results. Please be smarter than this.