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.

Posted by Rob Fields