I recently went through an exercise to determine, truthfully, why someone might pick a competing digital marketing firm instead of ours. It was an eye-opening experience.
There are a few easy cases I can think through:
- If someone needs a video created, I send them to Trenton at TCP.
- If someone needs help with BigCommerce, I send them to Jay at EY Studios.
- If someone has some giant complex API integration that they need, I send them to Garrett at Polyglot.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. When potential clients have specific needs that we’re not the right fit for, I’m happy to refer them to a company that can serve them better.
But what happens when I think we’re the right fit, and they still go elsewhere? Are there good reasons for that?
Good, Fast, Cheap
There’s an adage with development projects that says “Good, Fast, or Cheap: Pick Two“. For example, if you want something done fast and cheap, it won’t be good.
At GreenMellen, it’s more of “Good, Fast, or Cheap: Pick One“. We do great work, but it’s not cheap or fast, and that can be a problem. We have an excellent process that we’ve refined over the past 12 years, and it’s a wonderful way to build a website. However, it takes time to do it properly, which means it won’t be fast or cheap. We’re ok with that, and we recognize that it’s not right for everyone.
- If you need a new website for $1,000, we’re not a good fit. $1,000 might be a completely appropriate budget for what you’re wanting to do, but it doesn’t fit with our process.
- If you need a new website in three weeks, we’re not a good fit. You may have a great reason to need it so quickly, but we can’t deliver the quality of work that we strive for in that period of time.
- If you need help with updates to your Squarespace site, we’re not a good fit (we only use WordPress). Squarespace can be a great solution in some cases, but it’s just not something are experts in.
We love our competitors
The great thing with digital marketing is that the need far surpasses the supply. I often joke that our Meetup is full of our competition, but it’s really not much of a joke — that’s actually who attends, and I love it! We learn from each other, we pass work around to each other, and it’s a great group.
Some adjustments to be made
While this thought process indeed has me considering a few tweaks, I feel pretty good about how we’ve positioned ourselves. There are great reasons why someone would want to use us, and there are great reasons why someone might be better off going elsewhere.
Take some time to really think through the lens of your competitor, or objectively through the lens of a potential client, and think why they might be a better solution than you. It’s a challenging thing to do, but can give you some great insights on improving your own company.