Tag Archives: competitive advantage

6 of the most common strategy traps

strategy trapsStrategy without change is pointless, and doing what everyone else is doing is not a strategy; it’s a key principle most business people don’t get.

Take the most common advice you hear out there: don’t limit yourself to niche market; you won’t make any money.

True innovation makes competition irrelevant

I often use the quote “Never innovate to compete, innovate to change the rules of the game” to express the mindset of a true innovator. You see, I detest copycats. I pay attention to maverick companies, not the ones that merely implement some framework to put themselves in a position to innovate.

Then, our culture likes to pit companies against each other because it’s the type of  stuff that grabs headlines; unfortunately most can’t see beyond the bias.

And though competition breeds innovation, sometimes it does bring out the best in everyone, most of the supposed “innovation” that copycats bring to the table is nothing more than mere superficial increments. Or in the case of Mexico; a tropicalized version of the original product or service.

For me, innovation makes competition irrelevant. Anywhere. Period.

To understand why being a true innovator is so hard, it is wise to understand what true innovators do and what non-innovators do. There are is an endless list of books, blog posts, articles, whitepapers and talks about the distinction between innovation and competition. Futurist Daniel Burrus has thought long and hard about the difference between competers and innovators, here’s a comparison:

Does social media marketing still matter?

Does social media marketing still matter?

Social media marketing doesn’t matter. Or so says an article on MIT Sloan Management Review:

I argue that we have reached the same point with social media marketing. In terms of competitive advantage, social media marketing simply doesn’t matter. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is no longer sufficient to provide any source of competitive advantage for companies — not when all of their competitors have a presence on Facebook on Twitter, too.

Monitoring social media chatter and sentiment won’t provide any competitive advantage on its own, because all your competitors are monitoring the same content as you and can derive the same insights. Customers today expect to be able to engage companies over Twitter and other social media channels. Companies can certainly deliver better or worse customer service over these channels, just like they can over the phone or in person, but these challenges become questions of backend operations, not marketing. Social media marketing has become table stakes for competitive business in today’s world, not a source of competitive advantage.

The fact that social media marketing doesn’t matter is supported by the data from our 2014 survey of social business. Our data showed that using social media in other aspects of business — innovation, transparency into organizational communication, management and recruiting, and integrated into business operations — were all meaningful differentiators for company’s social business maturity and social business outcomes. Whether or not companies engaged in social media for marketing, however, had little meaningful impact on these outcomes.

He is correct that social media marketing has matured, even though most marketers haven’t figured out how to measure the ROI of their efforts on social media. But, social media marketing does matter.

Here’s why…

Why is competitive advantage temporary?

competitive advantage is temporary

An often asked question. Yet, there are those who think that competitive advantages are everlasting.

Competitive advantage, it seems to me, has become an instrument of finance. As in, how can our company accumulate hoards of cash to become sustainable?

The defining metric for said advantage is profits. That is a mindset, I believe, of playing not to lose.

Accumulating a war chest of money doesn’t mean you will outlast the next wave of change, you have things upside down, for an investment in innovation is an investment in your future.

good strategy bad strategy