Don't trash the competition - just make more money than them

16 replies
I just received an email from a very well known marketer (and by his account, a highly financially successful marketer) that did nothing but ridicule his competition.

His criticism was poor copywriting - the worst he'd ever seen. It wasn't anonymous; he named and shamed the company.

To my mind, that's both unprofessional and uncalled for.

To make matters worse, his own 'copywriting' (a voice-over for a video) was, IMO, appalling.

Now, he may simply be citing this other company as an example of bad practice, suggesting to folk what 'not' to do, but there's no need to openly name them and certainly it is foolish to accuse them of something that he's guilty of himself.

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Now, I'll be honest, I didn't have much respect for this marketer in the first place and I only remain on his list to amuse myself with his silly tactics and to act as a reminder of what 'not' to do for myself.

And, with this stupid stunt he's just pulled he's even lower on my credibility scale than he was before.

So please, even if it's only so you don't end up looking foolish, don't criticize your competition, be better than that, just carry on out-performing them in all areas... including integrity.


Peter

P.S. If you recognise the marketer I'm refering to, please don't mention his name or even hint at it. There really is no point and it will only serve to get this thread deleted.
#competition #make #money #slag
  • Profile picture of the author Anna Johnson
    I think you said it best when you said:

    People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
    And we all live in 'glass houses'.
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Hi Peter,

      long time no speak - I hope you're well.

      I have to agree that focusing on trashing someone else is counterproductive. I bet that it's not just you who doesn't like to hear people being slated by others - I wonder how many subscribers this marketer has 'lost' as a result of their poor tactics.
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      • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
        you will certainly not be able to gain an advantage yourself by thrashing other people.

        However, you will successfully manage to get the people who have some type of respect for you to lose it all.

        Sometimes it's useful to see your competition as someone who might just be the person who will help you expand your business in a way that you will both run out winners in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam B
    Hi I agree Im in the UK and this sort of thing doesnt go on much here.

    But doesnt this sort of thing go on in the USA all the time?

    I have a home in Florida and when I go over there and watch TV all I see is companies all the time slating other brands. Pizza Hut will mention Papa Johns in their commercials and even show other brands logos. Quiznos is another they slate Subway all the time.

    Heres an example Pizza Hut Add, this has direct comparrison to other brands:

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    • Profile picture of the author gross100
      I absolutely agree, bashing your competition by name takes some serious balls. IF you must do it, you had better be sure the item you are criticizing is absolutely perfect on your end. So if his copy was indeed terrible, and he was criticizing another copywriter, then...well thats insanely stupid.

      Anyway, doing this in general is simply a miserable idea. Like you said, he just lost credibility in your eyes, and I assume many other as well who picked up on it like you did. We all know an email list can be quite fragile, so doing this is simply not helping any member on the list. Bad move.
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      • Profile picture of the author Adam B
        So has the likes of Pizza Hut got it wrong then?

        Those TV ads alway slate the competition.
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
          Originally Posted by Adam B View Post

          So has the likes of Pizza Hut got it wrong then?

          Those TV ads alway slate the competition.
          I don't think they've got it 'wrong' insofar as that approach will work, to a degree.

          When large organisations start with this tactic (ASDA v TESCOS v Morrisons as a UK example) it's almost bearable because these big companies have broad shoulders and can take a bit of bashing. Personally, I still don't appreciate this approach, but that's not to say it doesn't work - it does.

          As smaller buisnesses, often-as-not sole traders, Internet Marketers have reputations that are a lot more fragile that large supermarkets or Pizza franchises. 'Trashing' tactics will still work but I'd hazard a guess that a large proportion of customers won't appreciate it and will take their business elsewhere.

          Peter
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    • Profile picture of the author bretski
      Originally Posted by Adam B View Post

      Hi I agree Im in the UK and this sort of thing doesnt go on much here.
      By the way, the guy I was thinking of when I posted the above was a Brit. One of the few Brits that I didn't like or found this particular trait in though!
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  • Profile picture of the author bretski
    I've often noticed that folks find in others the faults that lie within themselves. I'm not refering to you, my friend. You're simply pointing out something that I know has irked me about some marketers. There is a way to constructively critique someone's page or product in a helpful way. There are unfortunately folks out there that need to belittle others to make themselves feel good or superior; sort of a "bully" mentality.

    I know that there is someone in a niche that I work in that touts himself as an expert and he relentlessly and blatantly bashes every other product in the niche. I don't know why he does this but for me it's a reminder of how I don't want to be seen by my peers or customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    Karl,

    I'm fantastic thanks, it's good to see you around these parts once more.


    Adam,

    I don't think there's much wrong in making comparisons - Pepsi/Coke taste challenge for example, but simply coming out and saying that your competition is cr*p is just lazy, uncreative marketing.



    Peter
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      A slight sidetrack, if I may...

      Is "Slating" a UK term? I've not heard it before seeing it in a couple threads here lately.

      Could one of you please enlighten me?
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      • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        A slight sidetrack, if I may...

        Is "Slating" a UK term? I've not heard it before seeing it in a couple threads here lately.

        Could one of you please enlighten me?
        John,

        No idea of the origins, but slating means trashing. You could also say 'slagging off'
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        A slight sidetrack, if I may...

        Is "Slating" a UK term? I've not heard it before seeing it in a couple threads here lately.

        Could one of you please enlighten me?
        John, yes - it's British. It's an informal expression meaning to severely criticize. Mainly used to describe a critic's reaction to an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical.



        Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

          Mainly used to describe a critic's reaction to an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical.
          Tell me about it. Who would ever prefer Webber to Sondheim? It just doesn't make sense. It's like preferring Rodgers and Hammerstein to Gilbert and Sullivan.
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          • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
            This thread makes me think of that old saying "the best revenge is living well." You get farther along in life by just doing the best job you can do and letting your results speak for themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
    A wise man once said "You don't make yourself taller by putting others down." It is a shame that people today would rather talk about how the other person is so bad rather than talking about the great aspects are of their own goods and services. Anytime I see someone putting down their competition by name, it shows me that they are NOT number 1 and they are putting down those that are to make themselves look and feel better.

    The problem is that this tactic never ever works to their advantage. Case in point, about 4 years ago Pizza Hut was number 1 in the Cincinnati market. I cannot speak for anywhere else because I don't have statistics on the other markets. Anyhow, they started in with ads like you see in the one persons post and within 6 months they fell to like 10th in the market having even little mom and pop pizza shops beating them out. Now, there are only a few Pizza Huts in the city.

    When will people learn that you don't make yourself stronger by weakening others but rather the opposite is true. I am thankful that the OP has come on here and stated what he has seen so hopefully newbies wont get out here and make the same mistake.
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