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If you are a marketer, you can’t ignore differentiation. Differentiation is not just about a difference from the competition–it’s a difference that your customers care about. Without some kind of differentiation, marketers don’t have much to talk about. And talk they do, every kind of advertising is based on some kind of marketing message–most about differentiation. But how does the Internet change the way marketers discuss differentiation? Does the Internet allow more differentiation? Read on.
The biggest difference between digital marketing and other kinds of marketing is that with digital, you have unlimited space. You can always write one more paragraph on a page. You can add one more click to the story. You never run out of time or space, as long as you can hold someone’s attention.
The Internet gives you a way to tell your story in more depth.
For many products, this is a gift from God. Complex products that could never be explained in marketing materials can now be fully described. That means that no matter what aspect of a product that a customer might be interested in, the story can be there. Just about any differentiator can be explained.
And it’s not just complex products. Even simple products might possess differentiators that only a few care about: Scotts Tissue disintegrates in septic tanks. It will never make the commercial, but it is an important feature to some people. Online, you have the room to tell them.
And if this technique seems a bit lengthy and wordy to you, it doesn’t have to be. Whether it is behavioral targeting, Web site personalization, or other methods, all that differentiator verbosity can be distilled into the one that matters. Technology doesn’t quite fulfill that promise today, but wait. It will be here soon.
So, don’t be afraid to tell your story. To segment to the smallest segments that are profitable. Because each segment has a differentiator they are waiting to see. All you have to do is show it to them.
About Mike Moran
Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and the Senior Strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society of New Communications Research.