When you think of marketing gurus, T-Mobile probably isn't your first thought. But if you're an entrepreneur who is up against some dogs bigger than yourself, you may want to take a closer look at the cellphone carrier. After all, T-Mobile has secured a spot as the "little guy" in the telecommunications space, since it's constantly up against steep competition from the likes of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
If you feel like your relatively pint-sized arsenal of marketing and sales tools can hardly compare to the behemoths in your field, you're not alone. Here are some tips for improving your marketing by taking a page out of T-Mobile's book.
Appeal to the Latest Trends
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that tech is trendy. To steal sales away from big companies,T-Mobile clearly lays out a complete page
on its website with all the most modern, envy-inducing phones available.
You might not have a product that is at the mercy of the latest fashions, but it doesn't matter. The point is to understand what your competitors are offering their customers, and then provide something better, whether it's a more advanced product, additional service or special deal. Even if you're the lesser-known name, no savvy customer is going to turn down a great buy or your customer service.
Be up Front About Customers' Pain
Marketers and salespeople love to blather on about customers' pain with other products, but rarely do they take into account the pain their services cause. T-Mobile confronted its customers' pain bylaunching its "Un-Carrier" campaign
, which addressed the common frustrations with contracts from telecommunications providers. T-Mobile decided to be transparent and make things simpler for the consumer by eliminating the standard 2-year contract. This was a refreshing approach and has garnered positive results.
If you want to experience similar surges in sales, give honesty and transparency a try. Don't use acerbic or negative messages, but convey to your consumers that you understand how your industry has failed them. Then, make it clear how you're seeking to make things right.
Take Advantage of Competitors' Momentum
As one of the little fish in a large pond, you may not have the expansive resources or seemingly endless cash that the big fish do. But you can use this to your advantage. For example, one of T-Mobile's most fierce competitors, Verizon, started a campaign that incorporated the hashtag #NeverSettle into its messaging. T-Mobile jumped on the popularity of the campaign and made its own associated campaign,using the hashtag #NeverSettleForVerizon
. This effort worked by funneling some of the attention away from Verizon and toward T-Mobile.
Even if your competitors are not as notorious as Verizon, it's still worth investigating what they're doing in their marketing. If a competitor successfully gains some mindshare among your target audience, try to find a (classy) way to shift the spotlight from them until it lands squarely on you.
Just as your brand is a unique entity, your marketing should take on a distinctive life of its own, too. It's not a good idea to completely mirror what other businesses do, but you absolutely can (and should) learn from other entrepreneurs. If their strategies are applicable to your company, try to incorporate some of them into your own plans.