Once upon a time, there was a (hypothetical) Mary who built a business around her love of gardening. She used to be a gardening columnist in newspapers and magazines. She had written a couple of books on gardening. She developed a couple of software applications related to seeds and the care of plants. She has a website where she shares her knowledge and sells her books and software along with gardening tools, books, seeds, and related items.
Are you the one who sends her emails suggesting that she sell your books instead of hers? That she adds your content to her website to compete with her content? That her readers and customers would be better served by your stuff rather than her stuff?
Don’t be that one. I’m amazed at how much marketing time and effort is wasted like this. If you’re not in Mary’s situation, you wouldn’t believe how much of this happens.
Think about it first. Why in the world would Mary put your stuff into her marketing mix? She owns hers. She doesn’t have to ask, attribute, or share.
Here’s the point: If what you do is different and complementary to what she does, so that she can offer her customers a broader range or more products, and make a margin on it, then offer it to her. Don’t take her time, or insult her intelligence, suggesting that she use competing content, from competing sites, instead of her own.
On this one I can’t help sharing a past moment standing on the side of a soccer field, watching one of my kids play. I was standing next to a friend who also had a kid on the field. A guy neither of us knew walked up to us and talked for a while about how great his kids was. We listened. Finally the guy walked away. My friend said, quietly, to me only: “Yeah, but I still like my kid better.”
As the classic blues song says: ”God bless the child that’s got its own.”
Moral of the story: don’t be that marketer. Be smarter.
(Image: feng yu/Shutterstock)