The Role of AI in Marketing A Conversation with Katie Robert 20

Be your authentic self

This content was originally featured in the August 18, 2023 newsletter found here:

I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. Technically, I’m more of a yoga pants and t-shirt kind of girl. And a hoodie. I’m making this admission because I have a few events over the next few months and I need to find clothing more appropriate than yoga pants.

I’m starting this week’s post with this because I got some really insightful styling advice from a surprising place – my husband. I’m not saying he doesn’t understand fashion but that it’s not high on his list of priorities. He does, however, know me well and cares greatly about how I feel about myself. He said, “Don’t force yourself to play a part that isn’t you. Be yourself and be comfortable.” We went on to talk about people whose style I would like to emulate, and none of them were what I “thought” I should look like. It was really eye-opening.

This brings me to the point of today’s post: comparisons. Last week, I talked about using the 5Ps to audit our competitive analysis report. This week I want to spend a little time on the findings of such a report.

When we aren’t sure what to do, when we feel lost or overwhelmed, we look and see what everyone else is doing. We tell ourselves, “I’ll just do this until I figure something else out”…but that day doesn’t come. We get stuck doing things that don’t really work for us but it’s better than doing nothing.

A competitive analysis tells you what’s working for other brands and how you stack up. The problem with this approach is that we look to our peers and think, “That’s what I need to do.” Looking at your competitors is a good starting place. It can help you understand what’s resonating with similar audiences. However, this is where you need to be your authentic self. What’s working for your competitor might not work for you. Why? Because they aren’t you.

Before you can do comparisons you need to clearly define what your company does and how you do it differently. You need to be able to tell your audience why your services and products are better than anyone else’s. This is the part that a lot of us struggle with. We know we’re different, better, more valuable. But we struggle to articulate it. We struggle to pinpoint exactly who we serve and what their pain points are.

This is where your competitive analysis actually starts. Tools like ChatGPT and Llama-2 can help. Give these tools your website copy, your blog posts, and your newsletters, and ask them to do an analysis. Here’s an example prompt:

“You are a business development expert. You understand customer pain points, value propositions, and competitive advantages. Your customer is a mid-level B2B marketer with moderate analytics skills. Examine the attached content from the services pages of this corporate site and provide your analysis of its clarity of services and value to the customers. Make recommendations to improve unique differentiators and how this company solves customer issues.”

Once you have a better sense of how well you communicate your business, you can move forward with analyzing your competitors. You can use the same prompt as above and then take it a step further with something like this:

“You are an expert web designer and UI/UX expert. You know user experience, user interface design, user-friendliness, web page design, and website design. Examine the attached screenshot of a corporate homepage and provide your analysis of its UI/UX experience, then make recommendations to increase both retention and conversion.”

As mentioned, we often think that modeling ourselves after our peers will make us successful. It’s good to get inspiration, but you need to dig deep into what’s working for them and where they have vulnerabilities. Before you start overhauling your services pages to look like your competitors, make sure it’s the right move for you.

At the end of the day, you need to be your authentic self. Talk about your company with your voice, not your competitors. Approach your customers in a way that makes sense for you, not your peers.

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