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Cutting through the Digital Noise (aka: Differentiation in 2023)

April 20th, 2023

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely bombarded each day with information from various digital sources, emails, form-letters, Linkedin, social media notifications, ads, and more.  This large, growing, and often annoying volume of Digital Noise is making it increasingly difficult for individuals and businesses to differentiate themselves.  While many owners seek technology solutions to stand out from the crowd, the fact is that differentiation via technology is fleeting.  In other words, if you happen to gain any significant advantage by discovering a new digital method earlier than your competition, it is only a short amount of time before others in your space will adopt the same technology (or a superior one) that will wipe out your advantage.

Tech is advancing at lightning speed.  New creative solutions, web-scrapers, and AI-assisted technologies are being developed today at an unprecedented rate.  Some are fantastic and can improve presence, visibility, speed, and efficiency, but please don’t fall prey to the notion that you’ll be able to use any of these technologies to differentiate your company long term.  You will not.  Playing the leap-frog technology game can be expensive and exhausting.  Digital tools can occasionally gain you some advantage, but most gains made via tech will be short-lived and non-differentiated.

While selecting the right tech-stack to support your company business model and infrastructure is certainly important, it is far more essential to focus on a core set of marketing strategies if you are seeking to cut through the digital noise and truly differentiate your company in the marketplace.  Don’t overlook these basics…:

1.      Clearly define your brand and unique value proposition.  What really sets you apart from your competitors?  What truly unique benefits do you offer that no one else does?  Be honest here.  If you say “service”, “quality”, or “value”, what do you think your competitors might say?  Also, remember that all customers expect great service, quality, and value.

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand and value proposition, ensure that all of your digital content, from your website and profiles to social media posts, accurately reflects this messaging.

2.     Embrace the power of storytelling.  People connect with stories, so use your channels to tell your brand’s story in an engaging, compelling manner.  Share customer success stories, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, and your journey to success.  Sharing your story humanizes your brand, making it more relatable and memorable.

3.     Deliver only quality content.  Content is king in today’s world, and the internet is flooded with mediocre content.  Ensure that every piece of your content is of the highest quality, informative, and engaging.  Tactics may include blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media, and more.  By creating content that is both valuable and shareable, you can expand your reach and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

4.     Engage with your audience.  In the digital age, it’s essential to build and maintain a strong relationship with your targeted audience.  Respond to comments and messages, ask for feedback, and provide value whenever possible. By engaging in this manner, you are building trust and loyalty, which can lead to long-term relationships and increased brand awareness.

5.     Be authentic.  The cyber-landscape is loaded with scam-artists, charlatans, and goofballs.   Authenticity is highly valued, and people can quickly spot poor actors and bots.  Ensure that your digital presence reflects who you are and what your brand represents.  Be transparent, honest, and genuine.  Avoid trying to be something you’re not.

Following these 5 steps, and executing your plan on a consistent, disciplined basis will help you cut through the digital noise, provide your company with a differentiated marketing foundation, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.  But marketing is only half of the equation.   The other half is Sales—the manner in which your customer-facing representatives interact with prospects on a conversational basis.  

After all, the last thing you’ll want to do is to invest heavily in the creation of a wonderful, digital presence and generate an abundance of marketing qualified prospects, only to lose the majority of opportunities by commoditizing your company by using salesy scripts, inauthentic pitches, and manipulative, trust-busting, used-car-sales closing techniques.  People need to buy but hate to be sold.  In other words, the absolute best way to truly differentiate your company long-term is by differentiating the manner in which your people conversationally interact with your prospects, customers, and other stakeholders.   Unlike technology or marketing techniques, developing a truly consultative conversational approach and culture will provide you and your company with high-value, long lasting, differentiated advantages that your competitors will find almost impossible to replicate, and will never be able to leapfrog.  For more about this, see here…:   » REAL Consultative Selling: Don’t be fooled by what they say - z|three blog (zthree.com)

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