You Are Special, But Not Unique (And That’s Okay)

By Monday June 13th, 2022

For a successful marketing strategy, don't get caught up on the idea that your business is entirely unique. When you fully embrace the traditional marketing process, tried and true marketing tactics can help your business grow no matter what your business model looks like.

When it comes to building a marketing engine, businesses are largely the same. It comes down to a deep understanding of the target audience, a clear market position with product/market fit, and putting the right message in the right places. Test and optimize, then test and optimize some more. The process works consistently, regardless of industry, business model, or whether you are B2B or B2C.

  • A manufacturing company CEO tells me new business comes through handshakes, not through his website. 
  • A startup founder pleads that his business is different — his customers aren’t on social media.
  • The president of an industrial B2B business refuses to invest in paid media, because he doesn’t understand the potential, and only sees the cost. 
  • The COO of a professional services firm held back advertising spend, saying that their organization wasn’t used to spending money on digital ad channels. 

With each of these examples above, the owners eventually stepped outside of their comfort zone and took a chance. After speaking with 2,000+ CEOs and founders over the last 18 years, I hear a similar refrain on a weekly basis. 

“But our business is unique.” 

In other words, marketing doesn’t work the same way for you as it does for everyone else, due to the unique product, service, audience, or buying process?

There is only one thing to say in this moment… “I see.”

The Truth 

In biological evolution, there is a concept called convergent evolution where species of different origins take on analogous traits due to living in similar scenarios or the same general ecosystem. The idea of convergent evolution also applies to different businesses that are faced with similar economic conditions, technological advancements, and labor challenges.

I apologize for damaging the wings of any unparalleled butterflies.

And I will retract my upcoming statements for any truly one-of-a-kind species out there that can prove me wrong.

But for the 99.9% of us that may be different, and special, and exceptional at that thing that we do… when it comes to finding success with marketing, we are a lot more alike than we want to admit. 

  • Brand awareness will help you. 
  • A full-funnel approach will work.
  • Paid social ads, if done right, will find your audience.
  • Positioning around the user’s needs and pain points will eventually hit a rhythm.
  • Consistent investment in high-value content will work. 
  • Focusing on what’s best for your customer comes around to benefit you.
  • Believing marketing 101 doesn’t apply to you will hinder your growth.
  • You are special, but not unique, and that’s okay.

Final Words of Encouragement

The fact that you are on the precipice of changing the way your business functions, forever, is exhilarating. There are two ways to play it.

Believe you are unique, and make exceptions or excuses that will hold you back.

Or, believe in a process that has worked for many others like you. A process that will lift you up (maybe) slowly, but surely, to the place you want to be. 

If you can put your dubious assumptions to the test, the downside is minimal and the upside could be enormous. 

Invest now in the business you want 2 years from now. Even if the investment is a cautious and uncertain one, you will be happy to be proven wrong. 


Suggested Reading: A Successful Marketing Journey Starts with an Open Mind

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About the Author

Jason is co-founder and CEO of Brolik, a digital agency in Philadelphia. As an entrepreneur, Jason is passionate about helping other business owners navigate the complicated journey of owning a business and developing marketing strategies to grow their brand.
Follow @jaybrew on Twitter or connect with Jason on LinkedIn or Google+