How are you trying to create competitive advantage for you and your company?
More time on the social web?
Work longer hours?
All of these tactics can provide short-term gains … but they’re not really strategic. Your competitors are probably trying to do the same thing, aren’t they? So if they are, how is this going to create ADVANTAGE for YOU? There is only one way to create competitive advantage in the long-term:
Listen to your customers more effectively and respond more rapidly than your competitors.
I’ve just saved you a ton of money on business books because every successful strategy is based on this idea and every great product innovation has this concept at its foundation. So if times are still tight and you’re looking to make cuts in your business, don’t jeopardize your relationships with your customers. In fact, this is the time to embrace them more tightly.
The social web provides a great way to connect more deeply with customers. Mastering that skill really can lead to competitive advantage. So even when times are tough, keep listening, keep responding, keep innovating!
About the author: Mark W. Schaefer is the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and has more than 25 years of global sales and marketing experience as well as advanced degrees in business and applied behavioral sciences. You can follow Mark on Twitter or read his daily blog to learn more.