Who Are You Chasing?

I had the pleasure of attending the Nashville Business Journal Best in Business Awards luncheon yesterday. As a judge in two of five categories, it is rewarding to be in a room full of talented entrepreneurs and managers. In a video presentation featuring one of the winners, cj Advertising, I could not help but notice a sign taped to a wall in the agency's office. It said "Chase your customers, not your competitors." It resonated with me instantly. I cannot tell you any other image I saw in any video at that event yesterday, but I will be able to tell you about that sign years from now.

The statement is simple but powerful. If you chase your customers with a dogged focus on their needs and wants, competitors will be chasing you. Yet, we get bogged down analyzing what competition is doing and plans to do next. We worry that we might be undersold and pledge to match any competitor's price. New products are introduced that mimic the best sellers of the competition. In other words, we spend too much time chasing competition.

Chase your customers, not your competitors is neither groundbreaking nor original. A quick search online found that others have written about the difference between the two. Doesn't matter- it is a strong signal as to what a marketer's priorities ought to be. Understand who you should be chasing, then align your priorities and activities in the pursuit of creating better customer experiences and healthier customer relationships.

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