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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Be Remarkable: Take That Idea and Own It!

Every once in a great while, someone comes up with a stellar marketing idea. And, it’s not long until that idea is copied, tweaked, washed, rinsed, and repeated. Even now, over a decade later, we still see ripoffs of the “Got Milk?” campaign. Slogans such as “Got Sand?”, “Got Jesus?”, “Got Fruit?”, and “Got Laughs?”, are still found on vehicle bumpers as they speed by us on the highway.

I recently finished a book call Pull: Marketing Secrets The Fortune 100 Use that talks about how new ideas quickly go from remarkable to unremarkable. “Got Milk?” was remarkable… until it got copied. Then it became unremarkable. Ordinary. Everyday. Old news.

That’s the danger many businesses find themselves in. They are unremarkable. They started out remarkable then, due to time and familiarity, became unremarkable. That doesn’t mean they aren’t clever, or good at what they do… only that unless they are providing something new, it’s just more of the same.

What’s the Big Idea?

Many businesses start an online business because they can. They fail to look at what they can do that is different or remarkable from the ten other guys doing it. This makes for bad business. Who cares if you can do it well! If you can’t do it better or more creatively, you might as well get out of the game right now.

But, in reality, we know there really is nothing new under the sun. If an idea is good, it’s likely been done a thousand times before. But, that doesn’t stop us, nor should it. It’s not what you’re doing… it’s how you present what you’re doing.

All good ideas get copied. Eventually they get run into the ground, only to be resurrected again years later. Remarkable turns unremarkable, then turns remarkable all over again. As a marketer or business owner, it’s your job to figure out what works and how it can be applied to what you are doing. It’s not about stealing someone else’s idea, but about incorporating it into your own unique version of that idea.

How Do You Become Remarkable?

We can easily apply this to SEO. Take ten sites in the same industry. What is unremarkable about them is that they are all targeting visitors that search using the same words. Nothing new there. What is remarkable, is the site that targets those keywords into a unique presentation on the site. Now that’s different.

Too often business owners create a site that’s simply made to sell products or a service. It’s a vehicle to get people from point A to point B, but the site itself lacks character. Just as a gas guzzling vehicle serves the same purpose as a more fuel-friendly one; it gets people from point A to point B.

Sure, many people are willing to pay more for gas to have the vehicle that serves other purposes they have. But, what if you could have both? What if there were two versions of your dream car? Identical in all aspects… except one. One version gets twice the gas mileage over the other. Which would you choose?

Your website is like that. You can choose to have the higher gas mileage website or the low mileage site. You might have to spend a little more to get it, but the long-term payoff is significantly advantageous.

Find Your Message and Own It

Anything can be made remarkable. You don’t necessarily have to change your sales message to do it. Nor do you have to steal something else outright. You’re just adapting it to work with what you have and offer.

There is nothing wrong with taking good ideas and making them yours, as long as you don’t just flat out steal them. The higher profile the idea is that you adapt, the more likely it’ll work, but at the same time, you have to work harder to make it your own. The trick is to take an idea and turn it into something new, something different enough to be yours, but similar enough to still be effective. Don’t get caught being obvious…that’s so unremarkable.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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