Ripping off another product may be a crime but can the same be really said about B2B marketing tactics? If one’s to look at FIFA’s sudden outcrop of animal oracles, the answer might be no.
The next question is how can marketers deal with this?
It started with Germany’s Paul the Octopus and now you have at least 5 other candidates trying to succeed him as the go-to animal psychic for World Cup prediction. So, why aren’t lawsuits flying everywhere? (On the contrary, even Germany is putting up its own successor in Nelly the Elephant.)
Is it because the world’s too caught up in FIFA fever for a legal drama? Could it be because no sane lawyer would care? Why are there legions of copycats for every original (and successful) marketing stunt?
- Reason #1: Because it works – The extended version of, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” Ask yourself, would you risk large chunks of your marketing budget just to create an ‘original’ approach to the practice? Think of it like spending a few extra bucks to create your own double-sized hamburger. Unfortunately, cooking can just be a hobby whereas B2B marketing usually suffers from a similar overheard. Don’t pay extra if you can pay less for something that already works!
- Reason #2: It can still be perfected – Thomas Edison may have contributed much to modern lighting but mankind never stopped with him. Today, his own invention is being phased out by fluorescent. What’s the point? The point is you don’t have be the originator just to improve upon on an idea. You can even outsource some parts of your B2B marketing campaign and still find plenty of areas to tweak and call your own.
- Reason #3: Not everybody can get it right anyways – In balancing contrast to perfecting, you might need to make a few mistakes just so you can what exactly the original did right. A popular reason why ‘ripoffs’ are often frowned upon is because they don’t live up to the original. But hey, if it works, you need to know what you’re doing wrong to so you can make it work for you (and eventually, improve).
Most experts would think behaving essentially like a copycat only proves harmful to long-term marketing strategies. That’s true! That doesn’t mean the opposite extreme: rejecting every single marketing tactic or idea just because somebody else is already using it. There comes a point when you have to decide even just partially, finding your own mix, and really determine for yourself what brings in more B2B prospects regardless if people accuse of ‘ripping off.’