This is one of those posts that I’m hesitant to put live. My gut instinct says it will come back to haunt me somewhere down the road, nevertheless I JUST HAVE to give this to you. Enjoy:
You are about to learn a few simple tactics that you can utilize to demolish your competition. I strongly suggest that you consult with a seasoned anti-trust attorney prior to putting anything you learn in this post into play.
When Competition Is Weak, Create More Competition (that you own)
CASE STUDY: Lapel Pins & Badges Online
Any time people Google custom pins, badges, key-chains, or medallions, there’s a 99.99% chance that they’ll find one of my associate’s websites. Each URL is setup as an exclusive entity, with a different template, address, number, price structure, and customer service rep fielding calls. The only similarity is that all sites run from 2 separate call centers that are partitioned into different sections/businesses – hence each site has dedicated reps in order to avoid intermingling calls.
These sites are all owned by 1 operator:
NOTE: There’s around 20 other iterations that are ranked organically & running media.
When my associate launched these sites there were 1 or 2 soon-to-be fossil competitors lingering in the space. After a pilot test of 1 lander he quickly realized this was a vertical that he could completely dominate. Game on!
Over the next few years he built out site after site, launching them THE MOMENT they were completed. His competitors DID NOTHING in response. Perhaps they had gotten fat, lazy, and happy after years of auto-piloting their pin sites while cruising around the world or doing whatever it was they they were doing. It’s all good until real competition enters your industry. Just ask Ace Hardware about Home Depot or Circuit City about Best Buy
Big Things Happen While People Sleep
Indeed, the silence was deafening. Over a period of 36 months the historic leaders in the lapel pin vertical COMPLETELY LOST their yield. With no market yield, their entire business soon rested on repeat customers. The historic customer base slowly dwindled away as the educated consumers “discovered” new, cost-effective alternatives to their historic supplier.
In the end my associate ended up buying out his top competitor while the rest of the competition went out of business/became irrelevant. The Weak Are Killed and The Injured Are Eaten.
3 KEY TACTICS to monopolizing your vertical:
1. Build Out 20-30 Unique Landers/E-Commerce Stores/Lead Gens
In order to capture the entire market, it’s important to create multiple roads back to your business. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all to marketing.
Some consumers like to buy off of simple landers with a telephone number, others prefer elaborate e-commerce sites. Create dozens URLs, each with different color schemes, variations, feels, etc. Utilize the entire spectrum of motifs, from austere to comical. Take your time and build-out each site to perfection – don’t shortcut quality for quantity.
2. Buy Up All Media
Take your top 4-10 sites (depending on your budget) and start buying all the media placements. Auto-bid as high as possible, even if you are initially losing money. It’s not anti-competitive, it’s ULTRA COMPETITIVE. Your raising the bar in the industry that you’re about to own, right?
Make sure you setup each account from a separate IP address (ESPECIALLY on Google, Yahoo, and Bing) and use a separate name/credit card number. Do NOT use a proxy, sophisticated traffic sources will catch you. You actually need to do it from mutually exclusive geographic locations.
If possible use a different computer to setup each account (digital fingerprinting), but if not possible, make sure you clear the cache on yours – there’s still a risk that you’ll get flagged.
VERY IMPORTANT: Stay disciplined to NEVER open up your advertising account outside of the geographic location in which you opened it. If you happen to slip up and open the account from a location where you are running another account, then you will likely get flagged and have your account shutdown.
3. Create Price Differentials
Bait-the-hook to suit-the-fish. Pricing psychology is key in markets. Remember that there’s consumers who ALWAYS look to purchase the highest dollar items, while others are bargain shoppers.
I suggest setting up as many pricing models as possible: continuity, non-continuity, shopping carts, call-in orders only, long-term contracts, high-end, and low-end pricing. Then test out multiple variations of each model and optimize to gain FULL MARKET YIELD!!!
In most niches it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get sued for what some deem as “anti-competitive” behavior unless you’re a behemoth like Microsoft. Enjoy market dominance!
P.S. There’s a lot more that I didn’t reveal, but the above is a good start.