The SaaS industry is growing at an incredible rate, and our corner of it in particular (marketing and sales) is growing even faster.
Just one glimpse at the graphic below explains it all:
It’s a crowded, crowded landscape. And unfortunately, not everyone plays fair.
So at a time when so many companies seem to be focused on dividing and conquering, and on going on the offensive and attacking their competitors, I wanted to offer you a different path.
It’s an approach to outperforming the competition that I’ve been obsessed with for years now.
At its core, it’s simple:
Ignore your competitors and focus on your customers.
Don’t go after the competition. Don’t look for ways to sabotage them. Don’t worry about them at all.
Instead, you should be worrying about your customers, and you should be giving your customers as much attention as possible and gathering as much feedback from them as possible. Because that’s where your competitive advantage really comes from.
Want to see how we put this philosophy into practice at Drift?
Here are three ways we try to outperform the competition without fighting dirty.
1) Sharing All Our Secrets
From every email we send, to every Playbook we have running on Drift.com, we share it all. We don’t believe in locking up knowledge, which is also why we decided to make all of the content on our site free (#noforms).
We got rid of lead forms more than a year ago now, and we haven’t looked back. It’s an approach we adopted because we knew it would be a better experience for our leads and customers. Now we’re helping thousands of people adopt conversational marketing at their companies.
The bottom line: When we find success using certain tactics, we want other folks to benefit from that too. Because at the end of the day, we’re all here to do our best and to build great things together.
2) Bringing the Community Together
After months and months of doing Seeking Wisdom with my co-host Dave Gerhardt (Drift’s head of marketing), the community that was springing up around the podcast really started to blow us away.
It was incredible to find so many people who were committed to learning, day-after-day, and constantly looking to improve. (That’s something I look for in new Drift hires too — that hunger to always be learning.)
And finally it hit us: We need to bring all of these people together. And that’s what HYPERGROWTH, our first annual conference, was all about. It was a day dedicated to coming together and learning about business growth and personal growth.
When we started planning for it, we were hoping we might get a couple hundred people to show up at best. It was kind of a long shot, anyway. We were a young company and we’d never planned something this big.
Instead, we ended up with more than 1,400 people registered and hit capacity at our venue in Boston. (At one point the fire marshal even showed up and almost shut us down.)
That’s amazing. It still blows my mind, and we don’t take it for granted. Not for a second. This community puts their trust in us and we have a responsibility to keep earning that trust every single day.
3) Shipping Something New for Customers Every Month
My co-founder Elias wrote about this not too long ago — it’s the ultimate tactic for breaking free from the competition:
Shipping a new product to customers every month, forever.
We call it our Marketable Moment, and it’s a promise we make to our customers every month at Drift. It’s how we show them that we’re listening and incorporating their feedback directly into the product…and that we’re not taking years to do it.
We even have a countdown clock that shows exactly when customers can expect our next Marketable Moment to drop.
Instead of wasting energy going after competitors, we funnel all of it into listening closely to our customers and shipping as fast as humanly possible.
Responding to what our customers need and giving them what they’re asking for is the most urgent task at hand. If we can succeed in doing that, the competition won’t matter.
At Drift, we stand for bringing people together.
It’s at the core of our product, after all. We want to make it easier for buyers and businesses to have great conversations.
That’s why we hate the divide and conquer mentality.
And besides, it doesn’t even work.
Think about it: When’s the last time you bought from a company because they were aggressive toward their competition? That’s not why people buy.
So if you’re looking to gain an advantage over the competition, here’s a final word of advice to sum everything up:
Stop focusing on the competition, and start focusing on your customers and how you can help them reach their goals.