This One Method Will Eliminate Your Competition
Copyright © 2004, Richard D. Bailey
Some business owners have a difficult time identifying who their
competitors really are, believing that every other business is
their competition even if they have little to absolutely nothing
in common. This stifling belief affects just about anyone
(probably even you) who does not employ this simple concept of,
In today's day and age, rising advertising and marketing
expenses can become overwhelming for new and even established
business. According to Jupiter Media, The cost of erroneously
blocked permission based e-mail (i.e., sent but not delivered)
will increase from $230 million in 2003 to $419 million in
2008, making a once zero cost advertising option, (email) a
potentially expensive means of communication thanks to junk
mails senders. There is an obvious need for strategic and cost
effective Marketing and advertising alternatives.
What is Fusion marketing?
The military strategist, Sun Tzu wrote, to fight and conquer
in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme
excellence is breaking the enemy's resistance without
This Guerilla Marketing concept of turning your competition into
a friend is a blend of relationship building and a twist on
traditional marketing in which your competition becomes your
marketing partner, thereby alleviating some, if not most, of
your advertising/marketing burden.
Fusion marketing can be used to win any marketing battle, rather
than fighting against your competition, you turn your
competition into friends.
Search Engines are some of the best examples of fusion marketing
in action, where would-be-enemies become friends. According to
the Chairman and CEO of the popular search engine Google, Eric
Schmidt, their partnership with competitor Ask Jeeves, was
brought on by a shared vision to grow the overall search
market. And according to their press release this union is
projected by industry experts to generate over $100,000,000 over
a three year period.
In this fusion relationship, Google's ads will appear on
AskJeeves search pages. Ask Jeeves shares the revenue generated
from showing the ads, while Google additionally gets a whole new
audience of potential customers who perform over 14 million
searches per month. You can see that this is a win-win for both
companies and their advertisers.
In another example, Brigitte Nadeau, President and founder of
Audio Strategies Inc., a Troy Vermont based company, focused on
leveraging audio products to generate profits
(www.audiostrategies.com), found that a Fusion marketing
opportunity with a potential rival eventually lead the way to an
unexpected, but welcome long-term contract with a major
Audio Strategies is a teleconference recording service that
assists in attracting clients with audio products. So it was
normal for us to use audio in our Fusion marketing strategies,
I created a real audio 'tip of the week' on improving your
teleleader skills for a Teleclass training company in 2002. AT
the beginning of each 2 minute clip there was an introduction
saying, 'AudioStrategies.com has created this audio clip, for
more information you can contact us.' The tip was freely
distributed on the teleclass website every week as a service to
their customers. This provided the training company with free
content and served as no cost advertising for us. As a bonus,
this helped to land a big recording contract with Boeing
Aerospace that I still have to this day. After one of their
trainers heard the clip, they contacted me to work with them.
Fusion marketing opportunities are everywhere:
Question: What does a Chinese restaurant and a car wash have in
common? Answer: People who wash their cars also need to eat.
In the above example, that's exactly the question that I had to
ask myself recently, after being asked by a media company to
save a customer relationship that was in jeopardy. In this case,
an optimistic Chinese Restaurant owner, had purchased an
advertising package that didn't get the results he was looking
for. Oddly enough, another client, a car-wash/oil change center,
directly across the street, was getting great results from a
similar ad campaign and had nothing but great things to say
about the steady flow of customers who were coming in to his
place of business.
As I pondered how this could be possible, I decided to quit
pondering and went over to the car wash with its beautiful
showroom, popcorn maker, vending machines, and lounge area to
take a look around. The waiting room was intentionally designed
to create a feeling of comfort and warmth in an otherwise cold,
industrial looking place.
After asking some questions, I found out that a good deal of
this car wash's business came from busy drivers on their way
home from work. A flash-bulb went off in my head as I imagined
car wash patrons enjoying (or taking home) an order of vegetable
Lo Mein and fried rice while they waited for their cars to be
serviced. I immediately explained the idea to the owner and
asked if he would mind my placing a few hundred restaurant menus
in his lounge area, so that his patrons could get something to
eat or take home while waiting for their cars to be serviced. He
agreed, since this would also allow his patrons to feel even
more at home.
To make a long story short, I helped two business owners who
admittedly never talked before take the next step to becoming
profitable friends by referring business to each other and made
the media company happy in the process by making their client
How to create a fusion marketing partnership:
First: Stop thinking of every other business as your competition
Second: Identify businesses with the same target audience, who
sell non-competitive products.
If you're a software author selling word-processors this might
be another software company that sells spreadsheets.
If you're a fitness club owner, try talking to local licensed
Massage Therapists or Chiropractors in the area. Place their
flyers or business cards in your fitness center and ask them to
do the same in their reception rooms.
Third: Look for possible ways to either share marketing expenses
or to help advertise each other's products or services.
For brick and mortar business, this might mean putting your
fusion partner's signs up in your place of business while they
do the same for you in theirs. For an Internet business, you
might add your fusion partner's ad to your email newsletter
while they place your ad on their downloadable brochure or
promote your complementary products on their order thank you
pages (the pages that are usually shown after an order is
Doc Pratt, President of Pratt Computing Technologies, fused with
others of like mind to boost each other's sales, "We are working
with other people who sell to our type of accounts, and have
formed a (Fusion marketing) group. We have actually put together
a marketing plan for the group and our niche market is
businesses that are relocating or moving. We are in no way
officially connected, but since we complement each other, so
well, we have created a web site, www.transitionresources.biz
that promotes the entire group," says Doc.
Where can opportunities for fusion partnerships be found?
1. Look out the window.
2. Contact your key suppliers.
3. Ask your local chamber of commerce.
4. Contact your existing customers.
5. Where possible, consider creating an affiliate, reward or
reseller program to get others to sell your products for you
and then help them promote your business.
6. Do you know someone with a large mailing list? There might
be a great opportunity there.
7. Use search engines to locate companies similar to your own.
8. Download and install the Alexa.com toolbar, it will display
related sites as you surf the web. Just visit your own site with
the toolbar installed and see what related sites it recommends,
then contact the web masters of these sites regarding a
9. Try searching for "joint venture" on the web. This might turn
up several organizations that can help you setup a joint venture
(another type of Fusion Marketing relationship).
Fourth: Ask potential partners you have identified to partner
with you. Let them know it can be a win-win for everyone, since
Fusion marketing only requires cooperation and will not force
you to make major changes to the way you do business or to
modify your business structure.
As you can see, working with our competition via fusion
marketing requires a change in the way we think, it is a
paradigm-shift that can actually push your sales and profits to
the next level.
It's who you know:
If you need help with establishing fusion or joint venture
relationships, visit: http://www.clientbydesign.com/jv.html or
send email to my auto-responder at firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com and I'll tell you about an
invitation only Joint Venture group made up of some of the
biggest marketers on the Internet, some with thousands of repeat
customers. Best of all, you can join with them and they will
help you promote your products/services to the masses. By
working with already established players, you can gain
incredible momentum in your marketing efforts. Membership in the
group is by invitation only and is made up of serious players
who want to generate real profits and build strong reputations
on the Internet. Maybe that's you.
Certified Guerilla Marketing Coach, Richard Bailey is an Internet
entrepreneur with 8+ years of technology based marketing
experience. Learn Internet Marketing at no cost by joining Internet
Marketing Methods University. Visit
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