B2B Marketing ROI

The A to Z of B2B

B2B Marketing Lessons from the King

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Are you a Big Mac or a Whopper?

McDonald’s has long been lauded for its scientific approach to determining optimal real estate for new store locations. For a time Burger King engaged in an arms race of sorts, competing with the better-financed Golden Arches for the best new opening possibilities. Burger King later shifted strategy and started to simply wait for McDonald’s to open new stores first. The King would then quickly follow suit, constructing a new store within a few blocks. This tactic negated many of the real estate analysis advantages that McDonald’s once enjoyed and shifted the battle to product and customer experience.

Take a look around the next time you go to a BK. You’ll probably see a McDonald’s just down the street.


So how does this apply to you as a B2B marketer?

If you are not the top dog in your market, mimicking BK’s strategy may be a good approach when determining where to spend your marketing dollars. A good technique is to take your savviest (though not necessarily your biggest) competitor, and watch very carefully how and where they are spending their marketing dollars. Let them make their marketing investments, ad places, and trade show bookings. They will no doubt be spending some of their dollars evaluating which media are effective. See what sticks and copy their approach. Are they focusing on certain keywords for SEO/SEM, sponsoring certain sites or newsletters, or attending key trade show? That is like market research that you are getting for free.

Be sure to set up Google Alerts for your competitor’s company and product names (I’ll write more on using Google Alerts in a future post) to get a head’s up when they post on sites, issue press releases, add to their blog, etc.

It is not a hard and fast rule, but chances are if the savviest (until you take that title away) marketer in your space is consistently putting dollars into something, it is worth being there as well.

B2B Marketing Strategy from "The King"

B2B Marketing Strategy from "The King"

Written by Adam Blitzer

January 4, 2009 at 3:01 am

Posted in Budgets, Marketing Strategy

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  1. Two things here. Another master follower is Mimi’s Cafe. For many years I thought that Mimi’s cafe and Macaroni Grill were siblings. Wrong, Mimi’s follows Macaroni Grill around. :P

    Following your competition is a great idea. Especially since most likely your customers are shopping for both of you at the same time.

    Good post.


    January 15, 2009 at 5:16 am

  2. Thanks for the great example Jame. Come to think of it… there is a Mimi’s Cafe right next to a Macaroni Grill not too far from our office. I’ll keep an eye out for more of these pairings.

    Adam Blitzer

    January 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

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