Updated on: 18-10-2021 by WEB-ROI
You and your top competitor sell very similar products and services. But upon closer inspection, you realize that your offering is:
The light bulb goes off.
Rather than having customers hop from one website to the next looking for comparative information, why not present it on yours, side-by-side, in an easy-to-understand table?
When they see how awesome you are, they’ll contact you ASAP and place a big order.
It’s called comparative advertising.
Originally, comparative advertising was put in place for print or television ads. Over time, it’s been modified to include digital marketing too.
In short, you can refer to your competitors, as long as you abide by the following edict:
So, what does that mean, exactly?
And, more importantly, what does that mean for your company?
Let’s say you’re in charge of marketing for a landscape supplier. You and your top competitor both sell topsoil.
You actually cannot make that claim because it’s subjective (based on a personal opinion). It needs to be objective (just the facts, ma’am).
Without hard data, you can’t prove:
Want to talk about your competitors on your website? Go ahead. But any claim you make must be verified and/or substantiated.
So, if your topsoil and theirs was tested by an independent third-party – and the results came back that yours is indeed better – you can say that (as long as people can check out the testing).
Otherwise, you just can’t without inviting trouble.
Just above, this blog talked about objective vs. subjective information.
Saying your topsoil is better is subjective, because you believe it to be.
But saying your topsoil is less expensive is objective, because you can prove it is by grabbing that info from your competitor’s website.
Equally as important is that customers can also visit your competition and verify that, yup, your topsoil is a better deal than theirs.
As with anything regarding the law, there are some caveats to be mindful of:
Using prices in comparative advertising is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it’s relatively easy to collect. On the other hand, it’s very fluid and can change at any time.
Make sure you tread carefully.
If your competitor’s product has a distinct advantage over yours (or if yours has a distinct disadvantage over theirs), you have to acknowledge it somehow.
Here’s a simple example.
Again, let’s pretend you’re a landscape supplier. You and your competitor both make your own ice melt. However, theirs is effective to -30°C and yours only works to -15°C.
In your comparison table, you cannot simply say something generic like “effective in cold weather.”
And you can’t deceive by omission, either.
If there’s a tangible difference between you and them – something which can be measured – you need to include that info.
Even if you don’t directly name your competitor, you’re still responsible
It could backfire
When looking for a product or service, many people are going to visit multiple websites to collect as much info as possible.
Obviously, when they get to yours, you want to keep them there as much as possible.
Comparative advertising is a great way to showcase all relevant details in one spot. In fact, there are websites dedicated exclusively to providing this information.
As long as your bases are covered, comparative advertising can be an effective tool. The trick being there are a lot of bases to cover.
Looking for more info? Want to know how WEB ROI can give you a competitive advantage?
Let’s talk about it. Contact us for a FREE consultation.
We’ll talk about your business, your competitors, and how you can (smartly and safely) get ahead of them.
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