I have a little dog named Francy. She’s a muttley rat terrier(ish) sort of dog that weighs all of about 14 pounds (we have a cat that’s bigger than she is). She spends most of her life curled up on a pillow, a lap, or a blanket … to the point that I’ve always said she’d be perfectly content if she was a dog with no legs that had to be carried around everywhere she went. She’s super sweet, cuddly, and friendly to just about anyone and anything on earth … until she sees a big dog.
Then … “little dog attitude” kicks in and Francy ain’t gonna take no crap from nobody.
I’ve seen this little dog launch herself into the air, land on top of a dog four times her size, and pin them to the ground in a growling fit of unexplained rage. Why? I honestly have no clue. I don’t know why this dog spends 98% of her life perfectly content to be in some sort of snuggle position, only to turn into a rabid beast with more attitude than Conor McGregor’s pre-fight interview.
But what I do know is this … that’s “tiny dog attitude,” and that’s how every small business owner should operate. Don’t be afraid of the big guys … attack them! Better yet … COPY THEM!!!!
These large corporations can spend millions (or billions) of dollars on marketing, advertising, and branding on a level that a small business will never be able to equal. However, what a small business can do is study the big dogs, and then emulate these practices for their own brand.
Before Wal-Mart was … well … Wal-Mart … Sam Walton built his empire by doing one thing amazingly well … studying his competition. He walked around other stores, paid attention to how things looked, where items were located, how shoppers behaved, etc etc. He then took this data back to his own store and used it to improve his own customer experience to a level that nobody else was even considering. He had “tiny dog attitude” back then that allowed him to grow into one of the biggest dogs of them all.
Soooo … that brings us to the present, where we can see what the big dog is up to, and that my friends, is first-party data collection. That’s right, the JPG Agency mantra of OWNING YOUR AUDIENCE is in full effect! (Excuse me while I sprain my shoulder patting myself on the back for a minute.)
Wal-Mart knows that the key to their continued dominance is to know, first hand, everything they possibly can about their customer, their wants and needs, their purchasing patterns, their lifestyle interest, their moods, and just about anything else they can get their hands on. And while this data leads to an enhanced shopping experience for their customers, what it also does is give them an additional cash cow that they can use with others.
Did you know Wal-Mart made $2.1 billion dollars in ad REVENUE last year? That’s right, other brands are paying Wal-Mart to get access to the data they’ve collected, and the home of “Everyday Low Prices” is poised to become one of the top ten ad agencies in the country within the next five years.
So how do we apply this to our “tiny dog attitude” lesson for the day? It’s simple … we OWN OUR AUDIENCE. We don’t rely on some social media algorithm to reach our customers or PPC ad spend or whatever. We develop ways to obtain the contact information of our customers in a way that allows us to directly engage with them without having to depend on anybody else to do it for us. Nobody … and I repeat … NOBODY is going to understand your business better than you, so why in the world would we put all of our reliance onto somebody else to do it for us?
Is there a place within our success path to do things like social media marketing, digital ad spends, and things like that? Absolutely! And we here at the JPG Agency are happy to help you do that, but we also believe very strongly in helping you develop ways to grow your direct data streams with your customers, because we know that is the true key to growth and long term success. Don’t let the big dogs strut around like they control everything … launch yourselves into the air and pin them to the ground yourself!
Here’s some additional articles/resources for the details discussed in this article today:
Walmart made $2.1 billion in advertising last year—here’s how
Walmart Media Group Rebrands to Walmart Connect in Bid to become a Top 10 US Ad Biz