(Photo by Jukka Zitting )
If you’re trying to capture some of your competitor’s clients, the first step is to make your marketing plug-compatible (your offering can replace the competition’s offering as-is) – rather than trying to introduce your “better way to achieve the same goal”.
No matter how much better your new thing is, if people have to initially spend a lot of time adjusting to it, they likely won’t buy it. If a new smart phone is hard to use, people will complain and won’t recommend it to their friends. If you have a better application to manipulate numbers from spreadsheets, make sure that your software can import all major spreadsheets. Your über-fidelity headphones that require a different headphone jack won’t cause the world to dump their music players to buy your headphones.
As a minimum, provide a seamless migration experience, so they can trade the old for the new, without feeling any initial “pain”. This migration won’t immediately provide access your new game-changing features, but it will make sure that your prospective client’s investment in the “old” technology isn’t lost. In fact, you’re giving your customers a huge gift: a path to the future.
Only once people have migrated, gently provide the necessary education to have them benefit from your new offering. You don’t want them to invest their time and money migrating only to find that they wound up where they began. You want them to be able to have the best of both worlds – continued access to their past (“comfortable”) system and an opportunity to do something unimaginable in the near future.
New may be better. But old is safer. Build a bridge between the two for your marketing success.