What Are You Busy Doing?

This is a post about Bob Dylan and a turkey sandwich shop in Grand Rapids, MI. It’s also a post about the importance of knowing your competitors. Naturally.

First off, I used to live in Grand Rapids, and there was place downtown that really only sold turkey sandwiches. It had been there for years. I never ate there, but I liked knowing that Blake’s was open. There’s something comforting about living in a world where a turkey sandwich shop can exist.

Then one day, without warning, they shut down.

I asked a friend about it, and he told me, “Of course they shut down. They hadn’t added a single thing to their menu in 18 years.”

Bob Dylan - Turkey Sandwiches - Competitive Marketing

Which brings me to Bob Dylan.

More specifically, it brings me to this line: “He not busy being born is busy dying.” (from “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”)

You see, that turkey shop was surrounded by a rapidly-changing environment of new businesses. But rather than seeking to understand the movements of their competitors, they chose (as far as I can tell) to keep their heads down and pretend everything was business as usual.

They weren’t busy being born; they were busy dying.

Which side of that fence is your business on?

When it comes to the web presence of our clients, we’ve found over and over that one of the best ways to uncover their marketing needs is to research their competitors. By examining their websites, keyword rankings, paid search accounts, content, and a host of other indicators, we can see how each competitor matches up.

This allows our clients to get busy being born: to move forward with confidence as they capitalize on their competitors’ weaknesses while gaining insights from their competitors’ strengths.

As that phrase “being born” implies, this is never a one-time proposition. It’s a mindset, a culture that continues to challenge the status quo, pushing your business to places it’s never been before.

What are you busy doing?