Editor's note: This is a guest blog by Gina Balarin, Marketer, Collaborator and Storyteller
Hi marketers out there. You know me. I’m one of your competitors. We’re ever so slightly suspicious of each other. We distrust each other. We may even fight with each other.
Well I have a peace offering for you: we don’t have to be enemies, just because we’re competitors.
Okay, let’s not kid ourselves. If our companies compete for the same market share there are some pieces of information we’re not allowed to share, legally, (that would be against all sorts of anti-competition laws and we don’t want to be caught out like some of those naughty pharmaceutical companies, do we?)
But what if instead of seeing all other marketers (not just the companies they represent) as competitors, we saw them as allies instead.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend
When Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War he collected the knowledge of his era to help his generals defeat his enemies. Although these weren’t his exact words, the concept that an enemy of your enemy could potentially be your ally is certainly something that he discussed.
What if marketers were collaborative instead of combative?
It may seem controversial, but it’s actually true. Perhaps it’s just me, but I certainly had a sense, in the past, that ONLY the marketers that I shared a building with—or at least a brand—could help me. I was wrong, very wrong.
First, once I became an MCIM Chartered Marketer and an MIDM I discovered that marketers who join membership organisations like the CIM and the IDM really WANT to talk to other marketers (once we’ve stopped trying to market our companies to each other—after all, it has to be done, doesn’t it?).
Recently, I realised that collaboration amongst marketers is actually a sign of the times
And I’m proud, nae, delighted, to be part of the Oxford HubSpot User Group where I see this spirit of collaboration in action every time they host another HUG. Marketers, competitors, agencies—they all come together to share inbound marketing strategy best practice.
It’s amazing! It’s surprising! And it works!
I don’t know if it’s because we now live in a buyer-focused era, where most of our marketing tactics are visible online to both our friends and our competitors, or if it’s because marketers are increasingly realising that in order to survive in our cutting-edge world we have to collaborate and share knowledge, but one thing is certain: sharing is caring.