“We can’t put this content out publicly. Our competitors will copy it. What if they beat us with our own investment?” says the fearful marketing director.
“Let me tell a story” the new, upbeat salesman said.
“Once upon a time, in an effort to start closing more deals against the competition, I wrote an essay, it told some harsh truths about them. They lie. They don’t deliver what they say they will. It had testimonials from customers they scammed backing up my claims” the salesman said in an exasperated tone before continuing in a more tranquil tone.
“I put this essay out into the world. One day, months later, I was at a tradeshow, and someone from that competition found me and confronted me. They showed me the essay on their laptop, and angrily said, ‘WTH is this?!'”
“The truth.” the salesman responded.
“They pummeled me with their laptop. Talk about the competition beating someone!” he exclaimed.
“They further went on to leave comments everywhere online, refuting the truth, saying it was all fabricated, even though it wasn’t. Customers on both sides believed what they wanted, and I didn’t get anything out of the essay.”
“If I had tried to keep it quite, and share in one-on-one environments, it wouldn’t provide much value because the amount of people it relates to is enormous, and the overlap with our meetings, mostly current customers, is much smaller.”
“In the end, what’s the most powerful thing I could do?”
The silence in the room rings deep, so the salesman continues,”Focus on creating content the competition agrees with. Content they also promote to start to change the industry. As we all create information that changes the culture, we all win. No one has to make value judgments on credibility between the two companies.”
This is a made up story, but it illustrates a truth. Concerning yourself with someone stealing your content is a sure way to lower the value of ideas being shared. Focus on something truthful and compelling enough it can’t be ignored by anyone, even the competition. Then they’ll spread it, and back up your idea. You may not gain some of the competition’s market share, but you may grow the market, which provides more opportunity for everyone.