Core Competency and Competitive Edge: What’s Yours?

by John Cloonan | Feb 7, 2022 | Marketing & Branding, New Ideas

Think about what your company does best, the thing that makes you who you are. That’s your core competency. It’s also the thing that gives you your edge in the marketplace. You do this thing exceptionally well. There are also underlying skills, abilities, knowledge, experience, processes, and technology that enable your company to provide the unique set of products or services you offer.  

Business owners often want to maximize time and financial resources, especially as they’re growing their business. Over the years, we’ve heard business owners share that they’re juggling marketing, bookkeeping, sales, and many other things for their business. Let’s acknowledge that there are business owners out there who seem to manage all of these different sub-tasks on their own. They watch online videos, listen to podcasts, and read articles that share how to run organizations more efficiently.  

But we have to ask: is that the best use of time and resources? The irony is that whatever’s behind the motivation to know and do all the things, that person is diluting their own core competency. Imagine if that business owner spent the time they used learning to do all the things on refining the one thing they’re best at? 

Where We Shine: Fresh Marketing  

For the team at Audacity, we focus on bold, creative marketing tactics for our clients. We’re different from other marketing agencies because we believe that bold risk doesn’t come from homogeneity. We stand firm in the belief that we can’t fulfill the promise to bring you the best, freshest, ideas without all kinds of people. Marketing is our core competency.  

We suck at accountancy. We have a great bookkeeper and an accountant to keep our finances legible and under control. We’re not lawyers, so we have a business attorney who keeps our legal butt in line.  

We know that in order to be our best, we hire out the tasks that don’t reflect our commitment to be a creative agency dedicated to generating and executing fresh ideas.  

Remember when we wrote about hiring a solo marketer 

Marketing professionals are dynamic in their range of what they can do. Their experience and education refine their craft, but they’re still one individual with one set of ideas that are formed by personal and professional experiences. While they can generally write, create new content, analyze data and guide you through fresh ideas for marketing strategies, they will have a natural proclivity towards a specific sub-category.  

Your content marketer isn’t going to have the same skills and expertise as your graphic designer. Your graphic designer isn’t an SEO expert. Few of your creative team will be good at the logistics required to pull off a successful conference. It’s asking one person to have too many skills.  

No matter what that solo marketer’s core competency, you should let them focus on that and support them by hiring an agency with a team of experts who can do the rest. If you haven’t hired a marketer, stop and think about what you want. It’s likely to cross a broad array of competencies, and if that’s the case, don’t make that hire. Contract with an agency instead.  

Marketing Guy & Strategic Polymath | Website | + posts

John’s the founder of Audacity Marketing. When he’s not racing motorcycles, he’s building marketing strategies for Audacity clients and anyone else who’ll listen.

John’s worn all the marketing hats, from consultant to agency owner to executive to university professor. He’s held leadership roles in industries from staffing to behavioral health to capital-C consulting. He’s branded or rebranded over 100 companies.

John buttresses 25+ years in marketing with an MBA from Georgia State University.

John lives with his girlfriend Suzanne, his dog Seamus, and his daughter Annie when she shows up from college.