Recently I was speaking with one of MMC®’s clients and he asked me, “Chuck, what can I do about my competitors copying everything I do?” He went on to say two golf properties in his area follow every move his course makes now that he has run one of MMC®’s campaigns and try to copy (steal) their ideas. I could clearly hear his frustration and anger over the phone so I let him pontificate on the subject in hopes once it was off of his chest he would feel better. After which, I shared with him this:
Ever since the conception of MMC®, we have had unscrupulous people try to copy (steal) our ideas and pass them off as their own original thoughts. MMC® has a new mom-and-pop start-up trying to copy our information at least a couple times a year. They even go as far as plagiarizing MMC®’s vocabulary word for word e.g., performance-based, no-risk, specializes in, millions of dollars in revenue for our clients, etc. It gets so blatant at times it makes you ashamed for them. Even now, there is a golf marketing company that has been in business for years with a video on YouTube with MMC®’s logo in their description line as if they just copied our description but forgot to take off our name. J I LOVE IT
If you are the originator of any product or idea you will always have far more to offer your clients than any thief. A thief can only sit in the shadows and wait for something easy to steal and thanks to the internet it makes it that much easier; people can just go to your website and pick and plagiarize what they want. I emphasize the word “easy” because thieves are petrified and incapable of hard work. These white collar criminals are kind of like car thieves who paint a stolen car to disguise it and sell it. Ninety-nine percent of the car is the owner’s but the thief thinks by changing it one percent (and he/she probably stole that one percent from someone else as well) will allow them to pass it off as their own. A new paint job doesn’t qualify as ownership.
If you are the “real deal” you are constantly coming up with innovative ways to improve your golf product(s) and/or golf service(s). For example, we have a ton of free information on growing the game, your golf course and your golf career on MMC®’s website. We are adding new content and value daily and have been doing so for several years. We can’t stop adding content and value just because of a few thieves. Our focus is on helping the 99% who are honest hardworking people. This is what you need to do for your golf course. Constantly add more value for your golfers. Keep innovating, researching (not to be confused with stealing) programs, packages and products. Engage your golfers and community on a regular basis. Prove to everyone you have so much to offer the well will never run dry. Don’t worry about your competitors stealing your ideas; they will be found out and purged out soon enough. Keep focused on giving value to your golfers and the best ways to do that is by thinking out-side-the-box and never stop giving.
Think of it this way…when thieves are following you around to see what you will do next, they are, in essence, screaming to the top of their lungs, “you are the greatest; I want so desperately to be like you”. Take pride in knowing you are doing something well enough to catch the attention of others. I always talk about numbers and you must consider the numerous golfers who will receive enormous value from your innovative ideas, promotions and programs. The value you provide your golfers far outweigh the few ideas that may be stolen by your competitors/copycats. Stay focused on why you are in the golf business i.e., to grow the game, your golf course and your golf career.