Competing with Self

Rishi Rawat Blog Posts Leave a Comment

I’m reading a book about Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie used a clever strategy to maximize productivity at his steel plants. He would pit plant against plant. You might be wondering, “How is what happened at a steel plant relevant here?

I’m mentioning this because I believe you can use a similar strategy for your site. Let me explain … is a major retailer of hearing aids. Their 2 top-selling products are:

MDHearingAid PRO

MDHearingAid AIR

Both sell in high volume.

To boost sales further I’d break my marketing team into 2 groups and assign each one of those 2 best sellers. I would then have them compete. The goal is to see which team is able to drive more first-time buyers. Here are the ways in which the teams will be able to compete:

1: Each team can rewrite their product description as long as the look/tone of the page remains consistent with the rest of the site.

2: Each team will get their own online ad budget so they can drive traffic to their own page (Facebook, banner, affiliate, influencer, AdWords, AdSense, it doesn’t matter.)

3: Each team will be able to create new video content for marketing purposes.

4: The teams will be allowed to update the product images and thumbnails on their product page:


5: Teams can email past purchasers for ideas to improve the product descriptions and generate new reviews, video testimonials, or word-of-mouth marketing.

6: Teams will be allowed to configure special marketing campaigns on their product page. For example, the PRO team might want to add custom code on their page so that after 2 minutes on the site page visitors get a prompt that says, “sign up for a secret to buying the perfect hearing aid”. On the backend of the signup, we will have an automated email series. See the image below for a mockup of this idea:


7: Teams would even be allowed to offer special discounts/incentives on their product pages, as long as the discount doesn’t negatively impact net profits for that item.

8: Teams can decide if they want to focus on the mobile or desktop version of the page. For most sites, the mobile product page has way more upside potential so the team might decide to focus their entire effort on the mobile experience on the page.

9: Teams can even take over “chat” for their designated pages. When customers click chat they’ll be talking directly to the team.  In fact, you could even apply that to the incoming calls associated with each product page.

The bottom line is we’re treating MDHearingAid PRO and MDHearingAid AIR as their own independent units with profit and loss responsibilities.

This is just a small listing of the ways in which these teams can compete. I’m sure you’ll be able to add to this list for your unique site.

The next part is measuring success:

A: We would run the challenge over a 60 day period.

B: The winning team would get an $8,200 prize.

C: Success will be measured by new sales.

Why this would work: Humans love competition. This will shake things up. Marketing teams would enjoy having more voice over their work. It would help build team learnings. It would build teamwork (no more fighting between the AdWords team and customer service). It’s no longer the boss saying, “we can’t do that.” Now the team can see first hand why some ideas work and others fail.

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