When we were just starting to build out the marketing team, there was this one book in particular that we borrowed from: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout.

And according to the very first law, called the Law of Leadership, it’s better to enter a market first than to do it later with a better product. But since we were entering a space that was swarming with 5,000+ competitors, first-mover advantage wasn’t exactly in the cards for us.

And so we had to resort to law number 2: The Law of Category, which suggests that it’s better to create your own category than to try to compete in a crowded one.

What’s important to note here is that market and category are two distinctly different things. While marketing software is a market, inbound marketing would be a category. And the category doesn’t have to be radically different from the market — just different enough.

Think light beer versus imported light beer and you’ve got the difference.

Now, a lot of people don’t know this but we spent two years trying to come up with a name for our category. We can’t even tell you how many conversations we had with the team trying to come up with something that would accurately describe what we do.

The truth is that when we finally came up with conversational marketing, DC didn’t even like it at first. But because we committed to it and made a point of using it, it only took our customers a couple of weeks to pick up on it. They started saying it back to us.

And then a month later, we started to see non-customers tweet about it.

Fast forward a few more months, and the term was everywhere. Hundreds of companies around the world were talking about it, major publications were writing about it, competitors were starting to use it and we owned it.

In the spring of 2018 the number of jobs in conversational marketing had quadrupled from the previous year according to AngelList.

Jobs in conversational marketing

And that’s when we knew we had something.

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