Before the Internet a business would never have hired the same person or agency as their local competitor employs. Let that sink in for a moment.
Chances are if you are a local car dealer you have a website vendor (or ad agency) that has hundreds if not thousands of other dealers for clients, and it’s double-density for some OEMs who have an approved vendor list of (maybe 1, but) lets say 5 vendors.
Why in the world is it now considered OK to hire the same vendor as your nearest rival? It is insane to give up this competitive advantage to “be different” from your competition. This is where the sale is made! You are better, aren’t you? You are different! That is why I buy from a particular business and not the other.
So why are you trying to look just like your rival by hiring their agent?
I have personally witnessed agencies learn tricks of the trade by watching what I do, then shortly thereafter, I find that the competition is employing the same trick. That is not a coincidence. Someone at the agency watches what we are doing. Should we be successful with a technique or ad campaign, suddenly the competition is doing the same thing.
But what can I do except, via this article, point out that the client should not employ a conflicted agent.
In the legal trade, the agent (lawyer) would have to recuse themselves from practicing with one or the other client. Its the law! Isn’t that right, and doesn’t that make sense? Well apparently to many in the local digital advertising sphere, up is down and its the land of unicorns and rainbows and anything goes. Like I said, insane!
( And this is not IMHO because its poor business practice. It always has been, and always will be. As always, PLEASE, Please comment if you disagree. I would love to hear how I am wrong. )