How to Build Rip n' Replace Campaigns

Also: this company hired a team to protest against a competitor

Let’s talk about competitive rip n’ replace campaigns.

But first, why are they important? And who should do them?

They’re most beneficial for challengers to run if they compete in mature categories because they can help you find accounts that…

  1. are (probably) qualified

  2. have budget to spend on a solution like yours (they’re just spending it with your competitor)

Here are 5 steps to running your first one:

Step 1: Conduct Buyer Research

Interview at least 13 current or former competitor customers. Don’t overdo it with more interviews than you need, or you’ll risk diminishing returns.

In your interviews, figure out your buyers’ goals, pain points, and their experience with your competitor to see if you can identify strengths and weaknesses.

Step 2: Craft Compelling Messaging

Take what you learned from your buyer research and build a message that would make those buyers say, “I want that.”

  • Keep it simple

  • Speak their language

  • Don’t be self-centered (nobody cares about you)

  • Solve, don’t sell (i.e. explain how your product would make their life better or easier)

OK, but how do you bring up the competitor? Lavender has a great cold email template that lays it out like this:

  • Acknowledge the competitor

  • Ask the recipient if they’re happy with it

  • Compliment the competitor

  • Highlight the competitor’s shortcomings

  • Open up a dialogue with a question related to the shortcomings

Check out their example here.

Step 3: Choose Your Campaign Strategy

Once you’ve figured out your messaging, it’s time to pick the channels to reach your audience.

Map out the flow—when and how will you deliver your message? Some possibilities:

Inbound:

  • Google Ad —> Comparison Landing Page —> Free Trial

  • Organic posts on LI —> Competitive Webinar Registration —> Dedicated Follow-Up

  • LinkedIn Ads —> Long-Form Comparison Blog —> Demo CTA

Outbound:

  • Get a list of companies that your competitor lists as customers on their site —> reach out to them

  • Pull all closed lost opportunities from your CRM that mentioned the competitor —> reach out to the companies if it’s been longer than 6 months to see how things are going

Step 4: Offer Irresistible Incentives

Switching to a different tool is hard.

You’re essentially asking people to change processes, migrate their data, re-integrate with their tech stack, learn a new platform… so be sure to recognize this and account for it when you’re working a rip n’ replace opportunity.

Unless your product is truly 10x better than the competitor being used, consider these additional incentives to make a switch to you a no-brainer:

  • Buyouts (ask for testimonials or case studies in return)

  • Free trainings (assure your prospect that their team will know how to use your product)

  • Free migration, implementation, and integrations to remove as much friction as possible

TLDR: get creative and think outside the realm of discounts (although, those can help too).

Step 5: Test, Measure, Evolve

Challenge yourself and your team to put something together in under a month.

See what happens. Iterate.

Rip n’ replace campaigns are plays that most companies should learn to get good at.

Presented by Buried Wins

Buried Wins is a win-loss analysis provider that delivers custom insights to help you beat competitors and win new markets.

They just published a new resource that I’m in love with, called Research to Revenue, that gives you step-by-step instructions on setting up a Target Market Analysis Program which helps you:

  • understand where your business needs to win

  • identify your gaps

  • present to executives with authority

It’s the process that Buried Wins uses to fuel their business, and now you can do it on your own in 9 steps. Give it a read below.

EXAMPLES 🍊

Your weekly dose of vitamin C(ompete)

Air is a Dropbox alternative that specializes in visual-first assets for creative teams. Last week during the Adweek conference, they hired elderly protestors to hold up signs that read, “Dropbox needs botox,” while chanting “I’m too old for this sh*t! Dropbox, you need to quit!”

They also launched an accompanying website called Silicon Gables to poke fun at legacy software like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Sharepoint. Check it out here.

What'd you think of this competitive stunt?

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NEW PODCAST EPISODE 🎧

Best Sidecar Product Launch

Ready For Launch

ICYMI: I started a new podcast with a couple fantastic cohosts, Jason Oakley and Tamara Grominsky.

It’s called Ready For Launch, and we spend each episode breaking down product launches, sharing our favorites, and explaining why they work.

We just released an episode all about sidecar product launches. Check it out and let us know who won your vote!

COMPETE GEEKS ONLY 🛑✋

From the Community

Here are a couple threads that got folks talking this week.

“Wait, what’s the Healthy Competition Community again?

It’s where 100+ Product Marketers and Competitive Intel practitioners connect and share tips to help each other win.

Peachy memes 🍑

Stay Healthy, my friends.

💚Andy

PS: we’re gearing up for another Ready For Launch cohort. This 4-week cohort-based course helps you master the art of product launches—from research and strategy, to execution and measurement.

Join me, Tamara Grominsky, and Jason Oakley as we share the tools, processes, and frameworks we've used to run dozens of successful product launches at companies like ClickUp, Unbounce, Klue, Kajabi, Chili Piper, and more.

The fun starts March 26. Just click here to enroll. See you there 👊