{audio}by David Amerland|How to Market in a Chronically Promotional Environment|25.11.14.mp3{/audio}


The internet has not just given us a constantly-on culture with a 24/7 mentality. It has also managed to make the environment we are in one in which promotion is a never-ending task. From the constant deep discounts of books and other products offered on Amazon to Christmas deals, Easter offers, Summer specials, Winter one-offs, Autumn build-ups and Spring special deals, we are living in a constant best-deal environment. 

The problem with that is that when every month, week, day is part of a special offer build-up it becomes hard to stand out from a crowd that’s doing the digital equivalent of yelling, without upping the volume of your own efforts. Just like anyone who has spent time trying to have a conversation at a loud party will tell you, the result of this is exactly the opposite: you end up growing hoarse, your voice growing fainter the harder you’re trying to yell. 

This is clearly something that cannot work for long which is why there is a better solution. Rather than focus all your energy into marketing campaigns that promote special deals in the hope that this leads to greater brand awareness and increased market share, you can make better use of your resources by starting and then maintaining an online conversation. 

Just like in a real conversation, the online one has a theme, a direction, asides, opinions, suggestions and back and forth interactions. Real engagement by all parties involved, in other words. The main difference is that these tend to happen across a much wider span of digital platforms, instances and time than a conventional one-to-one conversation. 

Just like in a real conversation, in order to start this you need to have something to say and a way of saying it that reflects your personality and marks you out from the crowd. In other words you need to have the kind of content and delivery that state that you are real, have a personality, believe in specific values and actually have opinions. 

Businesses that succeed in establishing themselves in this fashion still have to promote and advertise and use all of the other, traditional marketing practices, but they no longer need to shout. They already have the attention of their audience. What’s more they have that attention in a way that helps all their other marketing efforts become amplified and reach a wider audience then even they planned. 

They manage, in other words, to stand out from the crowd without seemingly trying by respecting their audience, listening to their customers and actually standing for something other than just business and money. 

And that is how you market in a chronically promotional environment.

Thank you for listening.


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