Many people today scream about “Social Media Marketing”, yet, the hype far exceeds the actual novelties observed. The reason for the hype: there is a growing intuition that Social Media and the Net is changing the way we do and think about certain things on a fundamental level, and that’s correct. Still, there’s a lot of confusion.
Traditional economics, their methods and understandings are deeply challenged by what’s happening online. It’s time to reconsider some very basic things.
There is no competition
In marketing language they speak about competition. How to beat them, how to be better, bigger, stronger, faster than them. If you sell chocolate ice cream and your neighbor does, too that puts you into direct competition. At least that’s how the story goes…
The result of this competition talk is a lot of aggressive marketing. People think they are going to starve if they don’t advertise their business more than the other, “position their brand” ahead of the competition and so on and so forth. People come up with all kinds of marketing stunts, because there is an underlying fear that if they won’t beat the competition the competition will beat them!
The concrete result of this, then is that more thought and attention goes to outsmarting the so-called competition than to the actual core value of what you’re offering, be it a service or a product.
Since online there isn’t any limitation in terms of physical space, maybe the following might become easier to grasp:
In the same way each and every person’s individuality is unique, so is each business (if it’s a real one). There is enough room for everyone. Competition is a fear-based concept.
The Good News
While more than half of the people involved in any kind of field are busy worrying about the competition, how to outsmart them, etc. an individual or business who simply focuses on quality of service/product will eventually succeed. Why?
- investing in beating the competition costs a lot of money that could go into the direct development and improvement of the product/service
- focusing on marketing does not produce better content. In fact, the opposite is the case.
- But: Making people happy works. Make one person happy and they’ll tell their friends!
So, again. If you do what you believe in and not what market analysts tell you, your chances of success are far higher. By not following the fear of starving because of the “competition” in your field, you will have the peace of mind and confidence to offer products and services that will be so outstanding that people will come to you on their own.
There is of course also the situation where simply too many people try to do the same thing. If you have 1000 independent online shops all trying to sell the exact same T-shirt, none of them will really succeed. But that’s not because there is too much competition. It’s simply because the people behind them lack the creativity and courage to come up with something unique!
My wife always compares this with nature: There’s enough for everyone. Bluejays don’t launch marketing campaigns and spam the world with newsletters because they are afraid that the sparrows will outnumber them. If you think about it, we as human beings are probably the most afraid creature on the face of this earth.
This should give us all the more reason to break the cycle, trust in what we believe, and go forward despite of common beliefs.