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Brand OverextensionI read with great interest about another company forsaking email marketing – this time, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s. Good. Thank you very much!

Why am I thanking them? Here’s the thing about marketing in a global digital economy: you’re not competing with your regular competitors. Ben & Jerry’s isn’t just competing with rival ice cream maker Friendly’s. Ben & Jerry’s is competing with me. They’re competing with you, too.

In the digital age, attention is the most prized commodity we can possibly have. Every message you receive has the potential to consume your attention for a split second or longer. A well-known, trusted brand like Ben & Jerry’s will automatically command more attention than a message from you or me. Think about that for a second. Ben & Jerry’s is known for doing lots of good things and for being generous. If there’s a message in your inbox with a free ice cream cone from them, chances are anything that you or I have to offer is probably going to pale in comparison.

Happily for us, they’ve put themselves out of the running for attention in the inbox, clearing space and attention for the rest of us, and so I thank them.

If you’re a competent marketer in the digital age, understand that you compete with everything and everyone for attention. Use every channel and avenue at your disposal, or risk losing share of mind with your prospects and customers.

Disclosure: I work for an email marketing company. My viewpoint had better be biased or I’m doing it wrong.

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