In case it was unclear: you are not competing against your competitors in digital marketing.

Well, yes you are, but they’re probably not all that much of a competitive threat when you look at the big picture.

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Photo credit: BBC One

  • You are competing for the same 24 hours of attention with His Holiness, Pope Francis, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
  • You are competing for the same 24 hours of attention with every Hollywood studio movie release.
  • You are competing for the same 24 hours of attention with Benedict Cumberbatch, Beyonce, Barack Obama, and many others.
  • You are competing for the same 24 hours of attention with NPR, Disney, the NRA, Google, Facebook, the New York Times, and Starbucks.

Your content, your digital marketing, your skills, your creations don’t just have to be better than your competitor. They have to be good enough that someone would willingly give up a slice of those 24 hours that they’ve otherwise devoted to top tier sources of information and entertainment.

When other marketers talk about making “snackable” content, it’s not because they really want to create for shorter attention spans, it’s because the chances of something giving up a wafer-thin slice of time are slightly better than someone giving up a pie-sized slice of time. Vine videos aren’t 6 seconds long because video producers and creators wanted to do really, really short form video. They’re 6 seconds long because you might get someone to watch the whole thing.

How good does your marketing have to be? It has to deserve a spot at the same table as the Pope, the President, and Carrie Underwood. I heard a fantastic quote from economist Andy Xie: demand is local, supply is global. Demand is your niche’s “local” audience and what they want to fill their day. The global supply is everyone online providing it. Your competitors are the least of your problems as a digital marketer.


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