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Creating space in a crowded marketplace

Facebook, e-mail, Snapchat, ad, Twitter, text, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Instagram – is there even time to breathe anymore? Apparently, we all need a little more air these days and savvy marketers are looking to create space in the crowded marketplace.

When Harry Gordon Selfridge opened his Oxford Street department store back in 1909 he installed a Silence Room. It was a space where busy shoppers could ‘retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy’.

Hold that thought for a moment and consider that one of the best-selling books of the last few years was entitled ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’. Granted, it’s not very rock and roll. However, its author, organisation expert Marie Kondo who champions the need to get away from the ‘stuff and noise of life’, clearly hit a nerve that resonated with the world, and probably Mr. Selfridge too.

15 minutes of privacy

With the rise and rise of social media and the digitisation and personalisation of communication, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get both physical and metaphorical space from the incessant noise of modern life. Keith Grossman, head of sales at Bloomberg Media, suggests that rather than seeking our 15 minutes of fame as Andy Warhol envisaged, we are “now seeking [our] 15 minutes of privacy.”

Every week there’s a new barrage of stats that tell us we look at our phones more than our partners. Alongside the rise of social media, computer-security company McAfee estimates that emissions from spam-related emails produce 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, equivalent to 0.2% of total annual global CO2 emissions. To be honest, we’re not really sure exactly what that means, but marketers are clearly bombarding us with a whole lotta stuff we don’t want.

Return to the good old days

If you’re one of our avid blog readers, you may recall back in November we brought you news the digital detox where we were all encouraged to step away from the phone, switch off the computer and raise our eyes from the iPad. Well, as consumers are switching on ad blockers and unfollowing companies on Twitter, many marketers have returned to the good old days of printed communications.

The Harvard Business Review recently reported that companies like Anthropologie and J. Crew are now returning to printed catalogues, rather than relying on digital media. As William Powers writes in Hamlet’s BlackBerry, “A printed newspaper is even more useful now than it was 20 years ago. Like a Moleskine pad, it’s a disconnected medium that takes you out of the digital swirl into a calmer, more patient mental space.” Beautifully put Mr. Powers – you certainly sound like a chap that Mr. Selfridge would approve of.

Everything in moderation

But do pause for a mo before you delete your Twitter account and fire your web team. Social media isn’t going away. It just needs to be considered more carefully within the wider context of your marketing mix. These days less is most definitely more, so you’ve got to make sure that every communication you send counts.

And, as you might have guessed, we’re here to give you a hand! Get in touch and we can help you navigate your way through the sea of noise to the calm, open waters of success. Perhaps that’s a metaphor too far, but stick with us and we’ll help declutter your comms so your customers love you.