Exploring more intentional marketing practices has been on my mind. In the spirit of letting things go, I broke up with a certain creative software subscription last month. I’ve been a client of theirs for over 15 years. I know their products and had workflows that flowed. It was comfortable. I used to purchase their products outright and upgraded when it made sense financially and technically. When they switched to a subscription based model, I wasn’t thrilled, but it was what I knew so I embraced the change.
2020 was a challenging year for my creative business. The month I decided to fully recommit to myself and left the day job that was making me miserable was the month we went into lockdown. I continued my subscription through the rest of the year. At the beginning of 2021, my promotional rate period expired and my monthly subscription price was now more than I could justify. After weighing the pros and cons, I made the decision to cancel my subscription until my creative workload changed.
Don’t Leave; I Can Change
On the screen after I clicked “cancel my subscription”, they offered me a much lower rate as a retention strategy. I felt frustrated. It’s hard to let go of a business you built even when the pandemic changed us all and the ways we do business. It feels like failure, the deep kind where you tell yourself stories about yourself that aren’t true. The offer to pay a lower rate feels off in this moment. It feels like the crappy partner trope shouting “don’t leave, I can change!”.
Don’t wait for me to leave to offer me a lower rate for a year. Offer that lower rate to everyone. The businesses who were less affected could share those savings with their own communities. While I would love to say it’s simple and the above company is to blame, they’re not. They are simply playing the marketing game as it is in our current culture. There’s a bigger picture problem here.
All of this brought up personal boundaries in my finances as well as ways I have marketed my own businesses in the past. What’s at the root? Fear and scarcity, as well as activating core wounds and patterns to motivate a transaction.
I am tired of marketing techniques that prey on any subconscious wounds in order to turn a profit. I understand that this is the way our culture has learned to market products, however, it’s time to do better and to create more transparent ways of selling. The intention and energy behind our marketing matters. If you are using fear and scarcity (FOMO!) to market your business, you are contributing to outdated frameworks of control.
Marketing Strategies That Need To Go
I’ll Change to Keep You From Leaving
This is where the company offers you a discounted price for a time period in order to keep you from leaving. This taps subconscious abusive relationship patterns.
This strategy gives you 24 hours to decide or lose out on the offer FOREVER. It feels like an anxiety train as you rush to click the buy now button. Three months later, there it is; the SAME offer email in your inbox. You feel lied to and betrayed. Forever is bullshit. I run from these products. What is meant for me will never be taken away. This triggers subconscious scarcity wounds.
Sale Price vs. Always Price
Companies that market a huge sale for a “limited time” and you find out after the sale date that the “Sale Price” is the Always Price. You have month after month of marketing emails to prove the pattern. See FOMO above. This taps the same subconscious wound.
Withhold Supply, Inflate Demand
The companies that have aggressive hype campaigns and withhold supply in order to inflate demand creating a culture of frenzy, lack, and price gouging. I’m looking at you, Video Game Console companies. Withholding and creating chase are also unhealthy relationship patterns.
So how do we focus on solutions and move towards more intentional marketing practices?
In my experience, part of the solution has been me naming the above and developing better boundaries around how and where I spend money. I know my patterns and activations. I take the time to ask how I am feeling before making a purchase. I may pause for a day or two before making my purchase and I run from any offers that trigger fear or scarcity in me. We can examine the company’s messaging, practices, and marketing. Is there appropriation at play? Are there unfair work practices? Who are their sources? Are they targeting fear or scarcity in their messaging? If there are people modeling an item, does there appear to be diverse representation? The key here is to develop our own individual boundaries to practice. Call your power back and understand how you are being sold to.
On the collective level, the marketing industry will need to take a look at our culture of selling to people. I don’t feel there is a clear answer or one way of doing this, and I strongly believe this all starts with looking at our intentions. Take the time to ask why. Take the time to fully discuss the intention behind the way you’re going to sell something. Look for any fear or scarcity looming in the shadows. Do your business shadow work! Stop using the excuse that this is the way it’s always been done. If the past year has taught us anything it’s that we can no longer do what’s always been done. Co-creating a new culture falls on all of us as individuals and our businesses.
This isn’t about getting it perfect; this is about developing a practice that makes sense for you. Imagine supporting businesses that build healthy relationships with our lives and our communities. This is about legacy.
I am curiously exploring the idea of developing more conscious marketing practices. We’re going to make mistakes, wander around, and feel uncertain in the path forward. We’re not alone. We need to keep having the conversations and exploring the ways we sell and buy. We need to be aware of marketing shadows. As business owners it is our responsibility to take ownership in the relationships we are co-creating with our clients. Is that relationship healthy for everyone involved? What if we focused our energy on building a new framework of marketing free of subconscious triggering? What if our marketing messages built feelings of trust and abundance? Authenticity and accountability are key.
We are all worthy of being paid for our expertise. We are all worthy of abundance in all its forms. It’s time to examine the foundations, frameworks, and relationships in which we arrive there.
Did you nod your head at any point while reading this blog post? Are you looking for help with your copywriting and marketing strategies? Do you believe in co-creation and building business relationships that serve both parties? Are you interested in exploring a more intentional approach to marketing your business? Send me an email and let’s have a conversation to determine if we are a good fit to work together.