Your Competition Isn’t Necessarily Who You Think It Is

Social media and other emerging media types have given tremendous access to consumers – in places where they spend a significant amount of time. Organizations are using all social media platforms to push advertisements in an attempt to gain business from new and returning customers.

With so much information out there, brands often talk about the need to “break through the clutter” to get noticed and gain these new customers. This is extremely difficult to do – and the competition is great. In a previous blog post, I mentioned Jay Baer, the CEO of a marketing firm and consultancy called Convince & Convert. I have attended a couple of workshops with Jay, and one of the things that he impressed upon me was the need to really understand who our competitors are – and they aren’t always who you think. Just now, I pulled up my Facebook feed and these are my first four pieces of content:

  • My sister posting a picture of my nieces at a girl scouts activity
  • A Southwest airline promotion
  • A friend posting pictures from the Chicago Cubs victory parade
  • A sponsored article and advertisement from

In terms of breaking through the clutter, we are really competing for attention. Southwest Airlines isn’t just competing against other airlines, it is competing for my attention with my niece, my friend,, and many others. Within emerging media platforms, it is critical to give consumers something that really peaks their interest – against things that you know already peak their interest based on the preferences of their Social Media profiles.

It is family and friends that you are competing with, and competition is fierce!!



3 thoughts on “Your Competition Isn’t Necessarily Who You Think It Is

  1. I think breaking through the clutter is a big deal for politics too. During this election I’ve seen so much posted about the election, and honestly sometimes it is hard to even find out what is true and what is false. I see this happen not only with politics, but also with scams that go around Facebook which people love to repost.


  2. Brian,

    You really just pointed out something that I have ALWAYS been thinking. Brands are not really in competition with each other, they are trying to get our attention! Breaking through the clutter is hard because you have to find a way to stand out in the eyes of the consumer. Using social media has really helped with that because one thing I have noticed, the brands that have a greater social presence are almost always victorious.

    Thanks for saying what I was thinking! I just love when I’m on the same page with other people.


  3. I think if we all can remember one thing from the completion of our college programs at WVU, it is going to be the phrase, “Break Through the Clutter”. How many times have we heard this in our other courses and throughout this course? It really is the focal point of all of our efforts, isn’t it? If you can’t find a way to connect with people and break through the clutter, then you are essentially wasting your time as a marketer. Competition out there is fierce indeed. Marketers are becoming more educated and are becoming smarter, while consumers are following suit. It is the innovation and the “next big thing” that will continue to win over consumers. Honesty, transparency, and innovation are the three big factors that will continue to drive marketing success.


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