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[ Ref:  The “Spirituality, Realities and Business” Series ]

In Part 1 of the above series, I mentioned that we decided to downgrade the use of platforms until we have a better understanding of how it works.  Allow me to expand on that.  One of the experts I consulted was my son, who is currently Director of Strategy of one of the largest Advertising companies in Malaysia.  What he told me had a profound impact on our decision to shift back to non-platform marketing.  He informed me that his company has over 200 people dedicated to platform marketing and they are still figuring out how to use it effectively.  Another issue he brought up was the constant shift in rules and procedures, that fully occupies his Team to remain current.  And so he advised me that this was perhaps not the route our small company — without that kind of resources — should take.

When I wrapped my head around what he said, I decided to relook at how marketing used to work in the early 2000s.  Back then, the mantra was “build your list”…  with course upon course on how and why we needed to do this.  In the first iteration of It’s My Life ezine, we didn’t actually have that large a list — only around 2000 plus, in addition to working with a network of like-minded publishers — but it brought us a stable income.  How?

1.  Our list was organic.  We never bought lists or hits.  And so we knew many of the people on our list.  We got to know their business and who they were.  And this proved critical.  This is also called first-level data — real people with real concerns and questions.  Because of this close interaction with our list & our networked publishers, our opening rates were very high and we got healthy advertising revenues.

But the internet today is very different.  Many are already on platforms.  So how can we navigate that?  I then discovered there are still independent businesses with lists.  Not as many as before, but enough of a base to start again.  And it was worth the attempt.  Why?

2.  Today many platforms are re-inventing their business models and the “free” services they used to provide are now slowly becoming fee-based.  I feel that, with the rise in interest rates, some may face unforeseen impacts.  Some are under threat of being banned and I suspect some may not survive the transition we are currently witnessing across the Internet World.

3.  Also, as far as I can see, the environment on platforms today lends more to price competition… and not the development of value propositions of USP (Unique Selling Propositions) where value creation is based on better services, with “spiritual” values like what we are developing for Nusantara Collection.  To communicate those values, my past experience indicates that an organic list can achieve more.  Take for instance the current trends of influencer marketing.  Influencers need to promote many Brands in order to earn sufficient income.  So they cannot articulate the needs of unique Brands effectively.

So my reasoning goes like this:  Better not to put all our eggs in one basket.  Where the platforms are heading is currently very murky.  For instance, some business grapevines are saying that Zuckerberg is shifting priority from Metaverse to AI.

With a good list, we will have greater chances of riding out this storm that is brewing.  Until we have better line of sight, we are still using platforms like our little FB community in The Spiritual Realist in Business.  Yet, at the same time, we now place a higher priority on list-building like we did in the early days. It’s slower to build that list but it’s plus point is it’s consistent and it stays our list no matter what happens in the brewing storm.

Because whatever happens that LIST remains a core asset of any business. Building USP’s lies within the control of business but building a Brand falls within the perception of our audience. So how we are presented and how we communicate builds our value proposition.

Do join me on this blog or on The Spiritual Realist in Business FB Group if you have questions or wish to discuss any blog post or topic.  Also, please help me to share my blog if you find my writing helpful.


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