There are a lot of new marketing terms that are floating around in the world today.

Recently I heard “scarcity marketing.” Which likely goes into the same bin as “influencer marketing,” “growth hacking,” and “millennial” anything is stupid things that stupid people use to sound smart.

But that got me to thinking about what is behind the rise of “scarcity” marketing: urgency.

Somewhere along the line, too much of our marketing and advertising seems to have lost its sense of urgency.

Which is a shame because without a sense of urgency, an emotional response, we are unlikely to ever get the reaction we are hoping for.

Be that someone buying from us.

Be that someone calling an elected official.


Making a donation.


Without the sense of urgency and an emotional push, no action is taken.


That brings me back to the idea that got me started on this which is what does marketing really do for us?

It helps us make a change.

No marketing is about the status quo.

That’s just not what marketing is there for.

Marketing is about change.

Changing your mind to buy something new, vote for someone, make a donation, take an action. For marketing to be successful, you have to stop doing something that you used to do and do something different instead.

That’s the challenge many of us deal with today. We don’t ever motivate our prospects and our customers to take some kind of action.

Why is that?

For one, we are often afraid to feel pushy.

There are tons of people spouting off about inbound marketing, which is great. If you are doing successful content marketing, you should have some leads coming in.


I’ll take the leads anywhere I can get them and if they have raised their hands for me to talk with them, all the better.

The challenge here is that if you rely solely on inbound marketing, you may not be getting enough leads.

But you keep pushing for more inbound leads because you don’t want to be pushy because some stupid, likely misconstrued data point, tells you that the average buyer is 84.2% of the way to a buying decision before they engage you.

That may be true and if that is the case, you are also behind.

Second, we don’t know how to ask.

I’ve written a ton on my LinkedIn blog about how poor so many marketing email call-t0-actions are.

The thing is, I know that the people writing these things don’t try to write them poorly. They just don’t know how to write them well.

There’s any number of reasons for that including a dumbing down of the language we use to make more and more things have less clear delineation.

There’s a misguided belief that just leading someone to the right place will make them make the right decision.

And, there is that fear of being pushy that comes into play as well.

Which makes our CTAs weak and ineffective.

Finally, we’ve lost touch with the human in marketing.

In too many cases, we have fallen in love with data in every form and decision.

This is great.

Data is a fantastic tool to analyze decisions and actions and to figure out how to take better actions. The challenge is that data isn’t always a really good tool for developing a connection with people.

Unfortunately, too many of our decisions are less about emotion and more about data.

Let me put this out there, there is no such thing as a rational buyer. No matter what the context.

All buying decisions are based on emotion.

Knowing these issues to creating change, how can we improve the rationale for change?

First, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and making change:

If you buy the hypothesis that marketing is about change, you need to be an advocate for that change.

That’s it, full stop.

To do that, you can’t be afraid to make the case for change.

Sell your vision for change.

Sell your ideas.

Push for your solutions.

Second, ask for the next step:

Anthony Iannarino wrote a great sales book that came out in August called The Lost Art of Closing. In his book, Anthony talks about the 10 closes you need to make a sale.

He says that closing is a natural part of the sales process, but not a one time event. It is an ongoing conversation with your prospects and buyers.

The key takeaway being that you have to ask for the person on the other end of the purchase or the decisions to take the next step with you.

That’s so true.

You have to do that.

Finally, put a little bit of humanity back into your marketing:

In the world of sports, we have seen the games become more and more billboards for corporate impressions.

The logos are all cut from the same cloth.

The ads are all painfully similar in tone, texture, and content.

The games are pumped full of the same commercials, the same noise, and the same mundane announcing.

All in all, they can become monotonous.

This is true on TV or in person.

This has happened because the leaders of these efforts have forgotten that there are people on the other end of the relationship.

They may say that they care, but the actions they take show otherwise.

Sports is just one example.

Look at so much of our digital advertising. Those banners that are plastered everywhere. The way that ads follow us around the web due to cookies. Almost everything is made from the point of view that the data says this.

But what does the human side of you say?

Instead of looking to create the most contacts you can make, why not focus on making the meaningful connection?

Instead of just trying to do more, maybe less but more personal connection matters?

The key thing here is that marketing is about change and change is likely required from you as well. Because if you don’t create the change, it is never going to happen.