Resilient trees reaching for the sunWhat Is Marketing Resilience?

Categories: Marketing Resilience
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Published on: May 28, 2012

Marketing Resilience ()

The definition of resilience

I’m sometimes asked why I chose to name this blog Marketing Resilience. I look at the word “resilience” as a good way to describe getting over adversity. Picture a bonsai tree growing strong despite the frequent cutting of branches and roots. Ideally, we should be able to do that online with our marketing.

I use the motif of a resilient tree often. When I was young, I used to go camping quite a bit. The nearby White Mountains made it easy, and I liked the peace of being in the woods among the trees. That is, until someone gave me a different perspective on the trees and the forest. I was told that the forest was like a giant battleground the eternal war between trees set in incomprehensibly slow motion over decades, sometimes hundreds of years. If a tree missed just one growing season, while the end wouldn’t be quick, the end would be almost guaranteed as surrounding trees outgrew it and slowly stole its light and space.

In that sense, each and every tree is resilient in its ability to outgrow and survive among its combative neighbors. I see the current business environment, especially online, similar to a forest from that perspective. The Internet is a peaceful, isolated, almost antisocial place in the way that people can spend hours alone on it and feel connected while never uttering a word to their spouse across the room (just ask my wife…).

Resilient trees reaching for the sun

In reality, the different brands online are in a constant struggle for traffic, recognition, and reputation. New brands emerge surrounded by their big neighbors, vying for what little clout they can get until they are big enough to stand on their own. If they don’t get it, they will slowly grow weak and succumb to the surrounding wasteland of unattended URLs. Marketing resilience is the art of growing and thriving in an unpredictable online marketing world.

It surprises me how marketers behind some brands, many of them old and established, can’t seem to see it this way. Or maybe they refuse to.

How do you see online marketing? What is your online marketing metaphor?

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