It’s getting very crowded.

New products, processes, payment systems, delivery services, communicationchannels, competitors, substitutes and, yes, new purchase criteria are rapidlyevolving, transitioning and fracturing. Pandemic-infected commerce isaccelerating change.

Clutter is apparent, albeit not recognised and addressed by all. Losses inenquiries, transactions, revenue, cash-flows, sales conversions, competitiverankings and advantages are mounting.

Consequences can be immediate, expansive, expensive and ongoing.


The coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for the widespread applicationof WFH (working from home), social distancing, hubs, Zoom conferencing andother isolating and alienating practices.

Countless businesses, individuals, networks and clusters have lost touch, andwith it empathy for and among, those whom they seek to be of service.

Hubs have developed many characteristics of the mythical “clone of silence.”Those inside become deaf to changes, innovations and the dynamics of a veryfluid marketplace. Subtle variances and nuances are not being “heard”,recognised, addressed and redressed.

Assessments of comparative and competitive advantage are often ill-founded andquickly become outdated, irrelevant and widely inaccurate or non-quantifiable.

Reasserting a presence in the marketplace is becoming an imperative.


Repeated media references to economic surges, “bounce-backs” and the like aredisconcerting to sectors, markets, entities and active individuals who areencountering inconsistent, indifferent and extremely price-sensitivecircumstances.

Increasing top-lines are not necessarily being reflected in bottom-lines,relationships, loyalty, repeat business, referrals and advocacy.

Transactions are an essential nature of the current crowded marketplace.Everyone, it seems, has or is open to a deal. A significant percentage are,single interactions.

Submissions, proposals and contacts offering deals are literally “just aroundthe corner”. Shoe leather is being worn out, as it complements online socialmedia communications.

Individual human beings and entities are making their own headlines. Audienceselection is seemingly non-discriminatory. After all, a sale is a sale.

Rapier-sharp messages and targets appear to have elapsed in currency. “Shot-gun” approaches are more common, than in recent years.


In the fight to win customers, business, relevance, profits and market-share,it is difficult to enjoy uncontested and advantageous presence in a crowdedmarketplace.

Recent corporate failures suggest some entities, products, services, apps andsegments are being subjected to “king hits”. Cascading and multiplying effectsof failures of one stakeholder do have telling impacts on others in supplychains and networks. Hiccups being experienced by global fintechs are havingprofound and immediate impacts on associate mining groups, retailers,manufacturers, logistic operations and payment systems.

Unexpected and unintended consequences can be, and are, difficult to address,redress and overcome. Sympathetic and deep-pocket governments are lessconspicuous, receptive and generous.

Collaboration is, and will remain, a key attribute in the operations andsuccess, of an increasing number of businesses, small-to medium sized inparticular. However, financial prudence and independence will remain coreissues for Boards of Directors, senior management and business owners.

During hard times, crowded settings can thin out rapidly.


Declarations about the new marketplace , new consumers and new realitiesneed not imply the need for new strategies, new tactics, new objectives andnew goals.

Crowded circumstances reflect the absence of space, “blue oceans” foradherents of that strategic planning philosophy, and scope of independentpositioning.

Indeed the prevailing reality underscores the fact that opportunities havenever been better to get close to existing, prospective, and past clients.Physical proximity, complemented with psychological and social closenesspromotes and facilitates better understanding, satisfaction and fulfilment.

Figurative and literal hugs can be so rewarding, uplifting and fulfilling.

So, business prospects can be within ready reach in a crowded marketplace, ifand when one is prepared to reconnect, re-engage, embrace customers and valuetheir mutual life-time worth.

Barry Urquhart
Conference Keynote Speaker
Marketing Focus
M: 041 983 5555
E: [email protected]

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