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Wake up. Get ready. Rush kids out the door. Rush to work. Rush to your first meeting. It’s a daily routine for many. Throw in a seasonal time change, and it makes for a frantic Monday!

How do we break the chain of this routine and actually get stuff done? Hopefully, this email gives you a few minutes every week to think bigger picture and get your head above the daily scheduling tyranny – or at the very least, some interesting tunes and a couple of deep thoughts!

Give this song by Fleetwood Mac a listen as we see what the experts are saying this week…

FOMO and Demand

It’s not just our time that’s in high demand. Reservations at a hot restaurant, limited edition memorabilia, concert tickets – it’s no secret that scarcity marketing works wonders for businesses. People always have a fear of missing out, and it’s what motivates them to act. Thanks to this FOMO, scarcity marketing gets to thrive.

But how to decide who gets these items?

One attractive option is “first-come-first-served.” It feels fair. The theory is that people who really want what you have will spend (waste) time in line to show their commitment. But of course, this is a tax, and an uneven one at that, since some people value their time more than others.

Another is to simply auction off the scarce items. The good news is that the value of the scarce item won’t be squandered on time wasting, but goes to the company. This might feel unfair, as it rewards people with more assets, as so many things do.

The third (fairest?) method is to have a lottery. Invite your best customers or charge a commitment fee, and then randomly allocate the loot. The good news is that you won’t alienate customers who feel as though it’s their fault that they didn’t wait in line long enough, or spend enough.

Each decision has effects. And it’s up to the producer to break the silence and decide which emotions they want to be responsible for creating. How do you leverage scarcity at your organization – and what emotions does this build within your customers?

Swift Scarcity

Interested in some tickets to Taylor Swift?

You’ve probably heard all the recent fuss about ticketing – but it seems that tickets are actually in abundance! Not cheap, but you can definitely get them. So what gives?

Of course, you won’t find these tickets on Ticketmaster – you’ll need to purchase from a third-party site. But wait… TICKETMASTER IS ALSO A RESALE SITE! That’s right: with most shows, though the primary sale may be over, you can still post available seats, as long as they’re no cheaper than the original price.

So why can’t you buy Taylor Swift tickets on Ticketmaster? According to Bob Lefsetz, it’s because SHE doesn’t want you to! Taylor is in control of ticketing, but Ticketmaster is the one that takes the heat.

With all these ticketing “fiascos,” what we really have is just a small number of fans caught up in the hysteria, complaining. And they’re vocal about it, so the rest of us take notice, even if we still have no intention of going. So what is the true demand for Taylor Swift? If tickets were sold market by market, we might have found out it was less than perceived. Or maybe not. But by selling all the tickets at once, the question never came up!

It’s a complicated business, with a lot of players running in the shadows of their own kind of scarcity marketing.

And as always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello!

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat