What A $6,500 Christmas Tree Taught Me About Marketing

Ross Simmonds

This past weekend, I went down the street and bought a Christmas tree. It was the first time in 10 years since I had a real tree. See.. I’ve lived in a condo / apartment for the last decade but now that I’m in my own house and there’s no rules on artificial vs. real trees:

REAL ONES STAND UP!

And thus.. The family and I went down the street and we hunted down a tree. A chubby one was my only requirement. And when we found this tree drive fundraiser that would support a local sports team – It was perfect. The kids greeted us with santa hats on, showed us around the tree lot (note, it was pretty intense seeing that I’m on crutches) and it cost us $40.

All in all… It was worth it.

Then today…

My mind almost exploded when I saw this headline:

Christmas trees can cost as much as $6,500 in New York City according to NY Post

Christmas Trees can cost as much as $6,500 in New York

Wait… What?!?!

At first glance… That seemed INSANE.

Then I remembered my last trip to New York…

Lots of buildings. Not a lot of trees. 

Then I remembered Jay-Z / Alicia Key’s sounds…

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of… There’s nothin’ you can’t do.. Now you’re in New York…

RIGHT.

Simple economics. Supply and demand.

There’s a short supply of Christmas Trees in comparison to the demand in New York. Over here on the east coast Canada, we probably have enough trees to last another 2000 years.

In marketing (especially SEO) supply and demand is one of the most underrated concepts. On the two sides of supply and demand we have content available and we have people who want content.

The demand is when someone is looking for answers, entertainment, assistance, tools, templates, guides, etc…

The supply is what exists & shows up in their feed or search engine results page to satisfy that desire.

Let’s take a real example here:

Each month… 1,600 people go to Google and type in:

Interview Questions for Developers

That’s a pretty decent level of demand.

People want this content.

People are interested in this content.

And according to Google it turns out that there are 573 million pieces of content that could help answer that question…

Ok. So the SUPPLY is significant. This is what you’re competing with when you decide to create an asset that goes after these search terms. You’re up against every asset on the market.

Now if we tailor that down to:

“Interview Questions for Entry Level React.js Developers” 

The supply gets smaller (1M pieces of content) but so does the demand (fewer than 100 monthly searches). While this might immediately seem like small potatoes and not an opportunity worth chasing — It can be quite valuable if you’re able to also identify 16 low supply content opportunities just like this.

If you’re selling HR software you can create content that goes after developers with experience in React.js, Angular, Vue, Bootstrap, you name it… Each asset could give you the chance to reach the audience you’re trying to connect with and meat their demand.

That’s where the opportunity lies.

You need to understand the demands of your audience and figure out whether or not you can deliver that to them. This isn’t just an SEO technique either. The same can be done on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Reddit.

You just need to start by understanding the demands and wants of your audience. I talk about this a bit in my talk about the Sherlock Homeboy approach to content marketing. It’s all about reverse engineering what resonates and using it to make smarter decisions. That’s the key to uncovering scalable marketing channels.

It’s also why someone in New York can sell a tree for $6,500. People want it. There aren’t many trees available and thus… That chubby tree is worth every dime to the person willing to spend that kind of money. It might not be for everyone. But for that one individual – it was exactly what they wanted…

So… As you think about your marketing efforts remember the importance of understanding what your audience & customers want. Understand their demand. Study their behaviors. Analyze the trends.

And use it to give them a tree worth buying.

I’m hosting a free webinar with 7 growth lessons B2B marketing marketing giants. I’d love to see you there! Reserve your seat for the webinar today.

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

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