In today’s marketing world, we are involved in a red queen race.
The terms comes from the book Alice in wonderland, and the exact quote goes like this:
“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
But the term has also another meaning, which is mostly used in evolutionary biology, and known as the Red Queen Effect.
In essence the red queen hypothesis states that the predator and the prey are both engaged in an evolutionary race for survival. If a prey evolves to be less likely to be caught by the predator, the latter will go extinct or evolve to counter it.
Either way, it is not good news. You either have to continuously run faster and faster, or evolve in-order not to go extinct.
For those who have been in internet marketing long enough, you surely have realized how things have changed, and how algorithms are taking over the industry little by little. The end goal of these algorithms is increasing the platform’s advertising, but in the process they are killing marketing.
Let me explain, algorithms are being tuned constantly to reduce the effect of marketing. No matter the platform, whether we are talking about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or even Google search, algorithms are fighting marketing.
Let’s start with Google. As many know, there is something called search engine optimization, which can be summed up as helping Google find your website. Google is notorious for changing the criteria that allows websites to rank higher in search results. Google even have penalties called panda and bear, to basically punish too much optimisation of the sites. This way, Google makes sure no one would be able to domesticate the algorithm. The only way to guarantee a top positions in search is by buying google ads. A good SEO agency, would be able to get you on first page, but you can not stay there, unless there is continual work to stay on first page / subscription SEO rather than SEO project, which makes Google search ads a very interesting alternative.
Youtube, is an entity of Google, thus will cover it next. For Youtube, the algorithm is different, it favors the channels that are already in the ad system, thus allowing youtube to sell ads on these videos. With the very high number of videos uploaded, this algorithm effectively kills any opportunity for new channels to grow without active promotion. Thus you either are generating money for Youtube or you need to spend money to grow your youtube.
Youtube from time to time does promote random videos, through it’s algorithm, but this is just a shadow of the viral videos of the 2007-2016.
The second big player in the game is Facebook. Facebook, had a sneaky trick, and somehow it tricked businesses into believing that they will have a direct line to their fans, then slowly slowly muted this line. In today’s facebook, pages lose fans not gain them, and reach 0.1% to 1% each time they post. The only way to get back this direct line to your fans is by boosting your posts – aka facebook ads.
Instagram, is an entity of Facebook, and had an algorithm change Lately. Like they did with facebook, the facebook team is now muting instagram, for obviously the same reasons. Monetization and increase ad revenue, means that ideally isntagram/facebook would like to give priority in the feed to the boosted posts, and if there is some space left, for the organic posts.
Twitter, is a dead channel for businesses, i am yet to find a business sector that really benefit from this media outlet. It is mostly a channel for political discord. Twitter algorithm is elitist, giving more importance to celebrities and verified profiles. Twitter continuously reduces the reach like the other platforms, but it’s algorithm is biased from the get go.
Whatever the platform you are using, you will have to continuously increase the amount of marketing to get the same effect. This is the Red Queen Marketing Effect, or why you need to run faster and faster and faster just in-order to stay in the same place!