The 20 Percent Edition Nr. 20: Marketing in a Synchronous World

Hello friends, and welcome to the 20th edition of The 20 Percent.

Async is my favorite mode of work and communication. I know that, sometimes, it makes me look like a dinosaur 🦖 . But, while everyone’s constantly available on Slack, Telegram, and whatnot, I prefer email.

In a world when everyone is a WhatsApp message away, people expect your instant availability. It’s not so much of an actual need, rather something we’ve grown accustomed to. But instant availability can destroy your focus. It isn’t easy to do uninterrupted, deep work nowadays. Instant availability also means immediate answers when no good answers are available.

Borrowing from Derek Sivers

When a friend says something interesting to me, I usually don’t have a reaction until much later.

When someone asks me a deep question, I say, “Hmm. I don’t know.” The next day, I have an answer.

I’m a disappointing person to try to debate or attack. I just have nothing to say in the moment, except maybe, “Good point.” Then a few days later, after thinking about it a lot, I have a response.

This probably makes me look stupid in the moment, but I don’t mind. I’m not trying to win any debates. […]

People say that your first reaction is the most honest, but I disagree. Your first reaction is usually outdated. Either it’s an answer you came up with long ago and now use instead of thinking, or it’s a knee-jerk emotional response to something in your past.

Thankfully, most website marketing is asynchronous. As a result, there’s no need for the creator and audience to engage at the same moment.

So how and why market asynchronously to an audience that expects instant answers, instant gratification, instant everything?

Why Async is Better

Marketing is communication. From getting customer feedback to helping communicate the value of your offer, nearly all of the website marketing you will create is asynchronous. This is great news because asynchronous communication is generally thought to be more effective at delivering detailed information for the following reasons:

  1. People can skim, read and pay attention for as long as they like

  2. Async media (podcasts, ebooks, websites, blogs) are information-dense

  3. Conveying high-quality information synchronously is prone to errors

  4. Async allows you to get information to any number of people at any stage of your sales funnel without relying on live demos or calls

Bridging Sync and Async

The best way to market something asynchronously while retaining the then-and-there feeling of synchronous communication is to A) repurpose your web content for traditionally synchronous channels and B) use these channels on async mode. Let me explain:

  1. Webinars: Webinars are traditionally live events. But modern webinar platforms make it possible to facilitate webinars on-demand. Many webinar-powered sales funnels are interactive webinar recordings. They replicate everything from the presenter to the live chat and other interactive features (polls, etc.) and are very difficult to distinguish from a live event.

  2. Limited time offers: Limited-time offers engage customers then and there. Using countdowns, progress bars, etc., you can convey that these events happen synchronously in the customer’s timeline and push them to action.

  3. Chatbots: Chat windows are synonymous with live messaging. Many chatbot platforms also use this technology to serve content (links, video, PDFs) as well as facilitate communication. This allows you to repurpose blog articles, FAQs and offer them in a synchronous setting.

Final Thoughts

Synchronous marketing isn’t about perfecting live content creation. Live content creating is hard, time-consuming, and error-prone. Instead, it’s about taking advantage of your very best async material and offering it in a synchronous setting.

Stay inspired,