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The data shows that more than 600,000 people got arthroscopic knee surgery in the US in 2010. It's expensive and painful. It turns out that sham surgery works just as well. That just about as many people would have found pain relief from this procedure if they had experienced fake surgery instead.
We teach modern marketing. Marketing that doesn't involve spam or tricks or hype. Marketing that sees a world bigger than you currently serve, and a market small enough to actually care about what you make. And marketing that isn't defined by spending all day in social media, pitching average stuff to the masses. The sprint is on ...
Leonard Nimoy created one of our culture's singular fictional characters. Gene Roddenberry gave him the opportunity, but it was Nimoy who developed Spock. A key moment came in one of the first episodes. Everyone on the bridge was freaking out about something or other, and Spock's line was a simple word: "Fascinating." Nimoy first delivered it in the same excited, scared tone as everyone else.
What is it that you hope to accomplish? Not what you hope to measure as a result of this social media strategy/launch, but to actually change, create or build? An easy but inaccurate measurement will only distract you. It might be easy to calibrate, arbitrary and do-able, but is that the purpose of your work? I know that there's a long history of a certain metric being a st ...
Today at 1:15 NY time, I'll be doing a Facebook Live, answering your questions about marketing. You can join us here. (Facebook archives these, so it's okay if you don't see it live... but if you're there when it happens, you can post your question). I've done a few of these over the last month or two, and it's becoming a fascinating new medium for sharing ideas.
If you want to reach more people, if you're measuring audience size, then the mantra of the last twenty years has been simple: make it dumber. Use clickbait headlines. Short sentences. Obvious ideas. Little nuance. Don't make people uncomfortable or ask them to stretch. Remind them that they were right all along. Generate a smile or a bit of indignation. Most of all, dumb it down.
Express trains run less often, make fewer stops, and if they're going where you're going, get you there faster. The local train is, of course, the opposite. Some people hop on the first train that comes. A local in the hand is worth the extra time, they say, because you're never quite sure when the express is going to get there. On the other hand, ...
When you order flowers online, they're usually delivered by a local florist. Which means the florist has a dilemma: He can deliver his very best effort and the most beautiful flowers he has in stock, even though the sender will never know his identity or buy from him again. Or he can use up t ...
Anticipating doom is brutal. And anticipating brutality is even worse. It creates an enormous amount of emotional overhead. It makes it difficult to invest, hard to make long-term plans. And it fills us with dread, short circuiting our creativity. Peace has a dividend. Economic peace, political peace, interpersonal peace. It gives us room to drea ...
Voluntary education is different from compulsory, the kind we grew up with. When you're the victim/beneficiary of compulsory education, it happens to you. You have little choice. Perhaps you choose to open your mind and do the work, but either way, here it is. Now that we're adults, though, we have choice. Endless choice.
Of course everyone wants to reach the maximum audience. To be seen by millions, to maximize return on investment, to have a huge impact. And so we fall all over ourselves to dumb it down, average it out, pleasing everyone and anyone. You can see the problem. When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone.
Ask a frog or a housefly or a dog to describe the world around us and they'll give you the wrong answer. The frog will talk about moving objects, the housefly will describe things repeated hundreds of times and the dog only sees in black and white. Of course, our vision of the world is just as flawed, just as fake.
Who do you subscribe to? And who subscribes to you? Those simple questions determine what you know and what you learn. And they influence whether a business or a charity will succeed, and whether or not lives will be changed. Newspapers are discovering that without subscribers, they can't do their work.
Marketing doesn't have to suck. It doesn't have to be a miserable experience for consumers, and it certainly doesn't have to be a distasteful, creepy or annoying task for the creator. We don't have to market at people, pin them to the wall, target them, track them, stalk them, trick them, manipulate them and sell them things they don't want. Not if we care enough to do something better.