Sometimes reading the USPS-required Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (form 3685) can reveal a lot about the state of one’s industry.
As a direct marketing and postal junkie, I find USPS forms fascinating. (I don’t get out much.)
I was looking up something about Net Promoter Score recently, and re-read Byron Sharp’s takedown of Fred Reichheld’s shoddy work behind NPS from the Winter 2008 issue of Marketing Research. The most recent form 3685 was printed on page 28. Note the the total distribution of 4,164 copies. I think the circulation has only gotten smaller.
Imagine how many people read research publications–full of boring math–versus those that watch GaryVee videos, which are supposedly about marketing. Any wonder our industry is in its current state?
Takeaway: Be the former and read primary research. Ignore charlatans like GaryVee and Shingy. And win.
I was recently interviewed by Tim Furey, CEO of MarketBridge, on The Last Mile Podcast. Among our discussion of SAC, CAC, LTV, ROI, other three-letter acronyms, we also spent time on “first mile” marketing problems.
As a practicing performance/direct response marketer, I’ve always first asked myself or my clients a few strategic, or “first mile” questions. Questions like:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your allowable?
- What is your objective with this campaign, product launch, etc?
- What does success look like?
I’ve had senior product managers, or product marketing leads respond with blank stares when I ask these questions. As a classically-trained direct mail (OK–I’m a “junk mail” guy), I learned to start with the allowable. Knowing unit economics and fixed or overhead costs, won’t guarantee a winning campaign or new channel test. But at least you won’t be in the situation of losing money on every sale, but making it up in volume.
For years my policy when I was sick was that if I could get vertical, I went to the office. One time, about twenty years ago, I got into the office just fine. I then spent the next two hours mustering the strength to get into the car to go back home to bed. It was obviously a flawed personal policy, that came out of duty to my job.
I’ve spent the last couple of days fighting the flu–wisely, from my bed–and handling enormous grief in our family at the loss of my brother-in-law on Sunday. To not be able to console my wife for fear of getting her sick troubles me terribly. The possibility of being unable to attend my brother-in-law’s service to pay proper respect to a great man left me sleepless last night.
On Saturday my sister-in-law advised us that he wouldn’t have long to live. When we arrived at the hospital, we found family and friends, in various stages of grief and numbness. There wasn’t anything any of us could do, only offer support.
No CEO or executive from one of the companies he worked for was there. No demanding client that he gave up holiday time with family. No former bosses who expected him to drag himself into work sick. Only family.
Now how important is that meeting or Powerpoint again?
When my brother-in-law passed away early Sunday, his wife was by his side. I hope to be as lucky. Godspeed, John.
Posted in Philosophy
I just turned the WordPress WordAds monetization tool back on. Doing a little test.
“Any industry that values systems and processes over talent is an industry in decay.”
Wrote Bob Hoffman today, reminding us that the adtech, martech, …aaS, and whatever other stuff we’ve cobbled into a tech stack isn’t our secret sauce.
Like the Warriors, it is the talent and experience that makes the difference.