Does “brand” equal “expensive”?

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

It’s easy to equate “brand” with “expensive”. I just don’t think it’s helpful to automatically equate the two. I get why we might, though. For decades, the beautiful print magazine ads that were an example of brand marketing were for expensive consumer goods. While the clever, funny, memorable Superbowl ads were often for totally affordable consumer goods (beer and deodorant, for example), the media production and the ad buy themselves were very expensive. Chris Do, in my view, has an impressive brand. His is not the best example of an indie consultant brand colosseum, but his business is a perfect …

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Boon or no boon?

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

From the last Colosseum email, M. says: “I’d like you to try to disagree with yourself on this point!” The point he’s referring to: The Internet has been the realization of the wildest dreams of DR marketers (combined with a few nightmare scenes contributed by dishonest adtech brokers), but the Internet has not been an equivalent boon to brand marketers. Source Well, poof, there went my spare mental bandwidth for the weekend. 🙂 This is a fascinating question, and one that’s been rewarding to think through. I’m publishing what is the fourth version of an attempt to respond to this …

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What actually IS Direct Response Marketing

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

I got a good question about yesterday’s email: How do you define Direct Response Marketing? I could Google it and get 10 different answers, but I’m interested in the sense that guided your email. This may seem circular or reductionist but it’s marketing that invites, encourages, or demands a direct response and provides a mechanism for that response. A direct response is a sale or action that generates data that is monetized otherwise or feeds into a campaign whose purpose is a sale. Mechanisms for a direct response include: An actual sale Filling out a form Replying to an ad …

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Idea -> Tools or Tools -> Idea?

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

I’ve gone back and forth on Direct Response Marketing. I’ve used it myself, invested in learning how to use it better, had an emotional messy breakup with it, considered it the devil, and (I hope) come around to a more reasoned, balanced view of where it fits into our world as indie experts. I’m still working on that last part, but this leads me to consider reversing the assumed buy-in -> purchase tools order we’ve been considering here. It might be easier to use the good parts of DR marketing to sell tools rather than use the good parts of …

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Efficient marketing

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

If you thought about marketing exclusively from the perspective of efficiency, here’s what you’d do: 1: You’d try to find the cheapest way possible to find prospects who are almost ready to buy. 2: You’d get an offer that matches their perceived needs in front of them and use the cheapest possible methods to increase this person’s desire or sense of urgency for your offering. 3: You’d try to reduce or eliminate the need for expensive complements to the sale (expensive skilled salespeople, a costly evaluation process, pre-sale tech support, etc.) This will have implications for both the marketing and …

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Sharing with, and efficiency

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

There’s been some interesting discussion on the pop-up forum for this pop-up email list, especially this one from @KiraHiggs: Reflecting on the notion of buying in, it strikes me that it’s more of a sharing with than a buying in. Buying in connotes an offer someone puts forward that I either accept or reject. Whereas what I think you’re noodling here with is resonance, alignment, affinity. Source: https://indieexperts.freeflarum.com/d/4-buy-in/8 I agree. Ultimately it’s a participatory with. For me, it’s an offer that you create when you’re making a decision about the “where are we going” and “why are we going there” …

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The tools of progress

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

The extreme example of buy-in being free but not cheap is a gold rush. In the year 1849 it’s free to buy into the idea that California contains more easily-mineable gold than “all the people in California could take out in fifty years.” Around that time, a 30-year old named Samuel Brannan made a lot of money selling supplies to many who had bought into this idea. His store made enormous profits by selling as much as $5,000 (about $120,000 in 2005 dollars) in goods per day to miners. Source: This delightful PBS story about Samuel Brannan. It’s easy to …

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Buy-in is free, but it might not be cheap

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

These things we can buy into — ideas, philosophies, methodologies, etc — don’t cost us any money, but they might cost a lot in other terms. The first cost is the work of buying in. This can range from very little to a lot. But it’s a non-monetary cost. The work-cost of buy-in might be roughly quantifiable and it might involve second order monetary costs (ex: a real financial opportunity cost, for example), but no money actually changes hands when you buy into the thing a person or company is inviting you to buy into. Rather, the work of buy-in …

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What can you buy into?

This entry is part of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

Here’s my tentative list of the kind of things you can buy into: Philosophy Culture POV Ideals Identity Shared aspiration Distinctive method I worry the list is overly granular, but that very granularity does get us thinking in specifics, which is valuable. If your business offers people something to buy into, does it matter if that something-to-buy-into is an identity or a culture or a shared aspiration? I’m not sure it does, but if you were trying to get more clear about what idea you’d like others to buy into, then having a really granular list of lots of different, …

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Buying vs. buying into

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Colosseum: A Pop-Up Email List Exploring Brand Colosseums

There are things I buy, and there are things I buy into. Many things can be bought for some price. Our houses are full of them. Buy-in is different. I buy into things that cannot be bought for any amount of money, or have no price tag in the first place. I am bought into the idea that I can be successfully self-employed for the rest of my life. That thing — again, an idea — is not for sale anywhere at any price. You are almost certainly bought into ideas too. And methods. And points of view. And aspirations. …

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