ROI or Die! | Where Terrorism and Marketing Meet

Whether it’s domestic, global, or on your social media feed, it’s hard to ignore the fact that theatrical terrorism and hateful outrage has penetrated into the 21st century ideological marketplace like never before. Why is that?

Research shows that along with the traditional terrorism PR playbook, the overly-complicated modern marketing and advertising ecosystem has created perfect, murky conditions for hate to flourish, proliferate, and economically thrive online.

Terrorism is essentially concerned with marketing and promoting violent/hateful political ideologies in ways that minimize resources and maximize attention.

Typically small and state-less entities, terrorists cannot traditionally garner any political recognition on the world stage, so they opt for small, extremely violent acts that focus the world’s attention on their agenda.

Along with traditional media and PR avenues, today’s terrorists have discovered how to troll & manipulate social media, hijack adtech, crypto, and the overly-complicated modern digital marketing ecosystem to create online havens and hatcheries for their piece of shit fanaticism.

Just me being crazy. Nah…

There have been plenty of articles written about this link between terrorism and marketing, (linked at the bottom and above) how ad fraud helps terrorist launder money, how social media and algorithms radicalize people; but there hasn’t been any meaningful attention or action on the part of the marketing industry to curb this or intervene in anyway.

Inspired by the concept of Useful Fiction, which author Peter Singer describes as “working at the intersection of strategic foresight, technology discovery, and narrative…” I asked myself; “who would ever agree to help a terrorist organization with their marketing strategy?”

And so, I’m proud to present; ROI or Die!” a ‘choose your own adventure’ story about a marketer that is kidnapped by a terrorist organization and forced to handle their marketing strategy.

PLAY IT HERE!

illustration – IAMNEONBROWN

Hopefully, the story gets the marketing and advertising industry thinking about ways to confront and disrupt terrorism, online hate, and prevent dangerous ideological concepts from gaining access to the general market.

Below are links to insightful books, helpful articles, and important organizations working to both combat terrorism and bring attention to the fraudulent and abusive practices hidden in the complex modern ideological marketing ecosystem.

Two important books on how online terrorism & hate marketing is irrevocably impacting the offline world; “LikeWar” by Singer & Brooking and “Messing With The Enemy” by Clint Watts

Research into marketing & terrorism:

Important Resources

Check My Ads – An awesome site run by Nandini Jammi & Claire Atkin, helping marketers understand the modern marketing ecosystem, disrupt ad fraud, and maximize their budgets by working with sites and publishers they trust.

Fou Analytics –  Another amazing site, run by Dr. Augustine Fou, helping educate marketers about better ad buys, stronger strategies, and ways ad fraud is used by criminals to launder money, disrupt society, etc.

UN Office of Counter Terrorism – The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) leads and coordinates an all-of-UN approach to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism.

Audio Blogs – Audio Content Alternatives to Traditional Podcasts

In a content shocked landscape filled with noise, the main goal in marketing is being heard, and holding the attention of your audience.

And so, having a strong grasp on the way people engage with, recognize, and recall messaging, is important when it comes to content creation. Audio blogs drive more traffic, deepen engagement, and connect in memorable ways with your audience.

So allow me to make the case for audio blogs. Outline what they are, how auditory memory works, and how audio blogs can give your brand a way to cut through the noisy competition, and get heard. 

What is an Audio Blog?

Audio blogs are content, narrated by a human, and distributed as a sound file, either as a podcast, or on sound-based social media, like SoundCloud.

Top major publications, like The Atlantic, New Yorker, and WIRED, have partnered with audio agencies, like Audm, to feature their top stories in audio form, read by quality, human narrators.


Why make ANOTHER version of existing content? 

One truth about content marketing is that you don’t always need more stuff, you can syndicate & distribute what you already have, in new formats.

Ask yourself; why don’t you read more long-form content or blogs?

Be honest! 

Most people simply do not have time to keep their eyes on the screen long enough to ingest quality content, no matter how high the quality. 

Audio blogs give the audience a way to experience content, away from the screen, creating a memorable, emotional connection. Sounds like BS, right?

According to a few informal Twitter polls, audio content connects with emotions and is found to be much more memorable than a blog post.

Neuroscience research shows that emotions impact memory making, and so, providing an audience with a way to experience content through a more expressive medium like audio, is good, sound marketing advice.

Do audio blogs increase engagement with content?

In my experience, the Time on Page analytics for blogs that feature an audio option at the top, are typically 4x that of text-only blogs.

Analytics show that engagement metrics & traffic for audio content, when compared with blogs, is always higher, sometimes by as much as 10x.

The highest average time on page metric for blogs; 1-2 minutes.

The highest average time on page for our podcast; 12 minutes.

This Is Your Brain On Audio Content

Another winning argument for audio content, is one of neurological significance, meaning that the sense of sound impacts our brains in a significant way. 

Activating our entire cerebral cortex, from the most basic limbic systems, to the most advanced parts of our consciousness, sound processing is unlike any other sensory experience, because it’s one that happens physiologically on the brain itself.

When we hear and process sound, our entire brain gets in on the game, synchronizing our bodies through rhythm with our cerebellum and nucleus accumbens, inferring pitch and timbre with our auditory cortex and amygdala, and associating memories and emotions with our hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

And all of this happens, directly on the tissues of the brain.

If we could peel back the layers in your brain, we’d be able to identify structures on your auditory cortex called tonotopic maps, on which frequency selective hairs receive wavelengths and identify, and fire in resonance with, the pitches from external sound sources.

The truth is, what goes into your ear, comes directly out of your brain.

In regards to the marketing importance of this finding it shouldn’t be lost, that sound is a distinct and memorable experience that manifests itself physiologically in a brain. 

If there is one lesson to take away for marketers looking to create memorable associations in the brain with marketing materials, listen to the latest neuroscience and create some content worth hearing. 

Combining Audio and Visual Content Marketing

The truth is, when it comes to memorizing and engaging with content, there are several different learning styles aside from auditory, including visual and tactile.

Visual and auditory memory work differently in the brain, and so, providing content that can be both seen or heard, is a clear strategic goal to ensuring your message reaches as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible.

Another benefit to audio blogs, is that your blog gets new life in search engines as a piece of audio content and gets filed like a podcast, giving your blog distribution dominance over your competitors with blogs lacking an audio alternative. 

In Conclusion

As podcasts continue to rise in popularity, and more brands & businesses join in the attentional hunger games of content marketing, audio blogs are going to become more commonplace.

Audio blogs deepen your content’s engagement in ways that are neurologically distinct and simply impossible with text.

Audio blogs are distributed and found by audiences on platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, places most blogs dare to dream.

And finally, audio blogs allow your brand and business, to make content worth hearing.

Interested to add audio content marketing, like audio blogs, into your mix? Get in touch!

Audio Drama – Stories You Have To Hear

As podcasts continue to expand in popularity, the medium is expanding it’s creative boundaries with entertaining and immersive audio fiction offerings, versus the standard “expert interview” format.

If you’re new to the world of audio drama or audio fiction, it can be a little overwhelming knowing which of the hundreds of series on offer will be worth your time.

Well, I’ve put in the hours, so lemme tell you a little history on audio drama, and then pick out a handful of current shows you simply have to listen to!

Audio Drama – A Brief History

Audio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustical storytelling performance. 

Dialogue, music, and sound effects, combine to help the listeners imagine the story in their heads, the end result being “auditory in the physical dimension and equally as powerful as a visual force in the psychological dimension.”  

Very simply, audio dramas are stories, stories are culture, and culture is humanity.

So, back in the day, to ensure culture propagated into the future, humans passed their stories on, through voice and song. This has been the case ever since we could first string grunts into a sentence.



What’s different in storytelling through audio, is the ability to “set the stage” and create an immersive experience that’s engineered to capture people’s imagination, the most notable instance being the original “War of the Worlds” radio drama broadcast in 1938, which was perceived as an actual Martian invasion, sparking real world panic.

Audio dramas were BIG business during the golden days of radio, roughly 1920-50, so “audio content marketing” is not a new thing.

The term “soap opera” originated from radio dramas originally being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

Pepsodent, Cream of Wheat, Procter & Gamble, all of these brands spent THOUSANDS of marketing dollars, over decades, sponsoring award-winning audio dramas. But it wasn’t to last.

TV started to replace radio sets in the 50’s, and most audio dramas died out.

However, they didn’t disappear. CBS Radio Mystery ran all the way till 1976. In 1981, STAR WARS was adapted as a radio drama by NPR and a few college students, the result being beyond awesome! 

These days, thanks to the proliferation of podcasts, there is a massive wave of talent and a sea change of creativity coming to audio, with new dramas being cranked out by some of the most innovative minds & actors in creative storytelling and audio production.

Current Audio Dramas You Should Listen To 

FOREST 404” – This is by far one of the best audio dramas we’ve listened to.

Forest 404 is set in the 24th century, and the protagonist, Pan, is a young woman with a boring job sorting and deleting old sound files. When she comes across the sound of a rainforest, it sets her off on a path that changes the entire world.

The acting by Pearl Mackie (Dr. Who) is superb, and the way the audio drama sparsely uses SFX and relies on first person narration for the more visual scenes is class! There is also an ecological and educational component to the show which is even more class!

Written by Tim X Atak, produced and directed by Becky Ripley, with music by Bonobo and sound design by Graham Wild.

Tumanbay” – Immersive, romantic, and enchanting, “Tumanbay’ tells the epic saga of the most magnificent city on Earth.  A Sultan fears an invasion, his servants aren’t to be trusted, spies and thieves abound, and through it all, the city of Tumanbay provides the setting for this tale of war, love, loss, and life in the desert.

Amazing sound design, very compelling narratives, and the writing, particularly by John Scott Dryden, is fantastic!

Written by John Scott Dryden & Mike Walker, produced by the BBC, with sound design by Steve Bond and music by Sascha Putnam.



Tracks” – A multi-award winning conspiracy thriller, “Tracks” follows a few different storylines throughout it’s six seasons, all with a centralizing theme of WTF.

The narrative structure of “Tracks” is so engrossing, and Romola Garai, the actress that plays the protagonist, is extremely talented at weaving in and out of narration and acting, and the writing and scientific underpinning of the script is superb. 

Most memorably, there is a scene in the first season, where two characters are in a dark, fetid basement, fumbling around for a really important piece of evidence, all the while commenting on the horrible smell, and I remember listening to it and plugging my own nose!

Written by Matthew Broughton, Produced by the BBC, Directed by Helen Perry, Music by Stu Barker.

Marvel “Wolverine” “Wolverine – The Long Night,” is an engrossing story about cults, international crime, mutants, and unsolved murders, set in the dark wilderness of Alaska. As he’s chased by his government creators, Wolverine struggles to remain indifferent to local bad-doings, but finally, brings righteousness and revenge to the perpetrators, and calm to the town. 

Written by Benjamin Percy, Directed by Brendan Baker, with Sound Design by Chloe Prasinos

Marvels” – This was a really fun series! Adapted from a 90’s comic book series by Alex Ross & Kurt Busiek, “Marvels” recounts an intergalactically huge battle in NYC, between the Fantastic Four and a giant named Galactus. 

Starring Method Man(?), as a journalist covering the disaster, (he’s excellent!) and several other super talented actors, this show was a masterclass in storytelling, and the sound design for the epic battle in the skies over Manhattan is something you have to hear to believe!

Written by Lauren Shippen, Directed by Paul Bae, with Sound Design by Mischa Stanton
Passenger List – A missing plane, a search for the truth, and a bad-ass audio drama starring Kelly Marie Tran! (Star Wars Last Jedi) This was a very thorough story, with convincing performances, always good motion to the narrative, and one that keeps you coming back and engaging you.

Not surprising, “Passenger List” is being adapted for TV, as well as continuing on to make a second season of the immersive scripted audio drama. This is a damned fine audio drama!

Co-written & Directed by John Scott Dryden, Lauren Shippen, sound design by Mark Henry Phillips, produced by Julia Thompson.

In Conclusion

With an illustrious past filled with quality content, and a bright future where audio drama deals & productions are in the works from major studios like HBO, DC Comics, Amazon, Netflix, and even brands , the trajectory of audio fiction is promising and full of potential.  

I believe, the content we choose to make in this day and age, whether it’s for business or pleasure, has to be distinct, sound authentic, and be worthy of the attention & time of listeners.

Interested in creating an audio drama for your brand? Get In Touch!

The Marketing Metaphorest – SPECTROSCOPY

Looking for a better way to describe and define marketing to clients, or for your business?

Well then, step into the Marketing Metaphorest w/ Jake Sanders! The POSMarketer, musician, audio illustrator, and content strategist mixes metaphors & marketing science, to demystify this important business development function.

The Spectroscopy of Content is an attempt to find the connective and underlying structures that all marketed messages share. 

Whether it’s account based marketing, content marketing, mass market advertising, native, guerrilla, paid, earned, owned, taglines, slogans, calls-to-action; marketing is about humans communicating with other humans.

The Spectroscopy of Content provides an understanding of human behavior, it’s shared triggers and environments, and uses this information, preemptively, to increase the relevancy and effectiveness of the marketing we choose to foist upon the world.

First – let’s cover what spectroscopy is;

Spectroscopy is a scientific measurement technique. It measures light that is emitted, absorbed, or scattered by materials and can be used to study, identify and quantify those materials. One thing that you need to remember, is that “light” is a lot more than just the colored visible light that we can see. – NASA

This is interesting for two reasons –

  1. What we see as plain, white, visible light, actually contains all the colors of the rainbow, plus a collection of wavelengths that we can’t even sense as humans.
  2. Spectroscopy breaks up a complex, noisy signal, such as light, into discrete, constituent parts, provides a glimpse of once imperceptible structures, and brings meaningful data points out of chaos.

Now, let’s bring this back to marketing. 

Content starts as this solid concept, a beam of light, ready to illuminate the minds of our target audience. 

The beam is the message, and the message is the beam. 

Strong calls to action. Tracking is set up. We’ll know what success means and we’ll be able to point to business goals that Content will help to achieve. We fire the solid beam of light into the blackness of Deep Space/The Internet/America’s Living Room.

Now, let’s briefly return to the science of light.

Light is perceived by it’s reflection off of surfaces, and two different reflections are possible – Diffuse and Specular.

Light rays travel from a source and then reflect off of an object towards our eyes. 

There are two types of reflection: specular and diffuse. Specular reflection sends discreet beams in specific directions. Diffuse reflection sends many different beams in several directions.

So what about our Content? Once our beam of light is perceived by our audience, will they, via the specular reflection principle, be able to understand specific messages or triggers embedded in the beam? Or will the light spread out into a million different meanings, fade into the background – a diffuse reflection of our loaded beam?

Well, didn’t we think about the audience and the affect our content would have on their Mind Prisms? Did we think to analyze our content’s Impact Spectrum?

A few more metaphors….

Just as prisms help to break apart light, the interpretation of marketing content happens in the audience Mind Prism. The audience’s Mind Prism, is the only medium through which your lighted message is decoded and understood.

Content is not what you think it is – it’s what your audience thinks it is.

Content is not the beam of light you send, it’s the beam of light that is received. And, further complicating things, each Mind Prism is unique and it’s absorption can change with it’s environment – and no two will absorb information the exact same way.

So in The Spectroscopy of Content, we’re seeking to consciously pre-fabricate the beam of light, knowing what spectral lines need to be absorbed by the audience, amplifying the strength of those wavelengths, and thoughtfully anticipating the myriad ways our Content may be interpreted, or misinterpreted, by the Mind Prism.

Once the light is considered through the Mind Prism, the Impact Spectrum should be analyzed and considered. To explain this last piece – we return to the light. . .

The spectrum from distant stars contain the signatures of the elements that compose the star. Spectral absorption lines in the wavelength of visible light, correspond with elements, present in the stars chemical makeup. There is a Hydrogen Line, a Sodium Line, Magnesium, etc.

In The Spectroscopy of Content, the “absorption lines” reflect the ideas or concepts that are anticipated to hit the intended Impact Spectrum – and we have several different Spectra of Understanding. Here are three versions I’ve created specifically for this piece – but there is room for thousands more!

Are we soliciting buyer behavior, are we making someone mad, are we talking about cultural values? Is this a curveball with a mysterious trajectory, a fast pitch in an elevator, or a beachball in a stadium? Does this message leave enough room for the recipient’s ego? Does the Content talk about personal things, or relevant ideas in society? Will this make them think of Church, School, the bedroom, the barber shop?

Before we launch any Content, we have to ensure that it’s light will reflect into at least one Impact Spectra, if not multiple. And although it is true that each Mind Prism is unique, certain concepts like the ones briefly covered in the above examples, work on more basic levels. Humans are unique, but human behaviors and reactions tend not to be.

In closing – The Spectroscopy of Content aims to understand the ways information impacts people on this basic level, and use this information to fortify and empower the messages we send in the future. 

Whether we’re analyzing various Mind Prisms, or the associated Impact Spectrum of a message, one thing remains true throughout this marketing metaphor. . . Our success depends not on how much we put ourselves into our marketing, but by how strongly our marketing considers it’s audience.

Want to add onto this metaphor, or find out how it can all apply to your business, hit me up on the posmarketing blog, follow me on social, and until next time – I’ll see you on the internet!

Audio Content Marketing Alternatives to Podcasts

Podcasts! Everybody’s listening to/already has one, but what if there were audio content marketing alternatives to the traditional “podcast?”

Find out how Branded Sound Experiences, Audioblogs, and Commercial Musicals might help your brand make the right kinda noise, in your marketplace.

State of The Podcast Nation

Recently the marketplace for audio content has become saturated with podcasts, and the numbers just keep going up.

If the numbers from the Edison Infinite Dial surveys are accurate, more than half of America knows what a podcast is and has listened to one, and 37% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly.

This trend in podcast listening is significant to marketers looking to add an audio component to their mix, but it does nothing to inform you on what type of podcast you should launch.

Should your podcast be like a radio show? On YouTube, no video, weekly, daily….hourly?

Should you have interviews, or just monologues, or start collecting random jokes about your cat?

Thankfully, you can get answers to the more technical questions on how to launch a podcast, in this post, “So You Wanna Start A Podcast?”

Let’s explore a few audio content marketing alternatives to podcasts.

1) Branded Sound Experience

The average lifespan for a podcast is 174 days.

Everyone says that consistency is key in marketing – but the stat above shows that most marketers and brands don’t have the attention spans, or budgets, to keep long term projects, like a traditional weekly podcast, afloat.

So, a possible answer is, a Branded Sound Experience; a limited-run podcast, that works more like a TV series, than a TV news program.

We show up to TV for different types of content, that serve different entertainment needs. For instance….

TV News is a temporal, quantitative, attention fix.

Audiences build a relationship with the anchors, the format, experience the content in repetitive, time-based packaging, and takeaway novel things, in a standard way.

TV Series are a temporary, qualitative, attention fix.

Audiences build a relationship with the characters, the story arch, experience the content in finite, seasonal packages, and takeaway standard things (romance, drama, comedy), in a novel way.

An example of Branded Sound Experience: “The Colorado Vibe”

PROBLEM – A personal injury law firm, looking to create a content marketing destination that connects with their Colorado client base, brings prominence to their brand, and affiliates their law firm, online, with notable places & people.

ANSWER – A 10-episode audio narrative, highlighting Colorado’s historical locations and legendary characters, released as a podcast on over 61 different digital platforms. Each episode uses sound design, audio journalism, music, and historical field recordings, to bring the Colorado vibe to life.

Listen to a sample here -> “Cave of The Winds Mountain Park – INTRO

2) Audio Blogs

PROBLEM – A brand that has been blogging for years, is now looking to expand into podcasts.

ANSWER – Record your blogs, and distribute the audio blogs on podcast platforms, as well as on your own site.

An audioblog inset (example)

Most people do not have time to read long-form content.

That’s why Atlantic, New York Times, WIRED, and hundreds of other publications/media companies have partnered with Audm, to feature their top stories in audio form, read by quality, human narrators.

So – does it work? Do audio blogs increase engagement with content?

In my own experience, the Time on Page (TOP) analytics for blogs that feature an audio option at the top, are typically 2-4x the TOP of text-only blogs.

One truth about content marketing is that you don’t always need more, new, stuff, you can syndicate & distribute what you already have, in new formats.

3) Commercial Musical

From the 60s-80s, companies like General Electric, McDonald’s, Ford, DuPont, Xerox, worked with musicians, composers, choreographers, to create *their own branded, Broadway-style musicals!*

HUGE original stage-productions, about soap? A compelling song-and-dance-based narrative about motor oil? These all happened!

In the AMAZING film, Bathtubs Over Broadway,” Steve Young discovers the vinyl records of these musicals, and tracks down the composers that wrote the music, and stars that got their start, in these musicals, (Martin Short, Chita Rivera, Cloris Leachman) and it is an amazing glimpse into what “content marketing” used to look like.

What if, instead of another boring podcast, there were a way for a Grammy-nominated composer & musician to create a Commercial Musical for your brand or business?

My first commercial musical; “ROI: The Musical”

Of course, I had to try this out for myself, so in an attempt to better explain the function of marketing, how sales and ROI, data, and strategy all intertwine to guide business development, I wrote ROI: The Musical”

ROI: The Musical” is a musical audio drama, in which, the leadership staff of a fictitious company, after a journey of transformation, discover that investing in marketing the business isn’t about ROI, it’s about RO-Why.  

The question business leaders should ask in regards to marketing & ROI is not “what will we get out of marketing,” but “why are we even doing this?” 

Beyond just getting more leads & business, why choose marketing?

The WHAT of marketing, the tactics & measurements of marketing can be mishandled, misinterpreted, crammed into square holes with circular logic; you want ROI, I can get you ROI.

The WHY of marketing, the strategy, is about more than a return on investments, it’s about the purpose for being in your brand’s marketplace. RO-Why.

LISTEN to the soundtrack –> https://whalehawk.bandcamp.com/album/roi-the-musical

LISTEN to the show –> https://posmarketingblog.com/2020/03/24/roi-the-musical/

Interested to learn how these audio content alternative might work for your brand or business, GET IN TOUCH.

The Marketing Metaphorest – HORSE RACING

Looking for a better way to describe and define marketing to clients, or for your business? Well then, step into the Marketing Metaphorest w/ Jake Sanders!

Marketing is like a horse race, in that people are overly-obsessed with winning & dissecting champions to discover fail-proof-strategies, which unfortunately reinforces biases, and creates ethical & strategic blind spots for business development.

1 – Winner Takes All

In horse racing, winning is everything, And so if what it takes to win may be dirty, sneaky, edgy, or otherwise, most racers that want to be “winners” entertain these thoughts, not because they are amoral, but because if the racer next to us is “enhancing” their performance, to win at all costs, then why shouldn’t we?

In George Brenkert’s excellent “Marketing Ethics,” he outlines why game and racing metaphors are incompatible with marketing ethics, exactly because they warp our sense of morality around business development decisions.

Instead of obsessing over how to “win the race” for your brand, set internal goalposts & benchmarks for “marathon” marketing performance, that are aligned with driving business results, over the long run. 

2 – More Data, Doesn’t Mean Better Prediction

Part of horse racing is dissecting champions to discover proven-strategies, and race fans will use everything, from superstition to big data, to get insights from every which seemingly all lead to big rewards.

A note on this –

In 1973, Paul Slovic, Univ. of Oregon, studied horse betting and data interpretation and found, the more data points a trained handicap setter had to predict a winning horse, the less accurate the prediction became. 

Out of a total of 88 data points, test groups were given 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40, the most accurate predictions for winning horses occurred in the group with just 5 variables. 

With more data, comes overconfidence, which in the horse racing study dramatically increased inaccurate predictions.

So – when it comes to data-driven marketing decisions, don’t be fooled, be focused. Reduce data points, and divine direction via interpretation, not intuition.  

3 – Survivorship Bias

And finally, the horse racing world, like marketing, is so biased towards understanding every nuance of winners, that strategic, possibly winning insights, gleaned from the whole competitive field, tend to be ignored because, losers don’t write the rule books.

Survivorship bias or survival bias is the logical error of concentrating on subjects that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility.

The famous example is Abraham Wald’s study on returning WW2 bombers – where he discovered that the places on the aircraft that needed reinforced armor were not the places that bullets had punctured the surviving aircraft, but where the bullets had missed, and hit the aircraft that had been shot down.

Taken in the horse race marketing context – we’re obsessed with what it takes to win a race, we fail to study and research the bounty of knowledge in what it takes to lose one.

So – to create a marketing strategy that’s robust and not reliant on the winning horse to come in – dedicate some research to the thousands of unlucky, anonymous brands that never made it, rather than studying and copying the ins-and-outs of the few, lucky, anomalous winning brands at the top of the marketing hill.

Follow The POSMarketer – https://twitter.com/POSMarketer
On LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/whalehawk/
Music by WhaleHawk – https://whalehawk.bandcamp.com/

The Marketing Metaphorest – NEWTONIAN DYNAMICS

Hey everyone, Jake Sanders, POSmarketer here, today we’re overlaying the metaphor of Newtonian Dynamics on Marketing, but first, we should probably define Newtonian Dynamics….

1) A body stays at rest, or in uniform motion, until acted on upon a force.

2) The rate of change seen in the body is proportional to the force acting upon it.

3) When a force from one body impacts another, then an equal and opposite force acts simultaneously on the impacted body.

So, are you ready to find out how this all relates to marketing? Let’s go!

A body at rest, stays at rest

Taken in a marketing context, this principle really means your brand, good ideas, solid content, won’t go anywhere without being affected by an external source of energy. You have to promote, your marketing. You have to advertise, your advertisements. 

This sounds dumb but folks are filling up their organic content bins with no plans on promoting any of it. Well, newton says, unless you got the energy to commit to it, all that content ain’t goin nowhere. 

You get out, what you put in

If the result expected from marketing strategy is huge, the energy and commitment that goes into executing the strategy needs to be equally huge.

You want SuperBowl results, but you’re only paying for junior football scrimmages…Newton says, if you want unreal results, plan to work unrealistically hard for them. 

3. Every action, has a reaction

Lastly, it’s important to remember that while external forces influence your marketing, your brand is also capable of influencing and guiding external forces. 

Marketers spend so much time reacting to things, new trends, following standards and statistics, that we forget we can create new standards, and statistics, OURSELVES.

Ad legend Bill Bernbach, had a quote, that outlines this idea…..

So Newton says, if you’re looking to create distinct, momentum for your brand, focus less on how you respond to market dynamics & trends, and more on how you can create them.

Follow POSMarketer – https://twitter.com/POSMarketer
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/whalehawk/
Music by WhaleHawk – https://whalehawk.bandcamp.com/

The Marketing Metaphorest – MOUSETRAPS

In this episode we talk: MOUSETRAPS. Is it necessary for an exterminator to know every mouse’s name, before they can do their job? Is a floor full of traps, better than a big piece of cheese? When you bait a trap with too much cheese, where does the mouse fit in?

If one of the main goals of marketing is to lure buyers out of their homes, using associated, maybe cheesy, memories, to guide behavior, action, and close the deal, then the mousetrap is a perfect metaphor to explore.

Mousetraps help explain marketing & advertising in a few ways…

To catch a lot of mice – do you need to know each one personally?

Imagine, if an exterminator came to your house and before handling the mouse problem, he wanted to get all their names.

Seems silly, but for marketers, we spend more time obsessing over “sales personas” than obsessing over selling.

In today’s hyper-targeted world, advertisers believe that marketing budgets are wasted on not understanding every movement and click of every mouse – that with enough data, we can ID all personas, find the loyalists, and get them to buy, buy, buy.

But serious research, from Byron Sharp, Ehrenberg Bass, and others, shows that personalized ads perform poorly next to generalized ads, buyers are extremely brand agnostic, and loyalty isn’t a growth strategy, if not an outright myth.

Would you rather oversee ONE plan to market and capture the attention and intention of a single category audience, mice, or have to manage MULTIPLE plans, based on THOUSANDS of individualized, market-segmentations?

That’s where AI comes in, you say? Deep learning in your martech stack? Yeah….no.

You want to attract & catch the most mice, which of the following do you think would perform the best?

Giant Cheese on Floor – think of this as mass media. Expensive.

Floor full of traps – Think of this as direct response. Exhausting.

AR projection of mice eating cheese – Think of this as social media, or influencers. Exhibitive. 

Pretty sure every CEO would be interested in the AR mousetrap – low overhead, low stakes for failure, no one get’s hurt, and no one wastes cheese. Actually, nothing happens! 

Most marketers think if they push out enough sales messaging and activity, if they lay traps all over the floor – that the mouse will show up, eventually. 
Nothing wrong with this. But overtime – the mice become wise to it, ignore the inticements. The ROI for short activations like this, diminish overtime.

In initial polls, everyone chose the giant cheese. Why? If the main point of advertising is to bring awareness and drive action, then the giant cheese hits it – it’s less important that certain mice show up, and more important that ANY and ALL cheese eating mice show up, and remember the experience. 

“When baiting a trap with cheese, leave room for the mouse.” – Saki

This quote merits deep reflection – marketers tend to bring too much of their own cheese to the marketing trap.

Too much brand puffery, too much “We,” very rarely a “You”

Every customer is looking at a brand’s advertising asking, “What’s in it for me? Where do I fit in?”

Your marketing should be relatable, not just BULL.

Before you write that next cheesy bit of copy, ask yourself, “am I leaving enough room, for the mouse?”

So – to summarize – In order to capture the most attention and intention for your brand, focus on categorization rather than segmentation, utilize broad-reaching campaigns, and make sure your marketing copy is focused on, and leaves room for, the buyer.

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The Marketing Metaphorest – TREES

Looking for a better way to describe and define marketing to clients, or for your business? Well then, step into the Marketing Metaphorest w/ Jake Sanders! The POSMarketer, musician, audio illustrator, and content strategist mixes metaphors & marketing science, to demystify this important business development function.

In this episode we talk: TREES. A single acorn contains the mighty oak, depends on a diverse forest ecosystem for distribution, and if the rate at which trees are planted, is slower than the rate at which you cut them down, then trouble starts.

ONE – Like tiny acorns contain all the information required to grow a forest of full blown oaks, a marketing campaign should 1) seek to condense required brand messaging into small, distinct, easy to ingest packages, that are 2) easily replicable, dropped by the thousands, and spread by a variety of category buyers in the audience, 3) with the knowledge that without broadcast awareness, singular behaviors will never take root.  

TWO – Like a tree can become a forest, effective marketing strategy takes a while to grow business into self-sustaining cycles. 

And if the rate at which you plant the long term strategy seeds for new business, outpaces the rate at which you seek short term rewards, (i.e. cutting down trees for fire) progress will be unattainable.


THREE – Like an interdependent collection of diverse trees & shrubs, ensures holistic health and progress for an entire forest ecosystem, marketing strategies must be diverse in tactics/methods/applications/settings, because business development that relies on a single cash crop is waiting for famine. 

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The Marketing Metaphorest – WATER

Looking for a better way to describe and define marketing to clients, or for your business?

Well then, step into the Marketing Metaphorest w/ Jake Sanders! The POSMarketer, musician, audio illustrator, and content strategist mixes metaphors & marketing science, to demystify this important business development function.

Dive into the latest episode of the Marketing Metaphorest – WATER!

In this episode we talk: WATER. Water is everywhere, but it’s quality (drinking water vs salt) and conditions it exists in (ice, clouds, liquid), can vary greatly, without ever changing it’s substance.

How else does marketing relate to water?

Marketing is like WATER in a few different ways

1)

Just like rivers and oceans were the connective tissue for thriving port-towns throughout history, developing business effectively through marketing, depends upon understanding and viewing your audience through the natural pathways that brought them to the marketplace, not just as consumers in a decision vacuum.

Too many marketers think about their product only in context of it’s relationship to their buyer, but never consider the things outside of that relationship, behaviors in the buyer’s busy life and brain, which impact a brands chance of sticking out.

When you understand the tides & behaviors of your marketplace, research the rivers your buyer crosses everyday, you create more effective, resonant marketing.

To learn more about taking a behavioral approach to marketing & advertising, I recommend  “Competing Against Luck” by Clayton Christensen and CO. and “The Advertised Mind” by the brilliant Erik DuPlessis.

2)

The quality of water in the river, leading up to a spring, isn’t equal to the water you’d drink from it – and yet, both types of water, potable and non-potable, are necessary for survival.

In this metaphor, the spring is a marketing source for clear, quality sales, and the river is a pathway that ensures traffic. Business owners need to cultivate marketing activities which secure traffic as well as leads, and should respect the differences in quality.

3)

Like water, marketing effectiveness fills the strategic vessel you pour it into. You could be under a torrent of leads, but if you only have a teacup commitment to marketing strategy, you’ll be sipping progress, when you could be chugging it.

4)

Like water, effective marketing strategy needs to be able to change and adapt, based on environmental conditions. Marketing should be lithe enough, and supported by a strong enough brand, to shift easily through varying mediums, lengths, and tone. 

Like water can become ice, liquid and vapor, while remaining water, marketing must be able to phase shift through mediums and messaging, without sacrificing brand ethos.

From email to billboards, from one-line-copy to 3,000 word white papers, and ranging in tone from boardroom-buzzwords to borderline bawdy, the execution of your marketing strategy needs to contain an element of adaptability to survive, and thrive, as the environment of your marketplace changes.

Interested to learn more about this metaphor, want to pile on your own version, or find ways to apply it all in your business? Hit me up on the POSblog, follow me on social, and until next time – I’ll see you on the internet!