How To Overcome and Outplay Sales and Marketing Hype For Fun

— But Can’t You Just Escape It? The Short Answer Is No.

The Basics

The problem is that for better or worse, marketing qua marketing is essential. And the other problem is that if there’s sound marketing then there’s hyped, bullshit marketing. …Bad with the good, or tolerable. There’s a straightforward chain of requirements for a decent life that culminate in the essential of marketing.

  1. Life requires a lot of values just to survive, and lot more to prosper and live comfortably and happily.
  2. It’s near impossible for an individual to acquire or produce all that’s needed for bare survival, let alone prosperity.
  3. So we’re social beings, endowed with a certain natural division of labor based upon gender (and at the un-woke extreme of that…only one gender can get pregnant), age, stature, physical prowess, intelligence, creativity, imagination, fortitude, talents, etc.
  4. In the families and small tribes of old, there was no need for marketing because…everyone knew what everyone else produced.

In the barest sense, marketing is merely getting word out to those who need it but don’t know about it. It is the creation and facilitation of markets (i.e., trade) that otherwise doesn’t exist.

So that’s good and there’s a lot of good in it. And there’s even more good. It’s the sort of marketing where a legitimate need is identified but products don’t exist; so marketing becomes a dual role of outright creation—or sourcing and integrating—then fulfillment to customers. The greatest marketing good is that which envisions the unimagined but possible, creating the products or services, and then making—not filling—the [nonexistent] market for that product or service.

Marketing is the mother of invention. It’s the quintessential question that asks: ‘what if there was…?’

…But, alas, humans wouldn’t be human if the race didn’t include the lazy legions among us who take shortcuts…producing a mountain of shit…then writing ad copy to urgently sell—BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!—its sweet aroma downwind.

And so long as people keep buying, they’ll keep producing [the crap], marketing, and selling it. We’ve all fallen victim, succumbed…too heavy on unbridled exuberance, hopes, and fantasy while being too light on discipline, thought, and self-control.

Anti Marketing

That phenomena—and no need to describe it further because we’re all intimately familiar, being inundated with it all the time—gives rise to a method dubbed anti-marketing.

That’s the headline at this page for an ad agency owner. The copy following it continues in the same vein. I got wind of that because I sent a link to this post of mine mocking standard sales copywriting while using it myself tongue-in-cheek. (It’s a post kicking off the 10-day paid-membership promotion we’re in. So, you probably won’t want to take a look.) Anyway, I sent it to Kelvin Parker, a marketer and copywriter I’ve known forever, and he shot me back that link.

I then proceeded to improve upon it.

WARNING: You’re Now On The Cusp of a Sales Funnel. This is Your Last Chance to ESCAPE! Once in the Funnel, There IS NO ESCAPE. You Will Be Motivated to Buy a Small Thing and Then We Exhaust Every Last Gram of Your Resolve With Upsell Offers AFTER You Have Paid, But BEFORE Your Order is Confirmed. And EVEN IF You Manage to Weather That Onslaught, Rest Assured That We Have Your Email Address and You’ll Be Hearing From Us (A LOT).

So, I suppose the bottom line in all of this is that you can always be real in your various marketing efforts to make a living and if universes collide, become prosperous.

You can even use all the bullshit copy stuff to your advantage through mockery.

All The Rest

This is an ironic sort of post; in that, the rest of it covers other basics loosely referred to as microeconomics and because of my affirmations and protestations therein, I’m going to have to cut it off here for the free members and public. Paid membership details, here. Hurry, before it’s too late!

This is a fairly tight presentation where I discuss the microeconomics of the firm:

  1. Willingness to pay
  2. Some will never pay no matter what
  3. Free stuff
  4. Nothing is free
  5. Piracy
  6. Free marketing
  7. Ads
  8. Loss Leaders
  9. Etc.

And I have a remarkably tight video I shot on a whim a while back, sorta forgot about it but one thing to another and I gave it a looksee and I liked it. Yea, get this…I watched my own video and far from wincing, it held my interest.

I damn near popped corn in coconut oil, taking the time as well to clarify butter.

Maybe it’ll doya too.

So, Free Members and Members of the Public. The current membership deal, good thru next Friday, 21 October, 2022, is 2 months free for the monthly subscription, $10 off the first year for the annual, and $25 off the Lifetime Membership. Here’s the announcement post with the applicable Discount Codes. But take great care. The post is littered with irrefusable hypnotic suggestions and the chances that you make it thru unscathed are slim. The other tidbit is that the price for Membership doubles on January 1st, 2023. Those who join prior to then are grandfathered, of course, and so the current discount-code offer is even more attractive to all with even an inkling of perhaps maybe someday.

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Microeconomics and Theory of the Firm

This is the boring part. I’m only writing it to give you something to skim over.

I recall taking my first economics course in college while assuming it was going to be earth-shattering and darkness-enlightening stuff about…well, about all the stuff that’s on TEEVEE all the time. Y’know. All those numbers and because they’re numbers, they’re generally not to be questioned. Of course, they differ and are characterized spun differently depending on the political makeup of any given country at any given time.

The numbers are the best representation of what’s the most politically expedient depending on, well, depending. So.

But you don’t know this stuff when you’re a college kid in the early 1980s. There weren’t even any PCs, much less an Internet, social media, or “smart” phones with apps. There was only God & Country and both were just looking out for you so much. It was palpable; you really felt the caring…the love and attention.

The differences in the political parties were largely differences in style, since in hindsight and retrospect, we all still ended up in the same place we were headed toward way on back. So, the numbers were absolutely sound and whomever occupied the halls of power…they were the numbers. Some spin only sought to get us to this point faster than the other spin…fighting by tooth and claw to get us to where we are at a distinctively slower pace. It’s regarded as rude and grounds for dismissal if you or anyone points out distinctions without differences. Just don’t do it.

So, what an exciting time it was to get the opportunity to understand all of this.

Nope. The professor kept using the word “firm.” Of course, I understood the term—it was long before the movie came out—but it just seemed like an odd way to refer to a business or a company. So nobody can wait until the next semester when it’s going to be macroeconomics. The big stuff.

How the world werks.

But as it turns out, the sound way to eventually have a good grasp of the macro is to really delve deep into the micro…the nitty-gritty of the sociology of economic human behavior as consumers/customers and as business owners and managers.

But most only end up with a vague idea of price theory—supply and demand—so that they [don’t] understand that hurricanes, twisters, earthquakes, forest fires, and floods cause price gouging. And, it’s because some enterprising marketers have the deep-seeded desire to kick people when they’re down…much like so many consumers have a tendency to hoard when disasters appear imminent. They’re obviously motivated by both low prices/supply-a-plenty and a desire to deprive other people of life’s bare necessities.

Willingness To Pay

It’s simple and straightforward. It’s the price at which someone will pay for something.

It gets complicated when you start talking about which goods and services, when and where, under what circumstances, differences in perceived value, and so on.

Do they have piercings and tats, or don’t they!

iPhone or Android?

Ford or Chevy?

Chocolate or vanilla?

The Internet, then apps, then social media took something already impossibly complex and put a power100 on it.

The Internet of the Free

Ha, The Land of the Free bromide could be construed wrongly, but that would soon be corrected. Land has never been free. Even if you didn’t pay up front or have any official offices, office holders, systems, laws, and enforcers, you would have had to protect it yourself in some way.

And homesteading was only the illusion of free, as many a broken back can attest.

The Internet ushered in—more than otherwise always—the notion that the laws of economics don’t apply anymore because, well, something something something. It’s just bits, man! I recall talking to a nephew of my wife at the time about Napster (remember that?) and the young man launched into an impassioned monologue that amounted to: ‘well, if we can get it without paying, then music should be free’…blanking out so much essential [non-contradictory] identification (i.e., logic) that I began imagining light bulbs and what it takes to make them go off.

It’s an understandable imagined promise; that this newfangled thing that “changes everything” includes capital and labor toiling evermore just so you don’t have to fork over a penny for ‘just information.’ Information isn’t really produced, see? It’s just a whole bunch of floating abstractions and like monkeys tapping out The Bible if given a quadrillion to the quadrillionth power years, they’ll eventually get it exactly right, so it just goes to prove that information should be free. Y’follow me?

“Changes everything” is not to be taken literally. It just sounds catchier than ‘changes a whole lot of stuff…but not that thing right there…or that one…not really.’

Nice try.

“I Never Pay For It”

There’s a saw that’s as old as the oldest profession.

Guys who say that…

1) have likely never experienced the straightforward, simple, clear, no-obligation trade of value for value in that way, especially in its capital…Southeast Asia. Of course, not that they would ever cop to it anyway.

Nobody ever does that, see? They don’t even go to the hundreds of thousands of girl bars, ubiquitous throughout the region. Yet somehow, those places remain open and profitable and the staff makes a living. Divine intervention would be my guess, if I had to.

2) maybe have mortgages that make them perpetually cash poor, work jobs they hate (so can pay that mortgage), two car payment and oh, the teenage daughter is about to turn 18 and mom says the daughter’s friends all got new cars from daddy and what’s it gonna look like if…? Then there’s the fancy girl’s weekends, girl’s nights out—none of which they’re invited to…just their money from the jobs they hate…that money’s as welcome as Fabio—and don’t forget that Davey has to go on that school-sponsored trip to Spain this summer and sponsorship means ‘everything except the fees and expenses.’ Plus pocket money.

Incidentally, what do roses, chocolates, a nice dinner for two, movie tickets, and 500% inflated concession goodies add up to these days? I don’t know, but I’m gonna guess it totals to a wee bit over 60 bucks.

‘But that’s different!’

If you say so.

And so in the same vein, guys—especially guys—and gals get all sorts of great values all over the internet for free. And they’ll tell you so, as surely as you’ll know which of every person in a 10-meter radius from you is vegan.

But as I point out in the video you can’t wait to watch by now, there is no free. It’s an illusion.

Take pirating movies, music, games and such via torrent downloads and streams. Used to be—back in the day—there was no streaming of movies, not even watching it on your computer after downloading it.

  1. You had to learn all about a secretive, clandestine thingy you can do to get movies for free over the Internet.
  2. Then you needed stuff. Minimally: a reasonably fast computer, a top-shelf Internet connection, a VPN—so nobody knows which mama’s basement you inhabit—and a DVD burner.
  3. And then you had to spend the time finding a good torrent source for the film, make sure it has enough “seeds” to download the file in less than a century, wait, wait, wait…and then once download complete YEAH!!! burn the file onto a DVD so that you can watch it in blissful satisfaction, knowing you just saved 3 bucks on a rental charge.

Sounds totally free to me. Oh, did I mention that those torrent sites are literally infested with not only pop up ads, but ads that by clicking to a link you have to go to, first shuttle you off to a new tab with an ad once, twice, sometimes three times BEFORE it finally takes you to the download source.

Of course, you’ve nothing better to do than close pop-ups and extraneous ad-tabs, especially when on such a money-saving mission in The Internet of the Free.

Piracy = Uncompensated Marketing Services

Upon the closer examination of the foregoing and much more if you think about it, what’s free?

Fuck all, that’s what.

But That’s Not All! Wait, There’s More!

“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.”

That can be applied a number of ways. One way to do so is to imagine that the greatest trick the anti-piracy enforcement network ever played was to convince the pirating public that they’re getting away with something and they’re just too clever.

Now, be sure to pay your VPN subscription that’s gauntlet-advertised on every pitating site ever known to man; and if you ever suspect that it makes no difference whether you pay that subscription and connect to VPN whilst downloading your illicit material…or don’t pay and download in the clear, then there must be some kinda mistake.

They’re just flipping the script.

What if some level of piracy—paid for in time and effort by everyone getting everything for free—actually facilitates and augments the marketing for a product?

So, the name of the game becomes one of keeping it in check, not eradication…much like The War On DrugsTM requires quite a lot of drugs “getting through” to make the whole drug-interdiction industry a funding success.

Now, if you go Google about piracy, you’ll only get the officially-approved narrative for results…at least on the 1st page of results or so (i.e., Google’s mission). You have to be totally weird to wonder if there are artists who might purposefully but surreptitiously release pirated copies of their work just hours and days before publicly decrying how all the piracy of their hard work is hurting them.

If there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then can you venture a guess as to why a[n] marketer artist might do that?

Loss Leaders Are Not “Free Stuff”

The most obvious difference is that you pay directly, i.e., dollars and cents, for loss leaders and not for free crap stuff.

The rules of really good loss leaders is that you offer the same quality of product, but at a break even or slight loss. Perfect example:

The 99 Baht Breakfast at Vibes on Rawai Beach, Phuket

At current exchange rates, 99 baht is $2.58 US. For that price, it ain’t makin’ any money, even in Thailand, where your overhead is bargain-basement compared to a beachfront restaurant in the States or Europe. So, midwestern-U.S. owner James isn’t profiting from that. But it’s not costing him anything or much to showcase his care, quality, atmosphere, and the cute-young-friendly-smiling Thai-girl staff. Those truly satisfied customers like me who take advantage of this smokin’ deal far more than sanity would dictate, will be back for regularly priced stuff (200-350 baht) for lunch and dinner, rest assured.

It’s also the only place I’m aware of in all of Thailand that knows how to fry eggs over-easy; but don’t let me digress over that, just now. I’ll save those frustrations for a food post.

What would a “free breakfast” look like? Do I need to ask? Who hasn’t gone to the volunteer or fundraiser thingy and been treated to cold oatmeal or barely warm, rubber-infused pancakes, garnished with margarine, flavored corn syrup, a cellulose “sausage,” and 2 heaping tablespoons of scrambled yellow-spongy-stuff from a carton?

Mouth watering, making the good cause even greater!

And finally, there’s the absurdity-trap of offering a plethora of free content over the Internet in the all-evidence-to-the-contrary hope that all those satisfied, non-paying “customers”—who use the word paywall as pejorative-with-spittle—are suddenly going to have a change of heart.

They aren’t and bless their hearts anyway. It’s not their fault, it’s yours; and it’s mine. There’s nothing you can do about it, and why would you want to? The marginal cost of a digital consumer of content on your site is miniscule. They aren’t costing you anything to service their eyeballs.

[I know this comes off as self-serving. That’s because it is. I also recognize that I’m preaching to the choir because this post is for paid members. Alas, I’m double-plus-bad, then.]

There’s only one way to turn them into paying customers. That is to offer far less free content to them and far more—and of increasing quality—to those who pay. It’s not like those who never pay for anything never pay for anything. It’s just that the bar is really high to get into their wallets and in some cases it’s just not worth it.

I go over a ridiculous scenario in the video where you have a nice, Main Street storefront with wonderful goods on display for sale. To attract more customers to the store you place a table right at the front with a bunch of free crap stuff and a sign that, predictably enough, is inscribed with, “FREE STUFF.”

…And it will work marvelously in your quest and endeavor to have a bunch of fully satisfied, non-paying “customers.”

And now, without further further scribbling, let’s get to the yammering.

Since you’ve thoroughly enjoyed, delighted in, and laughed uproariously in the careful reading of this post and watching of the video, it’s little surprise that even Heaven’s Gates could not stop you from clicking over immediately (i.e., without delay) to drop me a testimonial, good or bad.


Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

1 Comments

  1. Jill Grow on November 5, 2022 at 02:08

    This is the stupidest thing, but I think this is the first time I connected the term “marketing” to “markets”.

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