Marketing Learnings


  1. Immediately smack them in the face with the meatiest bit.
    • Tell it straight. People don’t have time for smartassery. Smartassery is for smartasses trying to impress other smartasses, and it’s a circle jerk that doesn’t make the world a better place. What’s the single most useful thing that smartassery has ever achieved in the world? Oscar Wilde was a smartass, and he was very entertaining. He used his wit to poke holes in the bullshit of elites and ruling classes, and he helped to reveal the circus nature of reality. And that’s awesome, that’s great. But if you want to create real, lasting value, smartassery doesn’t help very much. Elon Musk can say things like “93 million miles” and “0 degrees Kelvin” and “Newton’s Third Law”, but the point is that he builds rockets that can land and relaunch, and he builds electric cars that can drive across the US while recharging quickly at free charging stations.
  2. Create real value and tell it straight. The smartassery is tedious and a waste of time.
  3. Know exactly what you’re going to say, and know exactly what you want people to take away from something. Figure out the exact action you want them to take and work backwards from there.
  4. I once spent two to three weeks- I think maybe even four weeks writing a blogpost about Oreo vs Nutella. And it was a train wreck. I tried to talk about the entire history of chocolate and about Hershey and Mars. I tried to talk about how Oreo’s advertising and promotion was great, while Nutella’s was lukewarm. I tried to argue that Nutella was a better product because it had a crazier fan base that was more addicted to the product. My problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted the reader to take away from all of that. Was I going to help you do a better job? Does it actually matter that it’s interesting that Nabisco, the holding company that runs Oreo, is short for National Biscuit Company?
  5. Headlines aren’t just about getting clicks. They’re also about helping you figure out what you want to give people, what you want to tell people.
    • And again, smartassery isn’t useful. Can you tell something to a person in a headline that’s interesting and useful by itself? If you can, do that. If you can’t, can you get them interested or curious about something, and then give that to them? Then do that.
  6. Headlines should tell people what the product is about, and what the benefit will be.
    • In a blogpost, a headline is to tell you about what the next paragraph is about, and what the benefit will be. Sometimes you don’t know what the headline should be until you’ve written the paragraph. And after that when you condense it into a headline, you find that the paragraph is redundant, and can be eliminated altogether. When that happens, eliminate it! You just saved the reader a bunch of rubbish that they didn’t have to read. That’s great. Now you can add actual meaningful context. This is how you build value, layer by layer. It involves summary and reinforcement, summary and reinforcement.
  • what I’ve learnt as a marketer. #VVmarketing
    • I think it’ll help me clear up my thoughts about why I do what I do, what I ought to be doing, and how to best do that.
    • Measure.
    • Keyword intent / Search
    • Social

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