And changed my life forever.
“She” was Katrin, an ex-girlfriend of mine (we were still friends – still are), and I’d come to visit her at her parents home in Jever in Germany.
And because Jever is where they brew a fantastic beer, she’d taken me on a guided tour.
We’d just arrived, had a few minutes to spare, and were waiting outside with a few other people.
One of them was a teenage-boy, about the same age as us, 16 or 17.
And just as we’re about to be let in, he does the ‘snot-gurgle’ (I can’t find the technical term for it, but I hope it’s descriptive enough. The act of, well, gurgling, and then spitting it all out with a loud cracking noise)
Just as Katrin had said. (well, more like “EXCLAIMED!!!” in all-caps and with 3 exclamation marks. For everyone to hear;-)
And it changed my life forever, because much to my embarrassment, I have to admit that my stupid male teenage-brain thought that doing the snot-gurgle probably wasn’t such a bad idea and that I might just copy it.
Fortunately that thought process took a fraction longer than Katrin’s public shaming of both the other teenager and all my future impulses to be disgusting (especially in the presence of a lady), so I never did. (gurgle that is)
Here’s the thing:
based on observing 4 of them here at home, I can tell you that your average teenager spends a significant amount of time in front of a mirror every day.
Later on today, I’m taking one of them to the hairdresser (when I was a lad, mum had a sauce-pan and a pair of clippers for that job)
and when the hair is done, there’s plenty of ‘product’ in it.
Then there’s the clothing. And shoes. (Imelda would be jealous…)
and having the ‘right’ kind of school-bag
etc, etc, etc.
Boy do they look and smell good.
And yet, NONE of that matters – all that time, that effort and money wasted … when you snot-gurgle.
Snot-gurgling is a FUNDAMENTAL Flaw!
Change that, and EVERYTHING changes.
But as long as you do something your ‘prospect’ doesn’t like (or finds disgusting), no matter how hard you try, they will not look at you (best case scenario) – or shame you in public (worst-case scenario).
And that, right there is what I mean when I say:
Please, (PLEASE), focus on the FUNDAMENTALS!
No amount of shiny shit added to a terrible offer is going to make that offer appealing.
And yet, that’s precisely what 99% of the population (of marketers) are doing:
they focus on ‘making things looks good’ … whilst ignoring the fact that their TOM (traffic-to-offer-match) is truly awful.
your prospective traffic thinks your offer is the equivalent of a snot-gurgle.
I know, we all want shortcuts, quick wins and as little energy expended as possible.
it’s natural, it’s even hardwired into our brains.
so, when I keep saying: “oh, btw, if you want to ‘win’ online, focus on the fundamentals, not the shortcuts“, more likely than not, your brain is telling you: “nah, ignore that, I’m hardwired to want the shortcut“.
and every time your brain does that and makes you reach for yet another piece of ‘shiny product’ …
… just remind it of the story of a teenage boy, whose life was changed in one single public shaming;-)
PS: Figuring out TOM? Simple: TEST plenty of ideas, avoid the trap of ‘feedback-myopia’, and do plenty of segmentation and surveying. The market is going to tell you what it finds appealing (and what it doesn’t!)