November 22, 2020

Opting Out

Last week was fun ... I wrote about risk ... and close to 1% of subscribers opted-out, citing that "CONTENT IS NO LONGER RELEVANT".

I've always judged that when many people unsubscribe because CONTENT IS NO LONGER RELEVANT that I am headed down the right path. I lost a ton of subscribers back in 2013 when I started talking about the importance of merchandise performance ... then I generated more annual revenue over the next three years than during any other three year period ... because you (the loyal reader) hired me to analyze merchandise performance.

I've learned a lot about the audience over the past fourteen years. A key finding is that the audience tends to want very specific answers to very specific questions. If I write about general topics that relate to general questions, the audience rebels.

In recent years, a fraction of the audience has become more combative. These individuals want very specific answers to very specific questions ... and more important, they want to ARGUE about specific answers. The arguing is the end result that "some" readers seem to embrace ... sort of like in politics. The reader can "appear" smart by arguing a small fact in a large argument, without ever having to apply any smarts to a challenging business situation.

I had one subscriber who was with me for several years. This person held a C-Level position with a company that was headed toward bankruptcy. This person always argued ... he wasn't mean (he was very kind to be honest, I assume a very good person), but he was always nitpicking 5% of an argument in an effort to invalidate 100% of an argument. He was quite good at this. I can't imagine how frustrating it would have been to work for this individual. Worse, he had answers to every specific argument you could imagine ("here are four reasons why Amazon will not take over e-commerce") but didn't have a single argument for solving the problem at hand ... that being, of course, the fact that his own company was headed into bankruptcy. 

His company went bankrupt.

You didn't opt out last week ... I know that because you are still reading today's post. That means you are at least somewhat open-minded to different concepts. Frequently I develop ideas as a stream-of-thought over several days/weeks, and those ideas infrequently become products that eventually help your business. That's how I use this blog. I use it to develop concepts. I'm not trying to provide a specific answer to a specific question. I'm trying to hover a level or two above specific answers to specific questions. If I do that successfully, your business performance can improve.


P.S.: Speaking of highly specific answers, here is an example of what I am talking about, one that everybody can form an opinion of (click here). This is what so many readers want ... a highly specific solution that everybody can "weigh in on".


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