August 14, 2022

Going Back to 2016

Way back in 2016, I gave a series of presentations about Customer Acquisition. As I've told you before, the audiences HATED the presentations. HATED them. Studious Millennials pulled up websites on laptops to criticize me mid-presentation ... Jaded Baby Boomers just shook their heads and told me "THAT WON'T WORK".

My favorite moment (and by favorite, I mean most disappointing) came when I presented to a room full of Business Owners and Executives. I finish the presentation. A CEO from one company (somebody many of you know) responded unfavorably, with plenty of criticism. But his criticisms were reasonable ... wrong ... but reasonable. Then a guy in a cowboy hat raises his hand.

  • "I've run my own business for thirty years and I've done just fine doing just about the exact opposite of everything you explained today. Thanks for the ideas, I'll just continue to do the opposite of what you recommend".

As he finished his comment, the room giggled and many heads nodded up-and-down.

Some of the people in that room back in 2016 reached out in 2022 ... "it's getting really expensive to acquire customers, what should we be doing to minimize costs so that we can meet our budget?"

The grumpy side of me wants to say "how about listening to me in 2016 instead of giggling?"

The practical side of me fully empathizes with the line of questioning. You have owned media, earned media, and paid media, and the person asking the question is frustrated because paid media isn't working so well.

Owned Media and Earned Media require multi-year investments in both money and energy. The work you do in 2016 pays off in 2022. Because we measure ROI via short-term tools (i.e. most digital analytics platforms), we get pushed into a Paid Media focus.

And that, dear readers, is wrong.

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