[The below blog is part of a “blogbattle”competition I was part of at Traffic4U. It is written for the awesome marketers of the future. Our future storytellers. It is designed to inspire them to understand the question before answering it. The answers you seek live in the question that trigger them. Enjoy – if you dare! 😉 ]
Ok u f*ckers. Time to pay attention…
Ask yourself: Who am I?
- A headline reader too important and busy commoditizing myself into a robot… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commoditization
- A student of knowledge seeking applied experience in search of wisdom, as no fucking robot or its creator is going to outsmart me…
A or B? It’s your choice…
The A’s probably did not get this far.
The B’s have made a wise choice. Keep reading…
A couple of months back I was asked the question: How can I sell more shit?
I froze. I chocked. I failed to give the answer to this question. It almost destroyed me. I was paralyzed for weeks. It drove me insane. Kept me up at night. Why?
Why did such a question almost ruin me? If such a question could have such a powerful impact on me, should it not imply that it is a beautiful question? A question worth taking the time to breakdown and try to understand? After all, a beautiful question is a question that makes you think. It arouses so much emotion that you end up devoting all of your life trying to answer it. Some philosophers have been captivated by these beautiful questions – Why do we exist? What is consciousness? Where do we come from?
“There are no dumb questions. Only dumb answers.”
This is why I froze. I prefer silence than opening my mouth and giving a dumb answer to demonstrate my ignorance and lack of respect for a question. The answer can always be found within the question. But in order to find it, you must first understand the question, who is asking and why.
At first, terrible feelings started to stir up in my conscience. My crocodile brain took over and filtered this question as stupid, dumb and danger…
“Please ignore dumb shit” – my brain screamed to me.
No one needs more shit in this world. There is enough shit as it is so please keep your shit to yourself and stop bothering others with it. We have too much shit already. We suffer from deadly sins such as greed and gluttony. Over consumption. It makes us fat, unhappy, entitled, egotistical… its ruined so many great men and woman. Fuck that.
Man… was I going through the chasm of hell? And this question drove me there. It was the cause of my suffering and I needed to confront it, for my own survival. If this question had this amount of impact on me, then there was one thing I was certain of: it’s a question worth my time.
Failure to answer this question would have resulted in me resigning from my job. But that would have meant leaving so many people behind who I felt still needed me. It would have been a devastating failure for me. But maybe my failure had already come and gone. The moment I chocked. The moment I froze. At that very second the question was asked, I realized later, was the failing moment. A key moment one needs to recognize and deal with if one is to grow, and improve, and overcome obstacles.
This was my obstacle and I needed to overcome it at any cost. It became my mission. And this obstacle was the catalyst to me overcoming my fear of shit. My fear of crap in this world. The grit, determination and devotion I put into overcoming my fear for this question lead me to success. I won.
Because I recognized that the problem was not in the person asking the question, but within myself. And the solution was hidden in the question itself and the way I interpreted it. I had to leave my ego behind because more often than not, it’s your ego that is your enemy. It’s you, against yourself.
“If you feel it’s you against the world, it’s much more likely, that it’s you against Yourself”
If you remember anything from this post it’s this: there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers.
So, what the fuck happened and what is my fucking point?
Remember this saying? Most of us have heard this before:
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
You see, as disgusting as shit is, we would die without it. Some creatures in this world such as the dung beetle rely on shit to survive as a species. Shit is an essential step in the circle of life, decomposing nutrients back to Mother Nature to create new life. In the case of the dung beetle, shit is what they are born in. And spend the first critical moments of their life in. It’s the giver of life. Albert Einstein even developed the law of conservation of matter, which describes this very theory across the universe.
Ones man’s shit is another man’s treasure.
The answer to the question: How to sell more shit?
Find others who care about your shit.
That’s it. Find the others. A beautiful question deserves a beautiful answer. If you find people who care deeply about your shit, and have the means to deliver this shit to them, you will make them happy. They will be forever grateful to you.
So how to find these people who care about your shit?
Well, last century, you used to setup a business and open a store and put up a sign which said: “Open for business”
But times have changed. A business built to succeed in the 20th century is bound to fail in the 21st century. Why? We now live in an Information Age and the digital revolution is powering a paradigm shift within the business world.
Technology turns scarcity into abundance. And the digital revolution is powering the abundant supply of connections. Between people, between devices, between people and devices and between people and information, which empowers us in business, at work and in life.
Relationships in a digital age are powered by building meaningful connections, which drive meaningful relationships in a world were connections are losing their meaning as quantity dwarfs quality. In a world of abundance, quality rises to the top, as cream rises up to the top of your coffee or hot chocolate.
Building meaningful connections through technologies such as the Internet requires a different mindset in the 21st century. A very different mindset that we have become accustomed to in the 20st century.
Data has become the proxy to human relationships in a digital age where many of our relationships are powered by technology. In the data you can find the meaning in the relationships you have with the people you are trying to sell your shit too.
Finding these people in the digital ecosystem is what we do at my agency: IPG mediabrands and all its labels from Reprise to Traffic4u to bGenius (and many more).
For this we use search engines (Google, YouTube, Google Adwords, Bing Ads…etc), which are tools used to find people who may care about your shit, using data. The key with these digital channels, is to answer people’s questions while understanding people’s core intent. And the answer can be found in the data which is a proxy into what people need, want and care about.
We use social media to find people on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and the 1000’s of other social and messaging apps out there where we now spend most of our time and attention. These people all need shit, but only the shit they care deeply about. And technologies are now build purely for the purpose of finding the people who care about your shit and to feed more of that shit to them, within a conversation. But to find and nurture them through these technologies, data is your key. That’s why data is so valuable: it is a proxy into human behavior and the relationships they have with other people, with brands, with devices, with information…etc.
But keys only work if used in the right hole. We help you find that whole. The segment of people who care about your shit.
We use programmatic advertising, which attempts to break down the silos and walled gardens. Google, Criteo and many others provide the tools to find people in a fragmented digital landscape. AdTech solutions are cramming the space all competing for the same thing: people’s attention and the data generated from that attention. But beware. A bubble is forming, so use these technologies wisely.
Selling shit to the wrong people is a dirty job. And none of us like to shovel shit for a living.
PS. Thanks for the question mate…. “En nee, je bent echt niet 36” 😉
PPS. If anyone wants to help me continue writing this story into a book…let me know! Would make for a nice book…really getting into the art of selling more shit.