This is a great example of how “Microtargeting” works:
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Had an interview for a Copywriting contract that required a ‘test.’
Here’s the ‘test:’
Create five (5) YouTube Channels that can “go viral,” which, according to this ‘digital marketing agency’ was “20 million views in one week,” with these prompts:
- Create a “Seek and Find” YouTube channel.
- Create a “Mouse Maze” YouTube channel.
- Create a [tween] YouTube channel: “Imagine you are 13 and develop a superpower…”.
I stopped reading the “Test Deliverables” after that because this agency asked for a total of 5 unique YouTube channel ideas, their only instruction to create channels to “go viral, with 20M views weekly.” I hope the absurdity of this request is not lost on you, since about .03% of all YouTube Channels get 1M+ views on any given video.
And remember, this is a Copywriting ‘test,’ not a product development gig, which, seemingly, this marketing agency does not know a BRANDED YouTube channel actually is a product offering, and should be developed and marketed accordingly.
Five, free, viable YouTube channel ideas requiring little copy—this agency did stress an ‘attention-grabbing’ visual—including thumbnail layouts and storyboard drawings. Oh, and they required I sign an NDA saying that whatever I came up with on their ‘test’ was theirs to keep. Five (5). Free Channel ideas. Per applicant.
Their ‘test’ gave no OBJECTIVE for creating these channels—no sales goals for any company, or the channel itself to realize profitability. No reason for asking applicants to create these brain dead types of channels, other than the unmentionable of making the user the PRODUCT by selling their data, then slamming those same users with pay-per-click ads on every webpage visited forward.
The prompts in their ‘test’ were pulled from the latest trending crap on YouTube. The agency asked applicants to pile on more intellectually void baseline garbage to these senseless trending channels, following the Fire, Aim, Ready marketing method of business failure. Clearly this ‘marketing’ agency doesn’t really understand, well, marketing, assuming they were really looking for a copywriter, and not just garnering free content ideas. There are three business MARKETING reasons (not personal, ego-building social sharing) for a YouTube Channel:
- As a marketing/branding channel for a business.
- As a data collection tool for tightly targeting future marketing campaigns.
- Selling collected data to Affliate Marketing brokers.
Applicants for this copywriting gig were not asked to market an offering of value, nor to build a marketing campaign (or YouTube channel) for any specific targets, nor did they instruct applicants to actually create and MARKET (i.e. BRAND) a YouTube channel for any specific business. They are under the delusion if they just get “views,” they’ll get sales, which data shows is a lie (https://freakonomics.com/podcast/advertising-part-2/), promoted by these very ‘digital marketing’ agencies to get clients. (https://www.ippglobal.org/post/truth-about-data-science)
Of course, after reading their ‘test,’ I turned down the prospect of consulting for them. I felt angry though, that they were not only asking for free, unique IP, but also the IP they were asking for was truly thoughtless, flat out bad marketing, sure to put more ‘digital’ garbage on the ever mounting pile of crap already on YouTube. To quell my anger, with my rejection of consulting for their agency, I included an answer to their first prompt:
Create a “Hide & Seek” YouTube Channel:
A Year of Free Beer for Finding NAME OF FAMOUS IPA BEER.
AR (augmented reality) game to find the bottle of famous IPA BEER (or any other idiotic thing that’s trending). Everyone 21 or older with mobile can play. AR has NAME OF FAMOUS IPA BEER bottles in places around each major cities, but also standard beer bottles, and area sports team logos, (even cross-sell with image placements) that ‘lead’ you to the ‘right IPA.’ First to find NAME OF FAMOUS IPA BEER (in any given round, which may be a week or more per round) to collect all that global data, (which then can be sold to screw us all further), wins the free beer for a year, every month getting new IPA flavors.
The TARGET USERS of this YouTube Channel will be:
- Lowest hanging target is the sudo-intellectual, over-educated ivy-league crowd, mostly White men; Christians, Jews, Agnostics—higher education levels; MMORPG, FPS, and MOD gamer; Software, Marketing, Admin, Finance; STEAM; democrats; mid – upper income; 21 – 60.
- Lazy, generally fat, FPS gamers, beer and sports-loving men. White mostly. Conservatives. Apatheist, Christians; low – mid income; blue-collar job; pensions; 18 – 65.
Lean Startup BRANDING (LSB) Workbook 2, is the first marketing book to unify the marketing/branding process. LSB brings together target marketing methods with graphic design techniques, to produce smart marketing strategies and striking campaigns that uniquely brand your products, services, and company.
Bestselling author, and Stanford Marketing instructor, J. Cafesin, introduces an entirely new Branding paradigm. LSB takes you step-by-step through the branding and marketing of your new venture. Create corporate and product identity packages. Examine the fundamental principles of effective design, and learn to produce multichannel print and digital marketing campaigns that get greater response.
You must continually produce campaigns to create a thriving business. Through text, slides, challenges and projects, LSB Workbook 2 empowers entrepreneurs to CEOs with the knowledge to create and produce professional-quality digital and print marketing, that generate the greatest conversion (clicks; try; buy; subscribe).
● Learn to create a complete Corporate Identity. Establish product and/or company names, then create striking logos that can scale from social media feeds to the side of your building. Establish your startup’s voice with taglines that tout your company’s unique value.
● Study graphic design techniques, such as layout, eye-tracking, responsive grid systems, typography, and how to execute attention-grabbing branding and advertising campaigns.
● Discover the components in imagery that create visual impact, and the myriad of sources to get spectacular visual content, at little to no cost.
● Examine print and digital reproduction. Begin a visual library of high-quality images and video clips to use in your marketing efforts for both print and online campaigns.
● Review SEO (search engine optimization) techniques and best practices.
● Explore online technology, and how to increase engagement with your digital marketing efforts.
● Course projects include developing a complete identity for your offerings and startup, as well as an array of effective print and digital marketing campaigns to introduce your new offerings, and promote your business.
At the completion of LSB Workbook 2: BRANDING, you will have gained the ability to design and inexpensively produced tightly targeted, professional-quality marketing campaigns to turn your startup into a thriving, sustainable business.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the world wide web. It was 1995. I was in my rented townhome in Alameda, a small island on the east bank of the San Francisco Bay. I already had a dial-up modem plugged into my Mac LC that I used to send graphic files and documents to my lithographers and commercial printers through FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
I don’t know where I heard about Netscape, probably from a business associate. But I remember the afternoon I logged on for the first time. The interface was full color visual, the first I’d seen, since FTP was only black text on a white screen and no images. The Netscape logo—the uppercase N sinking into a black globe against a starry aquamarine sky, was…beautiful. Once I registered, the next screen had bright, colorful illustrations of a spacecraft, a construction site, a radio tower and more. Under each drawing white text against the black frames said, “Explore the Net. Company and Products. News and Reference. Community.” I was floored, drop-jawed. The interface gave me choices to go anywhere. Netscape was a portal to news sites, business with ‘websites,’ online communities, a virtual store, and reference libraries from around the world.
I called my roommate into my bedroom/office space to show her what I was seeing on my screen. “This changes everything,” I practically whispered, sure that this portal was the beginning of a connected world I only dreamt of as a kid.
As I sat there clicking on each navigation link, then exploring each site the Netscape browser delivered, I recalled when I was 8 or 9 years old, sitting in the back seat of my mother’s huge Chevy, while she drove me and my sister home from school. “One wish,” my mom asked us spontaneously. “One wish. Right now. If you could have anything you want, what would it be?” She often came up with non-sequiturs like this to fill the void of silence after she’d asked about our day at school and got, “Fine,” back from both of us.
I answered instantly. “World peace,” and I meant it. My brother had come back from Vietnam a wreck. PTSD. Clinical depression. I’d watched war on TV nightly. And I’d felt war all around me, growing up in the early 70s. “I wish that everyone would be nicer to each other, and take care of each other instead of fighting all the time.”
“That’s a stupid wish,” my sister said, sitting in the passenger seat. I cowered in the back seat, and shut up. “It’ll never happen. Violence is part of our nature. We wouldn’t be here today without it, since we have no other defenses like other animals on Earth.” She was 2 yrs older than me. Surely, she must be right. She wished for a new purse.
“This changes everything,” I’d said to my roommate as I browsed the internet that first time. And I believed it. A portal to the world would let us see how others lived, and let others see what was possible. In 1960s – 1990s U.S., most of us had a place to live in, and enough to eat every day. Most kids were vaccinated from horrific diseases, and didn’t die from the flu. We got a free education, through at least high school, and 20 – 30% of the population got a college education as well. And in California, college was cheap, making it accessible to most anyone.
My roommate stood over my shoulder staring at my screen as I went from site to site. She seemed unmoved by what we were seeing, and in short order went back to her room. I stayed online the rest of the night, into the early morning hours, amazed. I pursued news sites, read articles from all over the world. We could never again pretend that Holocausts weren’t happening. We’d find out about atrocities taking place anywhere, instantly, and the United Nations would have to stop them! The privileged would no longer be able to turn a blind eye on poverty or disease, even in the most remote places in Africa or the Middle East, seeing it daily on their computers. We could talk to people around the block or in other countries we’d never meet, but share ideas, and feelings. We’d see how similar we all are, how we all feel sad, or happy, or mad at times. We could connect 24/7, and never feel isolated or lonely again. The internet was a window to the world, and the view would surely motivate all of us to care for each other like never before.
This is the argument I gave to my dad at Saul’s, eating bagels and lox a few years later. As a lover of technology since childhood, he too was on the internet, one of the first adopters in his advanced age group. He shook his head and gave me his indulgent smile.
“The internet changes nothing. It is a tool, like a screwdriver. It won’t change human nature. And it won’t save us,” he said. “We’re going to have to do that. Until we learn to care for each other beyond ourselves, we are doomed.” He took a bite of his bagel and savored the mix of salmon, onions and bread, satisfied in the moment.
“You’re wrong, dad,” I exclaimed with certainty. “The internet is connecting the planet. For the first time in human history we are becoming one world.”
“One very small world, which everyone wants their piece of,” he said. “We’ve invented technology we can’t handle, from the Bomb to this internet. Getting bombarded with information isn’t going to change how we react to it. And the more technology we invent, the more likely we’ll implode with it.” He sighed, looked at me lovingly. “You can’t change the world, baby. Best just to focus on taking care of yourself, and your family.”
It was 1998. I had no idea what was coming, how the internet would evolve into the marketing platform it has become. But I left Saul’s that morning sure my father was wrong.
As it’s turned out, he wasn’t.