Day 13 – just barely

Managing to squeeze in today’s blog post around 11pm after a very long day.

We went to the Families Belong Together rally at the Texas Capitol Building this afternoon. That was uplifting. The lawn was pretty full early on with a good turnout. I think that as people get re-acclimated to the idea of going out for rallies and marches, we’ll start seeing numbers comparable to the protest events against the Iraq War during the Bush years. And it may keep growing from that.

After that we spent way too much time and a lot of money at Ikea for some things we need around the house. And I now have to make a run to the craft store for supplies to hack an Ikea futon frame to make the mattress we already have and ridiculous purple microfiber cover we bought for it actually work.

We saw the West World second season finale last night, and wow. I wish I was more well-read on the various philosophical ideas about the nature of reality, because I really want to pick that whole thing apart with a sharp scalpel to figure out why it works so well. I was blown away by the whole season. I need to sit down and gather all my thoughts and vague ideas about it, because it’s like I just saw an evolved form of a lot of my ideas about mythology. It was so good. I have no idea what they’re going to do or where they’re going to go in the third season, because arguably everything that mattered was completely tied up, all the important questions answered. But their writers are really fucking good so it’ll probably be fun.

I had an epiphany the other day about marketing, which I hate but need to get over if I’m going to go full bore with this freelancing thing. I’ve been stuck in a loop of reading all this advice on techniques, tactics, tools, and metrics, but never quite able to push myself outside of a low confidence loop where I was convinced I just didn’t know enough to do it right, that I’d fuck up any possibility of getting work if I started my marketing efforts in a way that was somehow wrong. But here’s the thing.

Marketing is stupid. Really stupid. It doesn’t have to be smart. It doesn’t need precise measurements, despite the whole industry’s convictions to the contrary that has led to nightmarish levels of segmentation and sifting through the incredibly deeply research and pattern-matched deep dark secret desires of every single person in the developed world. But all of that, all of it, is completely unnecessary, a massive waste of resources and time.

Marketing is just making noise. That’s it, that’s what marketing is. You have a thing you want people to know about, so you go out into a place where people are and you make noise about it until someone who needs or wants the thing you’re shouting about hears you and comes over to find out more. That’s it. That’s basic marketing.

Good marketing, where the art used to come in, is figuring who is most likely to give a shit about your thing, and where in the crowd those people are most likely to be. Excellent marketing is when, after you figure out where they’re likely to be, you manage to adjust your shouting and spectacle-making into something more precise, so that instead of making noise about the thing, you’re making noise about the problem that makes those people need your thing. Marketing is just making noise at people who need your thing about the reason they need your thing.

It’s not rocket science, and broad categories are fine. This extremely refined targeting crap that Facebook has been offering for a few years goes way beyond that. If I’m trying to sell a book on self esteem, I don’t need to know why 32 year old mixed race women with expired gym memberships who have recently bought a specific pair of shoes are cheating on their diets today. If you need data that specific, if you’ve got a product that specific, you’re a shit marketer and you have a shit product.

That said, I’m probably about to re-up my Google Analytics and Google Adwords certifications after a lapse of several years, because I need work and, much to the detriment of my fight against looming existential crisis, digital marketing is what I know and if I could just shut my overly complicated and moralistic anxieties down for a couple of months I could make a decent chunk of money.

I should figure out how to gamify marketing metrics on my projects, beyond “if x revenue is hit this month, I can finally buy Skyward Sword.” Need to think on that. It might worth going back to Habitica and tying a character to project marketing goals. Figuring out how to automate that would be a good learn-to-code project. I need to think about that.


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