Original Interview: Consistent Trend Action For Your Business Marketing with Maceo Jourdan
Maceo Jourdan: As business owners, that’s what we’re delivering, we’re delivering value to our customers. If we focus on maximizing that through love and respect for our customers, that’s what’s going to increase. Yes, you can do the 60 pieces of content a day, but if you focus on it, you’re going to have a much better result.
Annette Ferguson: So today on our Uncover Wealth Radio, I have the massive privilege of speaking to Maceo, who is a serial entrepreneur with two decades of building businesses by creating great products and great marketing. His experience spans a wildly eclectic mix of practical real‑world experience from the US Army to the cutthroat world of electronic trading. Maceo, thank you so much for joining us today.
Maceo: Yeah. Great to be here. Thank you.
Objectively measured environments
Annette: Awesome. Obviously those two things, quite different, US Army, electronic trading. Tell us, what story got you between the two of those?
Maceo: It’s funny. When it comes to trading in particular, it tends to draw from, I call it, high‑performance professions and high‑performance hobbies. Some of it is by design. Obviously, trading, there’s a lot of money to be made, so it’s very competitive.
A lot of firms specifically recruit individuals that have achieved high levels of success in, let’s call it, objectively measured environments. If you’re in sports, that’s about as objective as you can get, especially if you’re going head‑to‑head against other people on an individual basis.
I’ve been drawn to high pressure, high competition, high risk/high reward almost from the very beginning. For me, it was inevitable, but it was really more by accident. I was running an early cell phone company, was walking through a trade show, saw a video on a table, picked it up. It was about trading. It’s all she wrote after that.
Lessons I learned from “trading”
Annette: Nice. I’m sure that you learned a lot of lessons in trading. What did it teach you that you’ve been able to bring into running a small business as well?
Maceo: There’s a saying in trading that trading is mostly mental. Depending on who you talk to. Some will say it’s 80, 90 percent. After almost 18 years as a profitable trader, I would say it’s 100 percent. Trading is 100 percent mental, and business is too.
Why would I say that? Your mental state, your mental makeup will directly influence the decisions you make. More importantly, it’s going to decide what information you’re even open to.
When I see entrepreneurs continually beating their heads against the wall, and we’ve all seen it, and if you have kids, of course you live it. You’re watching another human being do something that’s totally counterproductive. You can even tell them, “look the answers are right here”. Then they totally ignore the advice and go on their way.
Maceo: That personally enabled me to go into business with a completely different set of eyes, I think. It also enabled me to be far more aggressive about seeking the truth. Often, and a lot of the reason why I decided to do podcasts and come out of the shadows, is really the wealth of information that’s out there from people that are a carbon copy of a carbon copy of a carbon copy.
14 generations ago, somebody read a book, and then they taught somebody how to do it. There are very few operators anymore that are out there teaching stuff. I see entrepreneurs getting information from very popular people that’s really not going to serve them well.
Annette: I completely agree so much with that statement.
Maceo: Trading is very much about methodology rather than about specific tactics. Although there are some specific tactics that work. Usually, you have a generalist as a trader that translates directly over to business. Most of what I learned as a trader directly applies to the business world.
Annette: I would have also thought that looking at data, analyzing data, understanding data is also probably a big part of both worlds actually but also a part of the small business world that often gets forgotten in favor of following the gurus whose own guru read a book 20 years ago.
Maceo: I love picking on Gary Vaynerchuk mostly because he invites it. He wants people to give him critiques. The big mistake of Gary, himself, and somebody looking at somebody like Gary is, he was born of the Internet. He got onto YouTube in the early days. He got onto Google pay‑per‑click.
I was there at the same time. I was a little bit before him in video, not that that makes me better. I’m just saying there was so much trend back then that somebody was going to be successful. It happened to be Gary.
At the same time, there was a massive increase in the US in these big box wine stores. You can’t look at him in isolation and say, “Oh, you know…” Without any other inputs, he was successful.
Annette: It was almost the Gold Rush era, wasn’t it?
Maceo: Absolutely. As he moved into the marketing world, he’s riding the next wave of social media platforms. Now, he talks about produce 60 pieces of content. For a small business owner…which I tried that. I sat down and said, “OK. I know how to use these platforms. I’ve got the devices. Let me do this.” I blew out in a week. I couldn’t do it.
Annette: Yeah. I was exactly the same. I was like, “This is insane. You need a whole backend, 20‑person marketing team to be able to do that, and serve your clients, and still manage your team, and all the other things that come along with it.
Maceo: Gary’s response would be, “You two aren’t grinding enough. Are you sleeping? Are you watching any TV?” I’m like, “Dude, no. I don’t watch TV. I work 16 hours a day.”
Annette: …and I sleep.
Focusing on the data
Maceo: Right. Let’s face it, we’re not all insomniacs. That’s one aspect of what I’m out here beating the drum for. Let me go back to the statement you made about data. What rating will do for you, if you’re successful, is it’ll help train you. Notice I didn’t say give you the ability. It will train you to see data for what it is, not for what you want it to be or for what your biases tell you it should be.
I got to tell you that this is such an insidious and sinister aspect of humans that without specific training, it’s nearly impossible to overcome. As you get into the cycle, these biases and actual biological processes in your brain take over.
One of the things that I gained from the trading world was the ability to understand that aspect and teach it, which not everybody does. There’s, first of all, the training to be able to see data. Over time, if you get a leadership position in trading, it’s usually because you’ve got some ability behind it.
For most entrepreneurs, what I would say is, if you focus on the data, that’s great, but you’ve got to have some way to pull yourself out and objectively look at the information. Otherwise, confirmation bias and hindsight, all these things that we know exist will kick in.
Let me tell you, especially with all the information we can get…Google Analytics is very robust and it’s free, so most business owners have access to it. You can look at that information and not know either what to do with it or, more importantly, you’ll look at it and assume things that aren’t true from the dataset you’re looking at.
Annette: Absolutely. For many business owners, it’s almost about pulling the emotion out the data as well. There’s so much of that wrapped up in what we want to see in our business and what we expect and what we hope to happen.
When we are looking at that kind of cold, hard data, whether that’s how many people are coming to your website or your account, it’s pulling the emotion out of it and saying, “What is this telling me?” Therefore, what actions need to come out the back of it, too?
Maceo: Exactly right. On the trading desk, it’s obviously all about action. If you’re there for more than a few years, what you understand is you’ve got to constantly do stuff. It doesn’t matter what time frame. You could be like Jim Rogers and want to hold something for 20 years, but you still have to be very active and in motion.
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get into non‑action and sit there and wait until, “Let me get more data. Let me react.” You can become very proactive in business. You can get very, if you will, aggressive about either growth or optimizing your conversion rate.
You don’t have to sit back and just wait for the data as long as you structure things properly. If your testing process is set up properly, and your testing conception and methodology are done well.
Then, you can be very aggressive about testing, going back to beating up on Gary Vaynerchuck, but if all you’re doing is saying, “OK, let me just throw 60 pieces of content out there.” Now, you got 60 variables floating out there at once.
I get it. He’s trying to say, “Well, look, everybody’s on social media. So if you got this massive information on social media, then you’re bound to be successful.” What that’s doing is trying to find the lowest level set, which I get. Look, we better remember, Gary is in the business of selling social media. He makes millions of dollars convincing corporations that they need to be on social media.
Whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, it’s very self‑serving. He has to do it. As an entrepreneur though, we’ve got the luxury to not necessarily need to do that. It’s, again, being able to separate some advice like that from reality.
In a real way, it’s like, “OK, if it’s not 60 then what subset is it? Is it 30; is it 40; is it 5?” This is where separating the emotion helps because you can look at what your market wants to hear.
Sure, if you’re just there, they’re going to get comfortable with you. We all know that if you see somebody if you go to the same coffee shop every day and you see the same people every day, you’ll be comfortable with them.
At a certain point, your brain is literally going to have a transition. There was an Anthony Hopkins movie where I think it was with gorillas. At one point, there’s a scene where the gorillas are in front of him, and he’s sitting there. Then, all of a sudden before he knows it, the gorillas moved to include him in the circle. What they’re demonstrating there is that those primates have a very similar mechanism as we do, which is if you have a tribe, your brain will tell you, “I’m safe.”
Yes, you can inundate people with your face and your voice and get them comfortable with you, but I’m saying as an entrepreneur, you can separate that amorphous, “Well, what is that thing?” and narrow down.
You can look at the pieces of content that you’re putting out. See what results you get, but then separate the emotions where maybe you have something that you like or something that you have an affinity to that maybe isn’t working.
That’s where the rubber meets the road with separating the emotion is separating what your likes are, your predilections are from what the market wants both in a sense of what marketing do they want, but then also what do they want from you and your business? What do they truly value?
Ultimately, as business owners, that’s what we’re delivering. We’re delivering value to our customers. If we focus on maximizing that through love and respect for our customers, that’s what’s going to increase. Yes, you can do 60 pieces of content a day, but if you focus on it, you’re going to have a much better result.
Annette: Absolutely. I often speak about this maximizing value piece as well and say that I think about it a lot in relation to pricing and say to people, “Your end customer does not actually care how much you think you’re worth. What they care about is the value you provide them.”
Don’t base your pricing on this whole thing that people talk about, “Charge your worth.” No one cares. No one cares what your worth is apart from yourself and maybe your mom. Don’t charge based on that, charge based on value.
How do you know “what you’re worth?”
Maceo: I’m famous or notorious, depending on who you ask. I ask very few questions. One of them is, “Well, how do you know that?” Some people say, “Oh, you have to charge what you’re worth.” I was so, “How do you know that?”
I was there when a lot of these concepts were introduced into the world of quote‑unquote “Internet marketing.” That line of thinking goes back to a couple of guys, one of them is named Dan Kennedy. Dan Kennedy, and the boom of both Internet and direct response advertising, convinced a whole bunch of people that they just need to continually raise their prices.
You have to remember, this is going into the 2008 and 2009 crash. There’s a huge economic boom. Quite literally, it was based on this idea that people have more discretionary income, so you need to go get more of it.
This was an amoral, a value. There was nothing about producing more value, In effect, when I left that whole clan if you will, Bill Glazer, Dan Kennedy’s partner was up on stage. It’s a very small group of us, and he said, “You know, when you’re producing content, you have to figure out how much hot air you’re putting into your product to sell people on. Just like we sell you. Hahaha.”
I remember looking to my right and left to say, “Did he really just say that?” I left. That moment, I walked out of the room, canceled my subscriptions because I realized, OK, they’re doing, granted, they’re doing what they’re telling me to do to me, but I don’t like it.
Annette: I was going to say, “You don’t like it, so why would you do that to someone else?”
Maceo: Why would I want to pay for hot air, and more importantly, exactly why. I’m very high in compassion. If you look at my Big Five personality profile, I’m on the extreme for politeness, which is not, “Please and thank you.” It’s more like giving respect to authority for the sake of their position, but I’m also high in compassion.
For me, I wouldn’t want to do that to anybody. My benchmark is my mom. We grew up very poor. A couple of mixed families, father’s Black, mom’s Jewish. She worked three jobs to keep us out of the ghetto. She recently passed away. When I was looking at settling the estate, I saw her Social Security account over the years, and I was shocked. First of all, how much she was able to leave, although it was modest.
That hammered home, what I’ve been doing for all those years, which is, if someone is like my mom, working three jobs, trying to keep their family above what I called the suck, when you can’t recover, I need to produce something.
Granted, she would still have to do the work, but I need to produce something that I know is going to improve her life, not prey on her desire to improve herself in this blind ambition way. Then, capitalizing on people’s gullibility because a lot of people don’t know this.
At some of Dan Kennedy’s higher‑paid stuff, I was at a $15,000 event, and he said, “You need to study cults and people, scam artists and whatnot because we’re looking for your ideal prospect is somebody that’s gullible.” Again, I’m looking around thinking…
Annette: That makes it me. That means I am gullible.
Maceo: Thank you. I was one of the very few people that saw that in the room, but then I was like, “Really, is that what we really want to do as business owners?”
Can you do that? Yes. Can you simply charge more money? Yes, you can. I’m here to tell you that there is a subset of people out there that are gullible. They are going to believe you.
You can get rapport with them and increase that gullibility ratio, whatever you want to call it. Again, we as entrepreneurs, if we’re going to use these clichés like, “Be the good in the world,” and those things, you have to put some meat to that. So I’m going to be the change. I knew I had to start with me.
A lot of what I’m “preaching” now, really does go back to my early days as an entrepreneur, 2005, ‘06, ’07, where at the same time I was experiencing this massive growth. I took a business from…I borrow $25,000 from my dad. I was able to grow a business to 26 million in revenue within 3 years. We peaked out just under 50 million.
I was able to do that without you selling my soul, as it goes, and wrestling with some of these concepts. Both in the sense of what am I delivering to my clients? How do I maximize value? But then also devising tests and approaching it from the standpoint of how do I measure value? Is it shares? Is it likes? Is it comments?
Understanding that there is this weird interplay with people and social media and mobs. As people get together, they really don’t act like individuals anymore. Anyway, I could geek out on the data and how we built that, but I…
Annette: Me, too. I could geek out on data all day long.
You’ve got to focus on trends
Maceo: I’ll end it with this, if somebody’s listening to this and they’re wrestling with some of these core issues, you can feel it doesn’t sit well with you, I can promise you that there is a way out. You do not have to sacrifice those kinds of things in order to be successful, but you do then need to be very picky about what you get into.
In fact, years ago…I exited my business in 2011, 2012‑ish. It’d been a couple of years, and I hadn’t really done anything publicly. One of the people that I was involved with, very prominent marketing guy out of Israel, he was like, “Maceo, when are you going to do something?” I said, “Look, man. When you can pick a $50 million opportunity, how many of those do you need?”
What I was communicating to him was what can happen, just like in the trading world, if you get so focused on the short term, or I’ll call it the near term…As an entrepreneur, if you’re really focused on what your ROI is or day‑one revenue or day‑one profits, you’re so focused on the short term that you wind up sacrificing the long‑term vision.
I’ll tell you what, you’ll wind up 5, 10 years down the road looking around and thinking, “How did I get here? What did I create?” If you’re looking at some of these softer issues, moral issues, ethical issues, greater good issues, which I’m 100 percent about, I’ve been about since I started, you’ve got to focus on trends.
An easy way to measure this is to go to trends.google.com, throw in some keywords from your major business category, and just start digging into the tool. Combine keywords. If you have a coffee shop ‑‑ maybe I need more coffee ‑‑ type in coffee shop. Then add a keyword with your local area.
If you’re in Glasgow, type in Glasgow. If you’re in London, type in London. You’ll see, on a local basis, what people are searching for online.
That’s a very quick and dirty measure for “what trend is there.” Why would we want to do that? We want to do that because human beings are energetic creatures. Our brains are electrical matrices. There’s all kinds of electricity firing up there in our domes.
An EKG has electricity as the first word. We’ve got to understand that it takes energy for somebody to focus on you. The reason why you want a trend is, you want to ride somebody else’s energy input, so you don’t have to pay for it.
What we’ve lost in the marketing world, and in the entrepreneurial world, are some concepts from all these old‑school copywriters, which basically boil down to this.
You don’t have enough money to create desire. What Gary Vaynerchuk is kind of peddling is an anecdote for that, but that’s not how it works. If somebody doesn’t have a desire for you, for your product…I don’t mean that, obviously, in a personal way. If someone doesn’t have a desire for what you’re selling, then the 60 social media posts a day is not going to overcome that.
Annette: It’s going to do nothing.
Maceo: What I’m saying is, you can focus you and your energy on the back of something else. That’s basically a trend of, obviously, there’s a lot into that. Getting into my grand unifying theory of business.
If you take that concept, and then you observe it in you first, when you get lit up about something, when you can’t even see it, when there’s somebody getting excited we even say it, “Oh, his eyes really lit up.”
What you’re literally seeing is, the energy is higher in somebody’s brain. If you want to test this, if you want to test sales, if you want to test anything in business, test it on a human being. Is what you’re doing, what you’re saying, and what you’re proposing lighting them up? If it is, then figure out who are they, what are they like.
Now, we’re getting you into the meat of marketing. How old are they? Are they male, female? Do they come from a poor background? Are they wealthy? Are they a professional? Are they, what we call blue-collar, and they were trades.
When you understand that, you can start to get some generalizations, and then test that same value proposition on larger and larger groups. You can break marketing down into the simplest elements by going backward in time and looking at how people sold remotely before we had the Internet.
This is going to the Robert Colliers of the world and that sort of thing. These are people that were selling in the 19 teens, in the 1920s through the mail during the Depression.
The maxims and the methodologies, more importantly, that they developed, we can transport directly into today that is far more powerful than blindly throwing stuff out there into the world.
More importantly, we can do it in a way. We’re giving value. We’re being the change as it were. We’re not just raising our prices because have more disposable income, or they have this burning desire to spend some money right at this moment.
Getting in on trends is detective work
Annette: That is totally awesome. I love that looking at the Google trend side of things. That’s something I’ve personally not dug into. I’m definitely going to be doing that. How do we start, I guess, hopping on those trends and getting ahead of them?
Maceo: If I could tell you how to get out of a trend, you probably wouldn’t be talking, right? I’d be on some island in 15 planes. I’m joking about that.
Annette: Instead of here.
Maceo: Oh, my goodness. Here’s what we know, we know trends appear, that’s a surety, but we don’t know when they’re going to show up, and we don’t know when they’re going to end. It’s not like we can get in front of them. What we can see is when they start, and you can gain some skill and jumping on them early, but that’s also where the highest risk is.
To use the trading example, if you get in on, you want to say Microsoft. You think, “I think Microsoft is going to start trending.” Maybe not, as you’ve got to have something in the market, stop loss where you’re like, “Stop the losing.” In a business that can be tough, especially if you have a physical product because you got tooling and die sets and all that.
How can you get in on a trend early boils down to understanding whether you’re on, what I call a macro trend. Is this computers in the early days or Internet in the early days, or is it Internet after years have gone by?
I’ve been blessed to get in on so many different fields as they were dying and then seeing the replacement come up. In the trading world, when there’s a transition like that, you’ll see a chart get what we call choppy. Price is going up and down and up and down. It’s not going anywhere.
There’s lots of confusion. People are getting in and getting out. They’re running hither and yon. The same thing happens in business, but it shows up differently than in a price chart.
I’ll use Slack as an example here. We all use Slack. Slack is the winner of that competition. I was developing a competitor to Slack. There were about eight total competitors. Hull was the next. They were on par with Slack, Hull and Slack.
They were battling it out for users, and they’re both bragging about how many users they were getting. Why did Slack win? Slack won because they understood what people wanted.
Remember, Skype had been around and is still around. It’s around because Microsoft bought it, and stupidly they’re pouring more money into it where they probably should just abandon it and go to Slack, which is they’ve got teams now.
At the time, Skype had no ability to search. In a business setting, if you and I are working on a project, we’re typing and typing, going back and forth and sharing images and whatnot. A couple of days later, what did we talk about?
You had this great idea, and I remember what it was. Search, you might know a few keywords. You can’t do that in Slack.
Annette: I do that all the time in Slack, every day I’m searching.
Maceo: Yes. What Slack knew that Hall didn’t, which I saw back then, was they knew people wanted to search. When they got that, and they saw that not only helped them gain traction, but when they looked at their metrics inside of their application, they could probably see that the users’ time in app went up. Users coming into the app accelerated.
More importantly, you could look at an individual or even a team like us. Let’s say, we are two people on a team. We’re using it, but then all of a sudden our team grows, you can track that back to, so what are people using once they get into it? They saw it was search.
You correlate that over time like, “OK, if enough people are on the app, and their time in app goes up, and the number of people on their team increases, and it’s related to search, “Hey, let’s test search.” That’s an example of how to use data in a way, separate your emotions. I bet what they liked were the features of image sharing.
Maybe I’m saying that because that’s what my cofounders wanted like, “No, Maceo, we need to have videos. They need to be able to share images.” I was like, “Guys, no, it’s search.” People want to be able to go into this tomorrow and understand what we talked about.
They may remember a stock symbol or something like that. I was like, “No, no, no, no, no.” They were emotionally invested in images and videos. They felt that was where to go. That wasn’t objectively what was going to move the needle. Getting in on trends is a little bit of detective work.
If you understand trends, morph, and change, you got to understand where you are in the broad scheme, Internet broadly today. It’s much, much different than it was in the beginning. I was so early on the Internet. It was dial‑up.
Dial up internet and loving your customers
Annette: I was there at dial‑up times.
Maceo: OK, good. Why is that important? Well, you got to remember that Internet wasn’t always on for us. We had to dial in. You had the funny noises. Then, it may not connect, especially if you had a…I remember when I got a 36.6 modem. Not a lot of modems had the same compatibility.
Sometimes it was tough for me to connect, especially when you were connecting to somebody’s individual computer. The next phase was…
Annette: Or someone in your house would pick up the phone, and it would lose the connection… That was infuriating.
Maceo: Right, absolutely. When things moved to always-on Internet, that changed the nature of the relationship to the tool. If you think about always-on Internet as a phase in the trend, then you can design a business around that new phase. It’s what new capabilities does a person have, one that’s always on Internet.
Whereas I’m looking around and thinking, “OK. What’s that day in the life.” The way to break through to how to capitalize on a trend is loving your customer. It’s understanding what problems do they have. Why are they buying something? Do we buy iPhones because it’s got 11 cameras on the back, or is it because it’s bigger?
If you look at the demographics in these larger devices, what’s driving it are people that are getting 50 and up, they’re looking at these little phones and doing this forward and back thing. If you have a larger device, it’s easier to see. Why are they gravitating to iPhones? Well, frankly, it’s easier to use than an Android device. You plug it in, and it works.
Annette: It goes.
Maceo: Right. If you’re not careful…I talked about a lot of information. If somebody loves Android, they might say, “Well, look, Android is better.” They could give me 57 reasons. My point is, “You got to separate your love for Android from the data. If you look at the data, iPhone users are better buys. They have more money. They’re better customers.
Well, you can get to objective reasons why. It’s just that for those people, it’s a better device. If you’re in the app business, it would behoove you to focus on iPhone apps. Should you have Android? Yes, but you got to realize that the bulk of your revenue is probably going to come from a smaller subset of iPhone users, not Android.
That’s one aspect of not only how to look at a trend, but then how to decipher it into business decisions, and bring those business decisions so that you can test. Which means obviously you’ll need to be able to test and track Android versus iPhone, separate them out demographically.
Then, also, think about if you’ve got an app that has a wide range of ages that are using it, you got to understand that somebody who’s over 50 didn’t grow up with the Internet. They grew up with phones that you took off the wall, and newspapers that you held in front of your face, and more importantly, three or four media outlets.
When they’re interacting with your device, they have certain things that they want. They have certain trusts that they are not willing to give. Understanding how to raise your level of credibility with them is going to be critically important. Understanding that you need to have ugly forums on your device because your forum fields needs to be big.
Here’s the level that I got to. I love watching people use devices, especially if I’m selling on them. One thing most people don’t understand is that as people get older, they get more dehydrated.
Well, we have capacitance screens, which means there’s an electrical connection between your finger and that screen to register whether or not you’re touching it. That’s why if you touch it with some random object, nothing happens. There’s no electrical connection. Well, if you’re dehydrated, do you have good electrical connectivity?
Annette: Interesting. That’s why you see people bashing their screens, presumably.
Maceo: That’s exactly right. If you watch older people use devices, they press, and they press harder, and they tap it multiple times. You may get better usage on your device if you remind people to…
Annette: to drink.
Maceo: drink some water…
Annette: I understand, wow.
Maceo: or let’s say you’re on a forum field, and you don’t see an input for a while. You know that user is above a certain age, why not have a pop‑up that comes in, “Having trouble tapping on your screen? Try licking your finger.” They did that, and they touched their screen, “Oh, it works.”
What are we doing? We’re loving our customers. We’re finding something that they’re frustrated with. When I watch people have that experience like they’re tapping on the device that doesn’t work, or when I catch myself doing it. I’ve caught myself beating my phone alone. I’m like, “dunk, dunk, dunk.,” I say, “OK, wait a minute. I need to settle down. It’s not the device’s fault.
Maceo: You have to remember that’s the world I came from. We came from a world that was very mechanical. Oftentimes, banging something would fix it.
Annette: Helps, it works, kick it, that will do it.
Maceo: I remember as a kid, we had this old TV. Like I said, we didn’t have a lot of money. We had this old black and white TV… and every once in a while it would go out. I would smack on the side, and it starts working again. If you understand your customer, you understand their frustrations, you can deliver value. I got to tell you, if you did that, you actually popped up a video to that older demographic, and you start seeing forms getting filled in, what you’ve done is understood the real data.
Remember at the root of…you asked me a couple of questions, at the root of what we’re talking about is, “How do you get useful data?” If you’re a coder, you’re going to think I need to get data by looking at data.
Do you get data by looking at the person that’s generating the bloody data, like garbage in, garbage out? If you’re only looking at Google Analytics, or your app analytics, and I’ll use some jargon hopefully that will appeal to those people, you’re looking at a derivative of an abstraction.
If you go into the math of that, you can’t get anything useful out of it. You’ve got to go all the way down to what is causing something in the world, the human, understand how they then generate the data.
If your dwell time ‑‑ the dead time on your app ‑‑ is going up, you can fiddlefart around with all sorts of needles, or you can come up with all kinds of ideas of why that is and how can change that. It might just be that somebody’s dehydrated.
Annette: You might be searching for all the other…Is our button in the wrong place or the wrong color or the…all these other variables that you start playing with without kind of thinking back to the individual.
Maceo: That’s right. That’s exactly right. What we’ve done with all of our access to social media, which gives us massive amounts of data, is we’ve forgotten a few of the core concepts. This is about people. It’s about human beings not buying units or blips on a screen. That’s number one.
Number two, it’s about desire. Does somebody have a desire for what you’re offering? Meaning, is there something in them that has activated their brain, so you can gain access to their decision‑making apparatus?
Annette: Also, in a way that’s ethical and not sleazy and all that stuff, of course.
Maceo: Unfortunately, all the sleazy stuff works. Look, I’ve trained under all of the great copywriters, not Dan Kennedy personally but John Carlton personally for years, Gary Halbert for about a year before he died, Gary Bencivenga. These are all names people might or might not recognize. These are the greats of copywriting.
I got started in marketing before the Internet was literally licking stamps and envelopes and mailing stuff to people. I’ve had the mind‑bending experience of selling something to someone in a remote location with just a few pieces of paper. Yes, the sleaze is going to work. I hate to say it, but that’s why it’s out there. It’s out there because it works.
It’s a shortcut. It’s like, do we really want to race to the bottom? I don’t think so.
Annette: I don’t think so either.
Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water
Maceo: You can use some of those techniques for good. Here’s why I say that. We can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We do need to appeal to people’s emotions. You do need to get to a point where you understand when you’re actually selling, that’s when the emotional aspect has to come in. How do you do that?
I just described a situation, an older person tapping on a phone and beating on a phone. Using words like, “Frustrated,” or, “Did your phone make you want to spike it in the end zone like Lynn Swann?” That’s obviously throwing back to somebody who knows who Lynn Swann is? You google it and he’s a Pittsburgh Steeler football player.
Anyway, what have I just done with that short bit of copy? I’ve related to their emotional experience in the moment. I’ve called back to elements from their past that generate positive emotion. I’m using all the techniques without resorting to the sleaze, which would be, “Make money in five minutes,” or like the Tai Lopez being, “Here’s my Lamborghini. Here’s my library.”
You can do it in a way that does actually add to their experience without relying on that sleazy part.
Connect with Maceo
Annette: Absolutely. I love that. The main thing we said was loving on your customer and maximizing the value. They’re the two massive takeaways, too. Maceo, this has been an incredible conversation. I have loved every minute of it. I’m sure that our listeners will have done as well.
Why don’t you tell them how they can connect with you more and find out more about you?
Maceo: Maceojordan.com is the best place. That’s where I put all the little bit of content that I do produce. Most of it is really horrible, cheesy-looking videos with screen capture. It’s packed with content. I definitely am not the glitz and glamour marketing guy out there. That’s where they can get more information from me.
More importantly, that’s where they can interact with me. I’m very big on doing stuff in the world. I’m working on a project in healthcare called Canexxia. That’s at canexxia.com. I’m working on a media startup in movies and TV called loor.tv.
Annette: Lovely. We’ll obviously put all the links in the show notes as well so that everyone can connect with you that way as well. Again, thank you so much for coming on Uncover Wealth Radio. It has been an absolutely excellent conversation. I very, very much enjoyed it. Thanks for coming on.
Maceo: You’re welcome. Glad to be here.