Almost Timely News, 31 October 2021: Secret Handshakes, First-Party Data, Marketing Technology

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Almost Timely News

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For those who observe it, boo. Happy Halloween.

What’s On My Mind: Secret Handshakes

Know your customer“. From cryptocurrency verification to marketing platitude, we’ve heard variations of this phrase for decades. So here’s the question: how well do you REALLY know your customers?

I’d submit we don’t really know them very well at all. We might not even have the slightest idea about what makes them actually happy. Here are a few phrases to ponder. Some will resonate with you. Some will not.

  • Carson Wentz with 6% FAAB for week 8
  • A druid can pinch OT and brez if needed even if they’re a boomkin
  • What’s your AO3 pseud?
  • New growers start with Blue Dream, Super Lemon Haze, or GMO cookies
  • Avoid rug pulls and remember to buy your own coin
  • Who do you ship more, Avalance or Supercorp?

All of these phrases have one thing in common: they’re the embodiment of George Bernard Shaw’s expression, “all professions are conspiracies against the laity“. Each of these phrases is unique to the groups, the tribes who know them, and they’re inscrutable mysteries to anyone outside that tribe.

And that’s the way we like it. When we’re inside our tribe, when we’re with our people, we feel kinship. We feel common ground. We have shared interests, a common language, a common point of view on at least one thing. Our language is our secret handshake that lets us know who’s in the club and who’s not based on how they react.

Forget about demographics and firmographics for the moment, our traditional marketing staples. How many different secret handshakes do you know about your customers, about their actual interests, about the subcultures they love the most? If the answer is zero, you don’t know your customer – at all.

Everyone has secret handshakes. See if any of these resonate with you:

  • It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday…
  • When I was a young boy, my father took me into the city to see a marching band…
  • Stop. Collaborate and listen…
  • We were both young when I first saw you…
  • I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch…

These are secret handshakes. Some you probably know, some you don’t, but the ones you know? You KNOW. And anyone around you who reacts to hearing the first few words of these songs, you know is at least a little bit in your tribe.

So what’s the point of all this? We talk about knowing our customers, but we really don’t. When we get our heads out of marketing and start interacting with customers as people, we start learning what their secret handshakes are – and those secret handshakes can be powerful, powerful relationship builders. I was on a call recently with a colleague and I mentioned one particular secret handshake and my colleague visibly, viscerally reacted – and then blossomed into a beaming grin. We had something in common that was part of a very specific subculture and now, neither of us will ever forget that fact.

Ask yourself this: of those people you do business with that you enjoy working with, how many secret handshakes have you made an attempt to share and learn? If the answer is “not enough”, then now’s a great time to start.

Share With a Friend or Colleague

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ICYMI: In Case You Missed it

If I had to suggest only one of these articles to read from this week, it would be the piece on how to increase data collection for first-party data. If we reframe the problem, solutions from a very familiar framework make themselves obvious.

Skill Up With Free Classes

These are just a few of the free classes I have available over at the Trust Insights website that you can take.

Thank You Notes

These are the places you’ve had or mentioned me – on your podcast, on your blog, in your newsletter. Thank you!

What I’m Reading: Your Stuff

Let’s look at the most interesting content from around the web on topics you care about, some of which you might have even written.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Advertisement: Supermetrics for Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is an incredibly powerful tool for bringing your data into one place for analysis. Out of the box, it serves up Google ecosystem data that marketers need – Google Analytics, Google Search Console, YouTube, Google Ads.

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Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

All Things IBM

Ad: Make Better Videos with Techsmith Camtasia

If you enjoy my videos, like You Ask, I Answer, Do Something With Your Marketing, Saturday Night Data Party, and many others, then consider using the platform I use to edit and publish them: Techsmith Camtasia. Camtasia is just the right balance between too easy and inflexible, like iMovie, and absurdly complex and expensive, like Adobe Premiere. It’s got just the right features, from subtitle editing to all the usual transitions and special effects, and it’s a desktop app, so there’s none of this crazy trying to “edit in the cloud” (which is insane for video production). If you need to produce videos, screencasts, and even animations, give Camtasia a try.

Good Reads, Long Reads, Interesting Stuff

Fun, Games, and Entertainment

Economics, Politics, Environment, and Society

Advertisement: AI For Marketers, Third Edition

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How to Stay in Touch

Let’s make sure we’re connected in the places it suits you best. Here’s where you can find different content:

Required Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

Advertisements in this newsletter have paid to be promoted, and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

My company, Trust Insights, maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Talkwalker, MarketingProfs, MarketMuse, Agorapulse, Hubspot, Informa, Demandbase, The Marketing AI Institute, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which Trust Insights may receive indirect financial benefit, and thus I may receive indirect financial benefit from them as well.

Thank You!

Thanks for subscribing and reading this far. I appreciate it. As always, thank you for your support, your attention, and your kindness.

See you next week,

Christopher S. Penn


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