Behold a quote from director Martin Scorsese, about acting legend Kirk Douglas:
“Some actually believe that these qualities [commitment and dedication to the art form] that I’m talking about can be replaced by algorithms and formulas and business calculations, but please remember it’s all an illusion…”
Maybe this isn’t directly related to marketing & business.
But, it is related enough to serve as a reminder of the dangers of being enslaved to, dependent upon, and making all your decisions based on “metrics” — and how doing so may make you a million, but can also prevent you from making hundreds of millions.
The late, great Stan Lee and Marvel Comics.
The publisher Martin Goodman in the early 60’s was a slave to metrics and sales stats and trends. His whole business model was “see what kind of comicbooks are selling, flood the market with similar titles until it no longer works, rinse and repeat.”
And he became a very “rich” man doing that.
But, it wasn’t until Stan Lee went completely against all that when Martin Goodman became a truly *wealthy* man when, in one last act of defiance in working for a soul-less company dependent on metrics, stats, and trends (and in complete defiance to his boss)… Stan Lee wrote the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, etc — none of which were created out of anything even remotely related to metrics or trends or “testing” whatsoever. Today — although Disney is working overtime to destroy them — those brands are collectively worth multiple billions of dollars.
George Lucas did the same with Star Wars.
Sci-fi was not “in” when he made the first movie. And almost none of the Hollywood testing, tracking, metrics, and audience analytics of the time thought it would be all that fruitful.
A more down-to-earth example:
I’ve never had my biggest breakthroughs due to metrics or testing.
Not one single blessed time.
It’s always been by having a dialogue with my list via daily emails, and interpreting what they want to buy — without them ever having to tell me, or ever looking at a spreadsheet — by being in consistent & persistent contact with them, observing what they say & do, and combining that with my own interests, brand, positioning, and personal intellectual & creative pursuits.
Here are offers I’d never have created if I relied on “metrics”:
- The Email Players newsletter
- Copy Troll
- Copy Slacker
- Brand Barbarian
- Infotainment Jackpot
- All 3 of my “Villains” Books
- Email Client Horde
- Breakneck Content
- Email Players List Swell
- Affiliate Launch Copynomicon
In other words:
Every single book & newsletter issue I’ve published!
Not to mention 10-Minute Workday, or the online Checkout platform I own and am gearing up to sell with my pals Jack Born & “Email Players” subscriber Troy Broussard. In fact, about the only offer that is based on metrics I have anything to do with is the other two tech companies I recently bought into with Troy, which I’ll be telling “Email Players” subscribers about soon, as they deal with what I believe the new “email” is going to be 10 years from now. And don’t even get me started on the book I got frying up teaching my publishing model next year. No “metric” has told me to write it. Nor has anyone outright asked for it. Nor is there anything like it being sold anywhere, because there is no other “me” anywhere. But, I suspect it will be the biggest selling and most profitable offer I ever sell to my list regardless.
We shall see…
Anyway, am I saying metrics aren’t important?
Or to ignore them?
Or that you shouldn’t bother with life time value, sales, stick rates (if you sell continuity), and other important metrics?
You do need to know this stuff ultimately.
Especially if you are using paid advertising, where you must.
Plus, there is truth to “what isn’t tracked can’t be measured.” And, incidentally, the online checkout platform we are building will do just that for people, including eventually (down the line) having some extremely deep metrics I won’t go into here — none of our competition understands, or are even capable of thinking of, going by how they set their platforms up — behind the scenes, that will work even for caveman-like luddites such as myself.
But, there are forces at work far more important than metrics.
Forces you can’t control or direct via tech alone.
I am referring to a “sensitivity” to your list, combined with your unique brand, marketplace positioning, attributes, appeal, strengths, and other peculiarities you can only effectively use by having constant — and I would argue daily — contact with your market and list.
Something email lets you play like a fiddle.
And, also something my “Email Players” methodology can especially do you for you.
That is, assuming you are subscribed.
And, that you implement what it teaches you.
To do that, hit that NON-tracking link below: