Digital Marketing Uncategorized

People Act on Emotion and Justify with Logic

The human brain is separated into 2 parts – left and right; Logical and emotional.

Think of all of the actions that can be caused by love or fear, happiness or sadness, typically against ones better judgement. As a marketer you can convert on this while giving a person a logical reason to take an action. (i.e. make them feel an emotion then give them a logical incentive to take action right now.) This is how you need to craft your campaigns – make people feel something in their hearts then convert that emotion into intent to buy with logic.



Digital Marketing Uncategorized

6 Tips to Increase the ROI of your email campaigns

Email marketing campaigns have become synonymous with digital marketing success over the past 10 years. Though, recently it has been talked about less and less as the rise of social media marketing along with SEM has stolen the spotlight away from it. Is this justified? Well, the new kids on the block may be getting all of the attention, though it is email that is still the undisputed champion (statistically) of the digital marketing world!

Picture- ROI of marketing by channel per $1 spent

As important as email marketing is for digital marketers, many simply miss the mark and never reach the full potential ROI of their marketing campaigns. Building an effective email campaign is an imperfect science. One will always need to take into account the subscriber’s receiving the mail, the ISP they are sending to and the message they are sending. With so many factors coming into play email marketing can get tricky.

Being able to step back and understand the message that you are delivering from the end users point of view is of the utmost importance. You will soon realize that blasting out self-promotional messages is going to do nothing but hurt your reputation over the long run. All of the short term profits from constant promotion will pale in comparison to the possible long term revenue you could bring in by providing useful information to the end user consistently. Providing useful, relevant and consistent messages to your subscriber’s is the key to the long term profits.

Here are 6 key areas that you need to focus on to increase the ROI of your email efforts-

1.The Message
Imagine if you were looking into buying a magazine, you would not choose the one that is all advertisements, would you? No, you wouldn’t. So why would you try to email out your messages with constant sales requests without providing them any value of being on your list. You need to make yourself the industry expert in your field and gain the trust of your subscribers; this is something that you cannot attain by blasting out’ buy now’ messages every day. Provide them value and they will become a valuable customer of yours.

2.The Call to action
The advice to “always ask them” has been turned into a heroic-sounding marketing term called the call to action as if trumpets were sounding and prospects were marching off to war just because you inserted a couple of words at the end of your copy.
The term might sound a little old fashioned. But the simple fact is, once you’ve gained your reader’s attention and presented all the benefits they will get by taking the action you want, you still have one more hoop to jump through.You need to tell your reader exactly what to do, how to do it, and that you want them to do it right now!

3.Staying Top of Mind
Engagement is your goal and top-of-mind awareness is your reward. It’s important to remember that engagement is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. The real value derived from engaging your subscriber base between transactions is maintaining top-of-mind awareness for your brand. This is a phrase often used to support ongoing advertising campaigns.

The marketer wants his brand of soup to be the first one that a shopper thinks of when browsing the soup aisle at the grocery store. While the Soup company won’t get many if any online conversions for their soup, next time the shopper goes down the aisle they’ll be more likely to pick a can up when they see it because they engaged with them recently.

Email marketing may not be the best converting ads for a soup marketer (techncally since there isn’t much of a direct return per se), but it has real value for something like a hotel chain. A subscriber might only travel for leisure a couple of times a year, but if she regularly engages with emails from Wyndham hotels — even if it’s no more than noticing an email in the inbox — she’s more likely to check Wyndham’s website for rooms and prices when it’s time to travel.

4.Force an answer, Present a Deadline
A deadline forces action. There are plenty of mental justifications you can give yourself for not doing something, especially if there is no compelling reason to decide right now. When you force a decision with a deadline, people have to do something; it’s either a yes or a no. It’s just like eating out at a restaurant when you can’t decide what to order and you need the pressure of a waitress standing over your shoulder waiting to take your order to force you into a decision.
A deadline is a form of scarcity, similar to producing a limited quantity of stock or taking a certain number of members into a membership site. This creates exclusivity, a perception that your customers are part of something unique that only a privileged few get access to (which is true). You have to act fast in order to ensure you are one of the “lucky ones.”

5.Test, test, test

Like most things in life, learning how to run effective email campaigns for your list takes time. You have to constantly be testing out different subject lines, post lengths, the time you send out the campaign, how you segment your list, etc… You will consistently need to test and assess what you are doing to maximize the ROI of your campaigns.

A good way to find out what works out best for your audience is to run an A/B test. An A/B test is a way to test out 2 different email messages to figure out what your list truly likes to engage with. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when running an email A/B test:
• Always test simultaneously to reduce the chance your results will be skewed by time-based factors.
• Test as large a sample as you can for more accurate results.
• Listen the empirical data collected, not your gut instinct.
• Use the tools available to you for quicker and easier A/B testing.
• Test early and test often for the best results.
• Only test one variable at a time for best results. (If you want to test more than one, look into multivariate testing instead of A/B testing.)

6.Improving your Email Deliverability-

What good would the best email marketing campaigns be if no one received the message you so meticulously typed up? That is like having the best car in the world ready for race day and not having any fuel, you don’t stand a chance. This is why improving your deliverability is paramount to your campaigns success.

Here are 7 tips to increase the likelihood of your email reaching the inbox-

• Warm up your IP
Gone are the days where you can upload your list into an ESP right away and start blasting out emails. You are going to need to warm up your sending IP. What this means is that you slowly add in subscribers from your list, maybe only send to 20% of your subscribers on your first send then slowly add the rest to your mailing list.

• Check your sender reputation and score
Not knowing your sender score as an email marketer is a lot like not knowing your credit score when you are looking to buy a new car or a house. This important number can tell you what percentage your emails are making it to the inbox and what percentage is instantly going to the spam folder.

• Check and Monitor feedback loops
By monitoring your emails feedback loops you can understand which customers are marking your messages as spam and change your sending habits to these people as the more the mark you as spam the lower your sender score will be.

• Stick to a consistent send schedule
The ISP god’s frown upon those that send out 4 mass emails in a week then wait a month to send out another. In their eyes it makes you appear as a spammer so stick to email out your messages on a consistent basis.

• Engage your customers with relevant content
Engagement is king in terms of deliverability. The more you can get your subscribers to actively open, click and respond to your messages the better your email deliverability will be.

• Ask for permission
Email only to subscribers that have actively subscribed to your email list, they know you and why you are sending to them therefore are more than happy to engage with your messages while not seeing your mail as spam.

Scrub your list
You should remove bounces from your list before you mail to them. The higher the percentage of bounces your list has the more you will tarnish your IP reputation, removing bounces before you send them is a must if you want to make it to your subscribers inbox.

Digital Marketing Uncategorized

Setting up your Facebook Ads Manager

Often times when I talk with someone that is new to using Facebook ads they have their accounts columns set up incorrectly. Well, maybe not incorrectly, but they’re simply using the default “Performance” columns that are standard. In this video, I talk over why you shouldn’t use those columns and what columns you should be using.


If you’re looking for some help feel free to reach out – let us know what business you are looking for help with.

Cialdinism Digital Marketing Food for thought Uncategorized

Cialdinism #2 – The Rule of Reciprocation

This rule comes from Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. The Rule of Reciprocation says that we should try to repay those who have provided us with something. This can be utilized to persuade someone into doing an act by giving them an item or gift. If someone sends us a birthday present, we should be sure to send them one back. If someone offers you tickets to the game, you should repay them somehow – buy them some beers will ya!

When someone gives you something, that is actually worth value to you (weather monetarily or emotionally), and you don’t pay them back you get this weird feeling in your gut. This feeling is caused by the Rule of Reciprocation. I first hand felt this feeling last week when I was down in Cabo. My wife and I were walking around the Marina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when we stopped to check out the sea lions and seagulls that were by the boat ramp. After standing there for a few seconds one of the fisherman called us over and offered to us a few fish to feed the wild sea lion that was begging at the edge of the water, of course my wife jumped at the opportunity! She was able to feed him and pet him a couple times. We even got to witness the sea lion chase off a seagull that was trying to snatch the fish from my wives hand before she could give it to the sea lion. It was great!

Right after she got done feeding the sea lion we left… and I got this weird feeling in my stomach. It felt like I owed that guy something, he was probably expecting money, but I didn’t have any cash with me. I thought for the next several days on my trip about going back to the marina to pay him, but I never pulled myself to doing so because around that same time I read about this rule. It caused me to realize what that guy had done, he had created a highly profitable niche business in the harbors of Cabo. He was also utilizing a highly effective psychological tool to get people to willingly and happily give him money. A fish for him can’t cost much at all, he is a fisherman after all. It may have cost him $.20 for the 2 little fish he gave my wife, if I had cash I would have easily have given him $10 for the wonderful experience- those are damn good margins mi amigo!

Pay every debt, as if God wrote the bill. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So anyways, the idea is to give your customers something for free so that they can return the favor to you in a way that makes sense for your business. I didn’t know about this rule when we did it, but we used it for one of our apparel brands a few months ago by giving away free shirts to our top 50 customers over the past year and the experiment has worked stunningly. Many of the customers we sent free shirts too ordered new shirts soon after.

Takeaway: Find a way for your business to use the Rule of Reciprocation to your advantage, weather it be sending your customers something for free unexpectedly or giving someone at the harbor a fun experience that costs you pretty much nothing. It will be worth it.

Cialdinism Digital Marketing Uncategorized

Cialdinism #1

Recently I’ve really been getting into Robert Cialdini thanks to Andrew, over at Mixergy. So I’ve decided to start doing “Cialdini-isms” because I’ve really come to enjoy his insights. You can learn more about Mr. Cialdini here if you’re interested.

Cialdinism #1 – Fixed-Action Patterns

So a fixed-action pattern is an automatic response to a certain stimuli causing an instinctual/automatic action/response. He gives the example of a mother turkey based on ethology, the study of animals in their natural settings. Mother turkeys are good mother’s, they take good care of their young chicks but it is when they take care of their chicks which shows their fixed-action pattern. The mother does notice their young’s’ smell, touch, and appearance, but the biggest thing that gets the mothers to care for their young is the “cheep-cheep” noise that they make. This is the main thing these mothers focus on. If their chicks aren’t making that noise they don’t take care of them.

A group of scientists decided to conduct a study to see if the mother turkeys would take to other animals  if that same “cheep-cheep” noise was present. So ,they decided to test this with a stuffed polecat, a  natural enemy to all turkeys, naturally you would think a turkey would be pissed about a polecat near its nest… and they were. If no “cheep-cheep” noise was present it was a war zone! But when they had the “cheep-cheep” noise playing from a speaker within the stuffed polecat the mother turkey invited it to dinner, for tea and biscuits. The mother actually treated the polecat like it was one of its young if the “cheep-cheep” sound was playing! Yea… I know turkeys are known for being stupid, but still that automatic response is intriguing.

He calls it ‘click’ and ‘whirr.’ Click and the appropriate tape is activated(cheep-cheep); whirr and out rolls the automatic sequence of behavior. (taking care of the polecat)

Does it work on us? After all we’re superior beings… “that microscopic turkey brain doesn’t compare to us… not a chance.”

Well… humans do have fixed action patterns –  

One example of this is shown in a Harvard Study where someone was trying to get to the front of the line. If one simply asked “Hey, can I go before you to make copies?” 60% of the time people would let the person go ahead of them. But if you were to ask “Hey, can I go in front of you because I need to make copies?” 93% of the time people would let the person go ahead of them. That’s a 33% better chance for simply giving a regular reason. That’s like being in line at Disney Land and snaking your way to the front of the line by asking “Hey, can I go in front of you because I want to ride the ride?” So – give reasons for why you’re doing things, or give people a logical reason to do something.

The second example is our association of “expensive = good” and the fallacy that comes with it. Robert gives the example of a small boutique owner who is trying to sell some turquoise jewelry that she has had for months on end that never sold. The store owner is about to leave for a vacation and leaves a poorly worded note for one of her employees. She meant for the note to read “cut the price of the turquoise that doesn’t sell for shit in half.” The employee read the note as “double the price of the turquoise jewelry because I (the store owner) am a fearless bastard.” So the employee doubled the price of the jewelry and made a new sign reflecting the updated price. The store owner came back after her vacation and all of the turquoise jewelry was sold! But not only was it sold, it sold at double the price she originally asked for it! (Wahhhh, I know right!)

The fact that the new price for the jewelry read as “expensive” due to its new price allowed people to have the fixed-action pattern of “expensive = good” allowing them to justify buying it. It gave them a shortcut, because it’s impossible to know everything about everything, especially in our current 24/7 world where we’re constantly bombarded with stimulus. Our minds need shortcuts.

Digital Marketing Food for thought Uncategorized

Year in Review

So every year on my birthday I like to do a little year in review, ya know… what happened in the past year type of thing to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. (doing it on New Years Day is way too cliché)


The past year has been pretty incredible to say the least. Some times life resembles a roller coaster of ups and downs but this past year was just up. I got married. Moved back to Wisconsin. Successfully launched a new company. Fell in love with Indian food. Looking back on it, I can’t think of anything negative that happened. (Revision: I did gain a few lbs., but who cares… I blame the Indian food.)


We really hit a homerun with our newest LSA company, Korked Baseball. (pun intended) Korked went from 0 – 100 real quick, as the kids would say. It started out with the entire Chicago Cubs team wearing our Try Not to Suck shirt then only grew from there. We ended up getting into 35+ stores, including every Lids in the Chicago area. (Kind of a dream for the HS me that wore hats all of the time) The best part was that we raised over $700,000 for charity over the past year, if you would have told me a year ago that we would have been able to do that I would’ve said you were full of shit. Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed you.


Marketing wise for Korked we learned a lot over the past year, eventually getting to the point where for every $15 we spent on digital ads we were making $100, that’s just the direct conversions not including the word-of-mouth sales. So with that we thought, well why don’t we start a new company to do marketing for other clients… and that’s what we did.


Last month we started a new marketing agency (still needs a name) doing marketing for a professional indoor soccer team, a marathon, semi-pro baseball teams, and more running events. So far so good. Over the next year we plan on growing it into something special.


With LSA over the next year we plan on adding a few more sports related brands and continue to grow Korked with an eye on exit. So far this year has been good, we have really been able to optimize our site and ads in a scalable way… I hope to be giving you another “I would’ve said you were full of shit.” stories again next year about the success of Korked and the other brands we build.


I’m really thankful for: my wife, for all of the support over the past year letting me work 80-90 hour weeks when needed. All of our customers. Our LSA partners Mike, Joe, John, Joe, and Joe. As well as the Cubs for winning the World Series, because if they didn’t last year could’ve been a different story.


Till next year,


Picture of the year – Never forget



Digital Marketing Uncategorized

MVMT Watches – Marketing Funnel

MVMT Watches Marketing

There are very few companies out there that I look at what they’re doing and think “Wow, these guys are good at digital.” But MVMT watches is one of those few companies.


To start with their website is ultra clean and user friendly; the kind of site that is effortless to navigate on both Mobile and Desktop. They use the same minimalist design they use in their watches on their website. Since it’s the Holiday season they offered a Holiday Gift guide for those who were looking for a gift for a friend or loved one, good stuff.

They also have a really clean blog with unique content from various influencers of their brand that showcases their watches then at the end of the posts showcases the featured watches from that particular blog. They also do a nice job of getting a users trust by showing they’ve been highlighted in Business Insider, The Chive, Entrepreneur along with others. (My guess is paid promotion but either way this builds trust in the buyer)

The website is good, but that is truly the tip of the iceberg. They could have had the prettiest website with the worlds greatest user experience but who gives a shit if you can’t capitalize on that. That’s like being the worlds greatest Golfer when your out with your friends but come tournament time you play like hot garbage; who cares.

MVMT has built an effective funnel to retarget and capture previous website visitors. I went onto their website and left to Facebook, within 5 seconds of being on Facebook I was hit with this after I just looked at their ‘Holiday Gift Ideas’ page –

Then I went on my way to read a Recode article and they display retargeted me with this on the Recode site –

This was a watch I had previously looked at, literally a minute before I went to the Recode article.  They are going to continue to shove these ads down my throat until I convert. Then I jumped back into Facebook to ‘see what my friends were up to’ (this was all a test to see what MVMT would do), and this popped up –

facebook marketing product catalog retargeting

Since I added that exact watch to my cart on their site they instantly targeted me with an automated ad with an offer of a ‘Limited Edition Gift box’ (Ooooo, lucky me!) to increase the odds of me buying the watch. This is what the lower end of the funnel looks like for MVMT, incentive based ads as they pushed site visitors from the Top of the funnel (Think of the people that come in via Entrepreneur, The Chive, Search, etc as the Top of the Funnel) all the way down to the bottom where they consistently bombard you with ads and incentives till you cave and buy a watch from them.

They have done a masterful job on their website and an even more masterful job on the bottom half of the iceberg creating a backend marketing engine that works and makes money. So many companies focus so heavily on the front end look of their website, but what matters and makes money is the engine that brings targeted customers back to the website to buy your products. Repeat visitors are more prone to buy; repeat visitors that have already shown interest, a la adding an item to the cart, are WAY more prone to buy and you should be targeting them with your ads accordingly. Give them that ‘Limited Edition Gift Box’ that only costs you an extra $1 or so to make, it’ll be worth it.

There are very few things MVMT could still do to make their site more effective – maybe having a better exit intent strategy, but overall they’re winning at digital.

Food for thought Uncategorized

‘Enough.’ Needing to change our focus – Food for Thought

In today’s world there is always a focus on more and ‘enough.’

We are so hyper focused on making sure we have more, making sure we have ‘enough.’

  • We need more likes on social posts
  • We want more market share (not a bad thing)
  • We demand more quick wins

And to see them at rest, it seems as though we never can get enough:

  • Things to entertain us (I’m talking about those of us with Cable, Hulu and Netflix who are also using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram… we don’t really need all of them, do we?)
  • Shallow friendships
  • Conspicuous displays of success (Wooo another follower….)

These are big reasons why many people say ‘they don’t have enough time’ to get something they’ve always wanted to do done…

But on the other hand…

There are a lot of us that walk around and think we have enough:

  • Education (We got that degree, right? What more do we need…)
  • Actionable knowledge
  • Deep Relationships
  • Mind changing conversations
  • Exposure to difficult topics

But do we…

I’m wondering what happens if we flip these segments?

Digital Marketing Uncategorized

What email marketers need to know about Gmail!

Another useful post I made for an old company I worked for, enjoy.

The email landscape is always changing; from the new introduction of anti-spam laws, new email applications, and new mobile technology, email marketing has never presented more challenges. Being an email marketer, it is paramount that you stay on top of all of the new technology coming into your arena so you can master your craft and increase your ROI.

We all know one of the major players in this space is Gmail, if you are in the B2C marketing realm; you are going to need to get your sending IP to be best of buds with the Gmail servers, you are going to want to make yourself the ying to Google’s yang to ensure your emails are delivered properly.

To Start…

Let us look at how Google looks at incoming mail- it sees incoming messages in two ways: Spam and non-spam. A spam message is instantly placed in the spam folder, while nom-spam makes it to the promised land of the inbox.

Once the message makes it to the inbox Gmail indexes it into the different tabs that the user has set up- these are Primary, Social and Promotion, by default, but the user can also add in an Updates tab and a Forums tab. The categories allow users to better organize and control their inboxes by helping them classify the mail as it comes in… but this can get complicated. If you are constantly sending out promotional information from your sending IP, Google will have a higher chance of marking your future messages as promotional, even if you are just sending out your most recent informational newsletter or transactional email. So it would be good for you to send your messages from different IP’s; have one for your promotional mailings and another for your quality content newsletters. (Hint- Use separate IP’s or Domains for your promotional/non-promotional emails)

How to make it to the Inbox

Gmail works hard to deliver all legitimate mail to the user’s inboxes, but it is highly possible that they will mark your message as spam even if you are not a ‘spammer.’ There are 2 important factors that will without doubt get most of your messages to the user’s inbox-

  • Having a user click ‘Not Spam’ to alert Gmail that your message is of legitimate value
  • Having your ‘From:’ Address listed in the user’s contact list

It will also help you to send fewer bounced emails to invalid Gmail accounts, the less emails that you send that bounce the higher your IP reputation will be and the stronger your relationship with the Gmail servers will be. This is why it is always recommended to scrub your lists quarterly so your email sender score can stay intact. For more tips on how to increase your overall email deliverability refer to step 6 on this post.

Get your subscribers to interact

I know what you are thinking… “This is obvious…” This is what every email marketer wants. We all want our subscribers to open our mails and click our links while never marking our messages as spam. Obviously it is important to us, but to Google this is a must for our campaigns to have continual success and make it to their user’s inboxes.

Be Consistent

It is important to consistently send from the same domain and IP address so you can build up a rapport with the Google servers. It is ok to have a different ‘From:’ addresses for your promotional emails and newsletters, but stay consistent with what you are sending with them.

It is also important to send out your email campaigns on a consistent basis. If you are sending out random newsletters and promotional emails, here and there, Google’s algorithm will likely view your message as spam as that is something that is inconsistent with reputable mailers.

Assure that you are not on any Black Lists

While Gmail doesn’t publicly note it uses blacklists, there is a high correlation of spam folder delivery when the sender is on a Real-Time Blacklist, or a DNS-based Blackhole List, which is based on domain names.

Spamhaus is one of the most widely used Blacklists and getting listed on it and other sites like it indicates problems with complaints and spam traps, which is likely caused from lack of permission, or lack of list hygiene over the years on your behalf. This is something that you will want to constantly be monitoring because being listed can absolutely ruin your campaigns. Here is a free black list monitoring tool that you can use to see if you are currently listed anywhere.

Ask your Subscribers to mark your message as ‘Not Spam’

This will alert Gmail that your recipients want to receive your messages, it is as simple as asking your subscribers to click a button.

Make sure Your Links Work-

Broken, incomplete or links that connect to websites overseas will all decrease the likelihood of your email making it to the inbox, double check all of your links to make sure they are working.

Other Things to know about Gmail

How Google Caches Images-

Not too long ago, Gmail began caching images for users that were checking their mail in a browser and in their Gmail mobile app. This allows the images to automatically populates instead of prompting the use to download the image. While, this is great for their users protecting them from harm, it makes it hard for all of us email marketer as it skews our data, in particularly what device is opening our mailings.

So let’s say a user is using their web browser or the Gmail app, the report will come back as the reading environment of ‘Webmail via Gmail’s image Cache.’ They all have the same response code! So whether someone is reading our email on their computer on their phone with the Gmail app, it will say the same thing. Only if the user is using one of the default email apps on their phone that they connected their Gmail account to it will it show that the email was opened via a mobile account and what type of device that opened it. (Android, Apple…)

Also with them caching images, many Gmail subscribers have noticed that the quality of their images quality has become degraded, some images are failing to load or even loading in the completely wrong spot.

So what do you need to do about Gmail’s Image Caching?

Though the device detection is less detailed, you should continue to optimize your emails across all Gmail inboxes types. (Gmail Apps, Browsers, Mobile Email Apps, Etc…)

You should also anticipate that not all users will see your images due to loading problems and work on having your emails make sense if the image is not there. Use different background colors and live text to help improve subscriber interaction with your emails just in case the image does not show up properly.

Automatic Image Downloading-

So shortly after the Gmail team started to introduce image caching, the team over at Google began to automatically download images. This has helped to skew the results of open rates for all email marketers over the past year and a half.

The tracking of email opens relies on an image, which is also known as a pixel, in your campaign to load when the user opened up the email. Every time the image got downloaded from the server, the ESP or tracking software that was being used would mark the email as opened. Gmail, much like what Outlook still does now, use to ask all of its users to download all images to view them; now all of the images are automatically being downloaded and displayed for Gmail users. What is the result of this? A net increase in the open rates of all Gmail users. (A skew in the data)

Statistics show Gmail open rates are up 70% in 2014, which is largely a result of image caching and automatic image downloads.

What do you need to do about this?

You should continue to optimize for the ISP’s that need users to click the download images button to see your emails as you want them to look. Gmail doing automatic image downloading is a good thing for you in terms of the design of your email since your subscribers will be able to see the email as you intended it to look, unless of course it gets cached incorrectly.


Emailing to Gmail is something that can easily get over complicated, but it truly does not have to be. Like most ISP’s, Gmail wants to make sure its users are only receiving emails that they want to receive and are subscribed for and not be them at risk of spam/phishing emails. By following best email practices the majority of your messages will make it to the inbox, but with these tips you can optimize your email campaigns with Google in mind and increase the overall ROI of your efforts.

Digital Marketing Food for thought Uncategorized

You bought the story. Why I bought beef jerky…

Think of your last purchase of something you wanted. I’m not talking about the groceries or the gas you just bought but that last thing you purchased that you didn’t need, what was it? Why did you buy it?

I often ask myself this question as a marketer- I also often ask my fiance this question but that’s an entirely different story.

My last purchase of something I wanted was as simple as beef jerky from a local butcher shop called Ray’s Butcher Shop. So why did I venture 20 minutes out of my way to drive to Ray’s to get beef jerky when I could have gone to any gas station or grocery store around my house to buy some? Sure, at Ray’s they make their own beef jerky but to be honest it isn’t that much better than what one can buy at the gas station or grocery store, not enough to go 40 minutes round trip to get it. Ray’s is also double the price of the jerky one can find at a grocery store. So why did I go there? Why did I want beef jerky?

The answer to both of those questions is  “I was able to tell myself a story I believed.” I get to tell myself that I am going out of my way to Ray’s to get my jerky because I care about helping out a small business. That I am doing what is right by the community as we don’t want to lose this ‘little gem’ that is one of the few mom and pop deli’s left in our area. But I am lying to myself, I’m believing the story that it is worth my time and extra money to purchase homemade jerky from Ray’s. It isn’t.

So why did I pick jerky? Was I hungry at the time? Not really. It was on father’s day and I was with my fiance and I felt like doing something ‘manly.’ So- what’s manlier than beef jerky??? Nothing I tell you! Is beef jerky good, well yea… but is it? Well… to be honest if you take away the teriyaki or peppered flavor it tastes a little cardboardy… well a lot cardboardy. It tastes like cardboard made love to a steak and had a tough/chewy baby.  But by buying and eating the beef jerky I was able to do something manly. I was able to eat meat with my hands, it’s very primitive if you think about it.

The story/lie I told myself of ‘Eating beef jerky will make me feel more like a man’ resonated with me. That’s why I purchased beef jerky from Ray’s Butcher Shop. So- what was your last purchase? What story did you tell yourself to justify the purchase?