Orthoverse Marketing

Marketing and Sales Explained in 150 words

People get entrenched.

Encouraging someone to move from one social media platform to another is hard. Or indeed from one bank to another, one blockchain to another, or to ditch their current car insurance provider and go with a new one. Hell, getting people to switch washing powder or ketchup brands is like trying to force a marshmallow through a vending machine coin slot.

At its core, the job of marketing is to get people stuck in a trench who say they’re happy to be there in the mud with the rats, to think it might be a good idea to climb out of it and over into … well, usually another trench with mud and rats. Sometimes it’s into a sunny field of poppies waving in the wind, but even then, it’s a difficult job. People get entrenched.

(Oh, and sales’s responsibility is to get them to actually do it once they’ve decided they should.)

Why Did He Do That?

Last night I posted links to my <can’t mention the name> and <can’t mention the name> accounts on two other social media platforms, knowing that it would kill the reach of the LinkedIn post announcing them.

I also posted it at the worst possible time, and then went to bed so I wouldn’t be tempted to reply to any comments.

The aim was to get as little traction as possible.

What? Why would he do that?

Who posts on a social media platform with the express aim of getting as little exposure as possible?

Is he nuts?

These may well be questions that are going through your mind at this moment in time. Ignore them for now.

Back to the main thrust of this article: my cunning plan worked — the post got a total of 128 views and one comment in the first 8 hours (2% of my normal reach).

And here comes the explanation: this abject failure gave me a great opportunity to produce a second post, linking to the first one, highlighting how terrible my initial post had performed. The second one got 5000 views in the same period of time, and a lot more comments. Which is pretty good going for one of my text-and-image posts.

As a planned side effect, it also got seven times the normal daily total of people who follow me on LinkedIn to subsequently follow me on those other platforms that can’t be mentioned. A seven-fold increase is considered a resounding result in marketing, unless it’s a seven-fold increase in cancelled subscriptions or something like that.

So what were my aims? I’ll list them in bullet point format:

  • Work it out yourself by asking “why” to each answer you come up with.

Fall-out

One unintended side effect was that quite a few people direct messaged me to explain the mistakes I made in my first post when it comes to maximizing your exploitation of the LinkedIn algorithm. Which means that there are twenty or thirty more who thought the same thing, but didn’t bother to tell me about it. And … how to explain that my intent purpose was to fail to exploit the LinkedIn algorithm? Hence this article.

I don’t know if there’s a name for this kind of marketing. A lot of the terms are taken, such as “reverse marketing” (getting the customer to seek out the company) and “inverse marketing” (getting non-customers to advertise the product for you). So perhaps I should call this “orthoverse marketing”, because simply put, it’s failing on purpose to subsequently draw attention to that failure and thus gaining even more traction.

In that sense, it’s similar to a technique used by clued-up copywriters, marketeers, and sales people, called the “pattern interrupt”. That’s a technique that is also used to great effect in the most memorable movies and books in the form of an unexpected twist or turn in the plot line. Think Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense or Nabokov’s Pale Fire. Or if you don’t think that because you haven’t seen the first or read the second, go watch and read them (personal prediction here: 5% of you who haven’t will do the former, and none will do the latter, and it will be your loss, because Pale Fire is a superb book, and I will go and re-read it as soon as I’ve finished Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon for the second time, as that is what I’m currently reading.)

Conclusion

Ultimately, I achieved my aims, which were to get more views and interaction on a “I am now also on another social media platform” post than the normal method would have. And it had the added bonus of highlighting to my readership that social media platforms have an agenda and aims which may be at odds with theirs. Finally, I also got an article out of it. Double bonus!

The most astute of you will have learned from this that there are tricks you can come up with to work around the restrictions that are put in place by central authorities, or better still, use them to your advantage. This is like a Judo expert using the weight and motion of their opponent against them through careful and considered leverage.

I guess, in this case, I learned that this particular Judo throw works.

As a final note, although getting people to switch is hard, there is something called a “tipping point” — when the incumbent has manage to annoy, aggravate, and outrage their consumer base so much that suddenly there is a revolution. I’d like to think that this “pull when they push” approach makes that tipping point occur sooner, but I guess only time will tell.

I’m going to post this article and then go to bed. To ensure that I don’t feel tempted to response to the myriads of comments I expect it to garner.

But this time it’s not a marketing strategy.

I’m just tired.

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