Don’t Overthink It

I’m a big fan of “Lucifer” on Fox. It’s much better than the DC/Vertigo book that the show is based on, which is pretty funny because the TV version of “American Gods” (both properties conceived by author Neil Gaiman), is awful compared to the book it’s based on.

Anyway, there’s this scene in the second season of Lucifer where he plays the show’s theme song on a bass guitar and sings, “Crime-solving devil / it makes sense, don’t overthink it.” The scene is hilarious, and you can see it here.

But there’s also a great lesson to be found here too. (Isn’t there always? Aren’t you tired of marketing people teaching you lessons and abusing words like “value” until they have no meaning left in their cold, dead corpse? )

For people who have never seen the show, I can describe “Lucifer” on Fox by simply saying “crime solving devil.” That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the show. After hearing that, you’re either sold on seeing it, or you’re not interested. It’s a simple concept. All the other stuff the show entails is just window dressing to keep you hooked. (Kind of like a brand, when you think about it.)

The same is true for marketing and advertising in the 21st Century. It’s simple: “Good brand. Great product. Excellent service.”

That’s all you need to know. If you have a great product that people like, enjoy, and helps them save time/money / or solves some other REAL problem, they’ll do the marketing for you. Especially if your customer service and their experience in getting your product are of the best possible quality, you can make it. And the brand? Well, the brand is just what you use to draw keep people around for as long as you can.

Remember: There is NO such thing as brand loyalty. So even though you should try to keep your customers around for as long as you can, don’t think for a second someone loves you more than they love their dog. Or porn. Everyone loves porn, even if they say they don’t.

How do you promote your product?

By doing what I mentioned above (great product, great customer service, good brand) first. Once that’s all straightened out, online you focus on SEO+, word of mouth marketing, and email marketing. Offline you focus on great advertising and public relations.

Note: When I say SEO+, I use that as a catchall term. So I include voice-activated assistants like Alexa and their results, search results you get on your mobile device, and what is usually referred to as content marketing to boost your results.

I also include paid search advertising in here as well. I just don’t think SEM, search engine marketing, is a good enough term because it generally only refers to paid SEO tactics, and content marketing is this vague and amorphous thing. We don’t need vague and amorphous. We need clear, simple, and direct. So, SEO+.

The problem is that we tend to overthink all of this stuff. But it’s not hard. I promise. The challenge is that doing all of this takes time, patience, and in more than a few instances, a lot of luck. But no one wants to hear that. We’re all super ADD and obsessed with dumb metrics that don’t mean anything.

The only metrics that should ever matter is whether or not you’re making more money than you did before you started the tactics I mentioned above, and whether or not you’re attracting new customers. Everything else is bullshit.

I’m going to repeat that, because although this all sounds nice and simple, what I’m saying is really controversial: Everything else is bullshit.

Don’t overthink it. When you do, you waste time, money, and other resources you’re never going to get back.