Friday, December 26, 2008

Make Them Sit Up


Vientiane, Laos - “Look Honey,” I told her. “You can do it. Just go in there and throw ‘em the sales pitch. I’ll split the revenue with you, sixty-forty.”

It was a real money-making opportunity, and a chance to put into action what Manny had once said…"Bic, you get the right promotions, the right marketing, and the right kind of people behind you, you can make it almost all the way to de top. Then, who knows? Contracts, endorsements, maybe even a major motion picture could be in da cards.”

All we needed to shape it into a reality was thirty or forty thousand more readers.

“Tell ‘em we’ve got it all lined up,” I told her. “Thirty five and growing. That’ll make ‘em sit up.”

“But, Dad,” she said, “How can I sell advertising on your blog if nobody is reading it?”

“Don’t say that!” I shot back. “Think positive. People ARE reading it…when they have the time, y’know. Don’t tell them how many hits I’m getting. Just the projected figures, the estimates, the desired outcomes.”

“Why sixty-forty?” she asked. “Why not fifty-fifty?”

So she went out there and made appointments with the people whose products were first and foremost, sustainable, and those we could ethically endorse, those we could believe in, like, cigarettes, beer, and Jimmy Dean pork sausage.

When she told the advertising execs “a daily average of three-point five, closing in on four,” they assumed she was talking millions, millions of readers, something along the lines of a prime-time television audience. “There is no market-share,” she said. “You’ve got the whole pie.”

Of course, they were interested, glossing over the ‘actuals’ by virtue of her distractingly stunning beauty. She had them smiling and nodding their heads all the way through her presentation, she said, asking very few questions.

“Work entirely within the psychology of presumption,” I told her. “As if. Everything is as if. Don’t let them pin you down. Refer them to the agency. Tell ‘em to check out the site, the archives, the description of Geppetto’s fall from the high wire.”

We thought we’d need readership research, you know, like demographics, target audience, stuff I’d need you to submit, what your interests are, what you eat, where you shop, what kind of footwear and casual apparel you prefer, how many people in your household, any pets, all that statistical stuff, but the guy told her, “With these kind of numbers, Dear, it doesn’t matter.”

So there’s a possibility…it’s not beyond the realm of reason or wishful thinking…that we can get this thing turned around, y’know, not like the housing market or Vietnam, but to the point where the ‘inflow’ can generate and sustain a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, far above and beyond this to which I’ve grown accustomed, something just short of a corrupt corporate CEO, living off your retirement investments and life savings.


ps. Send this message to FOUR friends, and in ten minutes, your life will be improved immeasurably.

Send this message to TEN friends, and in a short time, you will receive an unexpected windfall, beyond your wildest dreams.

Send this message to THIRTY THOUSAND friends, and my life will be greatly changed.