Porn, the Best Practices Industry

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Over the weekend I read the Toronto Star page two headline “iPod Portal For Pocket Porn”:http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1132354213816 _(reg req’d)_
“iPod” and “porn” in the same sentence? I should have expected it but never really thought people would use their iPod Video to (as the article puts it) listen to “the Barenaked Ladies” and watch “Bare Naked Ladies”.
While Apple hypes the fact it took only 20 days to register one million paid video downloads it only took one website featuring pin-up girls a single week to do the same!
Is the porn industry a picture of Best Practices?


I have never considered pornographers, or spammers for that matter, as people to look up to or emulate. But with a quick glance at this story plus the fact that spam happens because some people make money – a helluva lot of it – from it, why not do what these people are doing?
I doubt my family, friends and associates would look too kindly on me if I became a pornographer. Since I am in the email business some already think of me as providing the tools for spammers to send “all that crap” to people. But what can we learn from these industries and apply to our own “legitimate” marketing efforts?
Here are some of my thoughts:
h3. Demand and Relevance Are Key
Pornographers know there is demand for what they do. Many are very intelligent, especially at how they market what they offer. They provide targeted “products” in the form of different genres of porn as well as different channels and formats. Heck, they were likely the quickest adopters of the iPod Video “format”.
Learn from these people. Know what people want and give it to them. It’s pretty simple, right? Why then are many traditional marketers using the online and emerging channels to lump us all into one big target group?
h3. Someone Will Always Want What You Have
Spammers, the “send as many emails as you can” variety not the malicious types looking to perpetrate identity theft (“phishing”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing) or drop a virus on you, are not necessarily the best at targeting in their approach. However, they do underline the fact that email works. They have their ROI models (if I have a .0002% conversion rate how many emails do I need to send to make a million?) and they get the job done. No matter how weird your product or offer might be, if you thought it up there is likely someone out there who needs or wants it. You just have to find them.
Spammers prove email works. I don’t recommend spam but it is simple to see that it works even for the outlandish stuff. And because email works, imagine what it can do for a marketer when they find those people who want or need their stuff, engage them in a relevant relationship and create an anticipation for your next email?
Next time you see what the “bad” guys are doing, look a little closer to see how you can learn from them and apply it to your marketing programs.

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