Todd Brown's Marketer's Mind Memo
Picture of ted thomas direct mail letter

This week Kellie, I, and the girls went to a local drive-thru Christmas safari.

Sort of.

That's what it was called, at least. 

It was about 3 acres of holiday lights, unexpected animals including camels and kangaroos, and a dude in a Santa suit riding around on a Segway. 

It was $20 for seven minutes. 

Not your Disney-level adventure here. 

Everybody, in their cars, went through the "safari" at the same time.

So, to get started, we all lined up at the entrance. Then, a woman in an elf costume walked from car to car explaining what was about to happen. 

"You'll follow Santa through the safari. As you proceed be sure to keep a good distance from the car in front of you. And, we weren't planning on it, but tonight we decided to include a bunch of extra animals for you. Santa will point them out and explain what they are."

"Oh cool," I responded. "Thank you."

Immediately after we rolled-up our window, my youngest daughter said...

"That's probably a marketing trick. They probably plan on showing all the animals all the time, and just said that to us so we feel special and like we're getting extra for our money."

Kid's savvy. And maybe a bit jaded.

Nonetheless, she's spot-on in one aspect of her statement...

How things are presented... and the frame used... can have a significant impact on what we think of it and feel about it.

This is certainly something you should be cognizant of, and intentional about, in your own marketing. 

Remember: Frame determines feeling.

You can present the same information a variety of ways, and elicit significantly different emotions. 

If a doctor told you the surgery you're scheduled for has a 90% success rate, you'd likely feel good. 

If the doctor told you 10% of patients die on the table, not so much.

Same information, different frame. 

Different frame, different impact.

Oh, extra animals not part of the original safari... sweet! At $20 for all of us... this is a friggin' bargain to drive across their lawn in seven minutes. 

With that, let's get to this week's goodies...


  • 7 Small Business Trends that Arrived Just in Time for 2021

    It's always wise to stay abreast of what changes and trends are on the horizon. 

    Here's some insights from John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. 

  • Create Shorter Content For More Effective Marketing

    A simple piece of actionable advice you can leverage right away.

    I agree with the premise: Repurpose content into smaller chunks easier for your audience to consume on different platforms.

    It's not about more work; it's about getting more mileage out of what you're already doing. And do it in a format your marketplace can consume in small chunks.  

  • 4 Innovative Business Pivots In The Age Of The Pandemic

    I liked this article not for the 4 specific pivots mentioned. 

    I liked it because it gives a great overview of how to use the Business Model Canvas to make decisions about your business model. 

    It's a great exercise in seeing changes in your marketplace, then using the Canvas to see what new opportunities, if any, exist within your model. 


Picture of the 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders Book

This is a quick read...

And a nice primer on leadership thinking for entrepreneurs as we go into the new year.

If you're still in the midst of doing your annual planning for 2021, I recommend you grab the kindle version of the book and read it this week. 

It'll help you spot any gaps in what you're looking at within your business... and what you should be looking at to put together a more effective plan. 

From the Amazon description of the book...

"To make the best decisions and have maximum impact, you need to see your business from seven perspectives:

- Current Reality
- Long-term Vision
- Strategic Bets
- The Team
- The Customer
- Your Role
- The Outsider"

All, good stuff.


Ralph Ginsburg Swipe File

This week on our internal marketing training...

I showed the team how to use a simple character narrative to make common content feel unique and valuable. 

We reviewed the above Ginzurg ad. And I showed the team how, in two paragraphs, they were able to put a new frame on the content being offered based on a short description of Ginzburg and his attitude toward finances. 

The value of any content is always impacted by the person it's coming from, the source of that content. You can change the way that content is perceived by how you present the person behind it. 

I also showed the team how the use of quirky adjectives and descriptors, done correctly, can make something ordinary feel different. 

As I've shared with the team many times before, if you describe your thing the same way others are describing theirs -- with the same words and phrases -- you automatically allow your offer to be put into the same box as your competitors. 

Sometimes, all it takes to reposition something as different is a different description of it -- describing it with different words and phrases.

And if those descriptions use quirky, weird, uncommon words and phrases, even better. 

This Ginzburg ad is a perfect example of that. 


  • We can reposition content as something special, without changing the content itself, by giving a compelling and related narrative of the person behind it. The "character" can have a big impact on the perceived value and differentiation of what's being offered.

  • We don't only want our ideas to be different and unique, we want the way we describe them to also be unique. The use of uncommon words and phrases to describe our stuff can make it pop.

  • Look for the opportunity to present our deliverables with an analogy or metaphor... framing it as something more valuable and substantial. Ginzburg took a personal finance publication and presented it as "Your own personal stock broker" and "Your financial mentor".

🛑 WAIT! YOU'RE MISSING OUT: If you want the full, unedited recordings every week from these marketing trainings I do with my own team, go here


This question was posted inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group...

How do you deal with perfectionism

Below is my answer...

I don't deal with perfectionism. 

I don't struggle with it... because I realize "perfect" is just a subjective illusion. 

Meaning: I recognize I'll never get to a point where I feel something is perfect. There will always be room for improvement, no matter how long I work on it.

So, my aim when working on anything, especially marketing, is never "perfect"; my aim is "good enough".

When it comes to marketing, my objective is to get to a place where I feel the marketing piece will get the job done. Period. 

Not perfect. Not flawless.

Good enough. 

Again, perfect... flawless... two subjective words and ideas. 

With marketing, it's not about how I subjectively feel about a marketing piece. It's only about how it performs.

So, once I feel a marketing piece will get the job done, off it goes. "Perfect" or not.

One final note worth mentioning:

It's also important to understand that working on a marketing campaign (Engineering) and optimizing that marketing campaign (Enhancing) are two different stages of the E5 Method.

In between those two stages is the Evaluation Stage. This is where we get and use data to make our decisions.

I mention this here because this also plays a role in my ability to avoid any form of perfectionism. 

See: When Engineering (i.e. putting the initial campaign together), the aim is to get it done and launched as quickly as possible so we can collect and use the data. 

The optimizing (Enhancing) of the campaign doesn't happen until after we've launched it and collected the initial data. 

So, when working on any campaign, I understand -- as should you -- we're not trying to hit a grand-slam home run out of the gate.

No. That happens through the Enhancing Stage. And it's a process, not a one-time event.

So no need to try to get anything "perfect" out of the gate. 


If you're not in the MFA Nation Facebook Group with us yet, you're missing out.

Go here and join us.

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Converting PDF to Kindle

Thanks to Steve Burnett for sharing this little tip inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group

I'm embarrassed to say... I had no friggin' idea you could do this. 

Reading Todd Brown's E5 Method Book On Kindle


Picture of Todd's Oreo House

My 2020 version of a gingerbread house.

Made entirely of Oreo cookies and cream with a splash of some unknown hard candy balls. 

Yes, I got a little aggressive with the "snow". But, notice the artistic icicles hanging down from the roof. 😉

Not my greatest work. But a ton of fun, nonetheless, baking with Kellie and girls this past week.  

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