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May 11, 2020    From the CEO

Where You At?


Hey guys, wassup? It’s Annie here. I am just wondering: Where are you?

You’re not online. And I know you’re at home. Unless the spikes in website activity are hiding, the fact is that you’re either: totally breaking stay-at-home orders, reading (something that resembles a physical object and has real pages), or that you’ve run out of all the stand-up comedy in the world and you’re watching Tom Green (you know, of Drew Barrymore fame) from his early days on MTV somewhere (but on your phone) because you’ve run out of everything else to watch, or you’ve learned how to hibernate like a bear and if so, can you let me in on this mass secret?

What is ‘It’ that you’re doing during ‘This’?

I can tell you what I’m doing. I’ve been socially distancing myself at least since I founded the company, so it’s nothing revolutionary. I like to think I’m becoming smarter and wiser by finishing more than one book, but if I knew where you guys were at and what you were doing, things would be a lot easier.

Seriously, you cannot convince me that everyone is having these Hallmark moments, living in the present, seriously playing with your kids the entire day, on Zoom all day having close-to-real conversations in-person (Gen Z please prove me wrong). What I do know is you’re not engaging on social channels, and your online behavior is more erratic and bipolar than Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted.

Let’s say you are living in the now and having real experiences. Maybe you’re just posting these rare occasions on Instagram and then leaving. Maybe you aren’t reading your favorite blogs or interacting online because you don’t want to shop. But what’s stopping you from planning your future home, wedding, or quotes to live by on Pinterest? What am I missing out on? This is like the FOMO we create at Rock Candy Media, except I’m not the creator and I’m highly aware of it.

Here’s the irony: There is no smart verus dumb, have versus have-nots, liberal versus conservative anything going on online. Online data shows you guys aren’t fighting… or breathing. And online is where it has been easier to argue.

However, if I go to any news channel – and I have to in order to market to the entire United States state by state to target them online – things are massively confusing. Each state is acting like its own country, but not in a leadership sort of way. Where’s the confusion? Why aren’t people asking more questions?

I’m going to admit the one thing no other marketer will: I’m really confused.

But my need to know is driving me to write for therapy. I’m starting to feel massively alone, and like I said, I’ve been self-isolating since the millennium. Why aren’t other people confused?

Why are dog groomers allowed to open but a stay-at-home order is in place in one state? Why were some states never on lockdown? (There were more than I could count on one hand at some point.) Why – in Austin, Texas – where we are headquartered, are people allowed to go to only a handful of places mid-month, and they include movie theaters and the gym? Didn’t you guys watch that Dateline episode where they swabbed every toilet, gym, hotel, subway, etc. in New York City and found by far and away the most fecal matter were on those silver ATM buttons?

All I know is one thing: You’re not online. And you might not be employed either. In that case, wouldn’t you be online looking for jobs? Anyone in direct marketing, digital marketing, direct-to-consumer, conversion marketing-based, and most importantly, performance-based has to know what I’m talking about. There is online activity and we’re getting conversions, but they are mass extremes. First it was by the week, and last week for two days there were five extreme spikes just during normal corporate business hours.

I would like to believe that everyone is engaging in real life, whether they are by themselves or not. But you can’t convince me that every American, a born consumer, is reading and/or talking. I am highly aware that I sound like some loser tourist lost in a large pedestrian area, but the irony is I hear that New York City is completely silent. So you’re not lost there.

The question remains: Where you at?

Let Your Curiosity Take Control