The Dumbest Marketing Mistake I Ever Made with David Melamed of Tenfold Traffic

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  12:59  


David Melamed  12:59  

Right. Yeah, I don’t think so. But the bottom line is, is that they know that the Department of Transportation regulations or their licensing regulations says if they have a DUI, they have to go through a certain amount of addiction treatment in order to get back on the road and be a safe driver. And the company just wants to get them back on the road safely as soon as possible. And but that opened up the entire market and segment I never would have known existed. If I didn’t listen to that phone call. I wouldn’t you know, there’s all sorts of strategies you could target that industry, someone could probably even open up an addiction treatment center, focus just on DUIs for transportation, and probably do really well because they’ll own that niche. 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  13:46  

I love that you know I love to hear your other methods for customer research because one of the big lessons and big takeaways is actually you know, just listening to customer doing the customers was one of the ways was to listen in or answer calls. So another one is to listen to call recordings. Another one you mentioned was to do deep research on Yelp and look at reviews. I know another one people do is look on Amazon reviews for a product or a book. I’m curious, are there any other customer research? You know, because as we know the most powerful copy David doesn’t come from the best copywriter is it? I mean the best copywriters listen to the customer and just repeat basically. I’m not going to just minimize what copywriters do. I know a lot of amazing copywriters and they have they have a great job of just crafting it. So it all makes sense sequentially. But ultimately, a really important piece is listening to and repeating back what the customers customer is saying but also evaluating their deep seated fears in other things, pain points behind it. So I’d love to hear your other customer you know, great You know, points on how else do you do customer research and your tips and tricks?

David Melamed  15:06  

So? That’s a great question. I mean, there’s a lot of things I do. The first thing I always do is I try to start identifying trade associations, and conferences and looking at exhibit, they’re less from those conferences. So I’ll do like a backlink analysis of a website. And then if I see that, oh, they’re part of this in this trade association, I’ll then do a backlink analysis of that trade association. And I’ll start building this kind of a 360 degree view of the industry and how it’s interconnected. And then I start picking up on things but when I want to actually get into the customers had, the way I see it is, customers are they people want to be seen, they want to be heard, they want to be understood. So a lot of companies though, you know, they’ll do focus groups, they’ll survey customers, and those are all great. But what I find to be probably the most valuable is listen to the common complaints. And there’s actually a genius company, I forgot their name a anime or something like that, I don’t know, something like that. They they’re big amazon seller, what were they doing, they were finding really popular products on Amazon, let’s just say hypothetically, it was a Bluetooth speaker. And then they would read through all the reviews, and they would look for certain buzzwords, like, this is awesome, but it would be even better if it worked in the shower. And then what they would do is they would basically just build that exact same speaker, but make it waterproof. And then package it as you know, a waterproof you know, product just like it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  16:51  

Then there’s their copy even even works in the shower.

David Melamed  16:55  

Exactly, exactly. So it’s it’s very, very important to listen to what people actually complain about this, this is really a different, you know, a discussion a story for another time, that may be what we’ll talk about. But I remember with their, you know, in junk cars, there was a promotion running one of our competitors was running it giving a free $500 gas card. And the call center was getting calls with complaints. I sold you my car, I never got my gas card. And we never had that promotion. But one day, I got a phone call, or you know from the person writing the call sign, he’s like, David, get this off the website, you have to figure out a way to, you know, remove that promotion, we don’t offer gas cards. Like it’s nowhere on our website, I don’t know you’re talking about he insists he’s like I don’t care do is figure out what’s happening and get rid of it. What I what I learned from that really interesting is I had a light bulb go off in that moment. It’s like, Wait a second, the customers are telling you exactly what they care about exactly what they want. Why in the world? Are we trying to get rid of it? Why aren’t we hunting down trying to figure out how to offer a $500 gas card. And so there were other insights we got from that as well, which is that there’s no brand differentiation in the junk car industry. 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  18:23  

Obviously, because they were mistaking you for another company.

David Melamed  18:27  

Exactly, you know, no one can tell the difference. And that’s kind of deliver and it’s kind of okay in that market. But that was but you know, customer like you think about complaints. And people often try to like, figure out how to solve it or be a little more clear about what they don’t have. But just listening to the questions people ask, and the complaints they have. And the This is great. But this, all of those are brand positioning. There’s this brilliant copywriter, who I almost partnered with a long time ago, who he worked at, like Ogilvy and other big agencies for many, many years, won a bunch of awards. And he It was during the 2008 I guess the bank, you know, housing meltdown crisis or whatever. And he said, you know, some bank is going to emerge from this as the like, brilliant genius always put the customers first by building a sustainable brand. And I remember who was exactly but he recognized that when everybody’s complaining about something that is exactly an opportune rant that that is the brand positioning, to deposition them to take over the market. And to really get in there because people are telling you exactly what they care about. Now, they also imply what they care about with the way they behave on your website and the way they interact with different ads. So there’s lots of different ways to get that information. And I try to just listen to everything. Where and try to put myself in their shoes. And then one other thing I tried to do is I try to every time I buy something every time I catch myself reaching into my wallet, I try my hardest talk, tune in to my emotions. How am I feeling? What am I thinking about? Why am I making this purchase decision, and I just file it away in my mind. And I try to look for those patterns and other situations. And it lets me have certain buyer empathy. So you’re just paying attention to what what hooks you and what you buy, is often because humans, you know, we’re more similar than different. As much as we like to believe we’re all unique. Most of our core needs and behaviors and emotions are driven by the same you know, the need for significance and things like that. I just want to share one other detail around research for copyrighting. I think his name pronounced Stefan Georgi, but he’s–

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  21:00  

I’ve talked to Stefan, yeah.

David Melamed  21:03  

He has a framework called RMBC, Research Mechanism Brief and Copy, where he doesn’t just blindly like I was going into complaints and reviews and just trying to see what people seem to like, focus on and repeat. But he seems to have like a very specific framework for looking for the right pieces of information. Because you really have to come up with that mechanism. I think that’s probably the key to everything else. So looking for that, like, you know, the What’s that one thing that people everybody assumes they have to do that you can remove that barrier will make it a no brainer. I don’t know if that’s a great way to describe mechanism. But I do think, and I haven’t been through his formula, but I am very impressed. And he’s supposedly one of the most prolific copywriters out there. He cranks out sales letters, like, you know, like, like, I couldn’t get words out of my mouth, which I love talking. 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  22:04  

So yeah, I mean, his RMBC method, you know, is great. And I’ve actually talked to them about this. It’s It stands for research mechanism brief and copy for anyone listening. And it’s funny because you go when you go to The RMBC Method website, you know, you just I always love going to the website, because obviously if they’re teaching copywriting you’re reading their copy on their page. And so it starts off with this simple four step copywriting method took me from a broke and living in a trailer to generating over $700 million. And then he has got a video there and explaining it but but uh, yeah, I love just some that that I’ve heard the, you know, different methods throughout the year like the AIDA, which is like Attention, Interest, Desire, Action method. So, yeah, I totally think having some framework is really smart. You know, but but it goes back to kind of the foundation, David’s what you’re saying, which is, it’s listening to the customer, it’s listening to the pain, the needs the wants, and and watching the actions of the customer.

David Melamed  23:18  

Yeah, 100%. That’s definitely what I see for sure is the biggest opportunities. So anywhere the customers talking, I want to pay attention. So whether it’s answering the phones, listening to call recordings, reading reviews that they write, looking at their social media posts, I’m finding random blog posts, you know, yeah, there’s people still blogging on Blogspot these you know, neighborhood people talking about things and they might be talking about hiring, you know, landscaper to fix their, their leaking sprinkler, which is something I dealt with today. And there’s insights there, there’s brilliant insights. And the best insights are often the simplest and easiest. And so and you just, you just have to listen and pay attention. And it’s, it’s there. And it’s it’s a goldmine for differentiation.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  24:12  

Listening, when people are complaining, it’s funny, because you probably resonate with RMBC. Because the first thing is research and he says, research is the number one factor and whether or not your sales copy is effective or not. It’s also the most overlooked and he says it’s true for both the writers who are starting out or veterans in the last thing is RMBC is copy. Like, that’s what is the same thing you’re saying is the last thing you write is the copy. The first is get it doing all the background on the research, so totally. Um, David, let’s, that’s what that’s what Fixing Incentives is all about. It’s about doing things that change behavior, what moves the needle chain behavior, so I totally appreciate your expertise in sharing. You know, what you said was the dumbest mistake. steak you ever made, which you have since learned from? So thanks for sharing that people can check out more episodes of the podcast, which I encourage people to do. And they can check you out on your website as well. I’m at And any other places we should point people towards online. David, are those the best places?

David Melamed  25:22  

Those are the best places right now unless they want to just, you know, hunt me down on LinkedIn. I try to write on LinkedIn a little more than on other platforms.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  25:31  

Cool. All right, sharing everyone, check it out. And we’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks.

David Melamed  25:38  

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Outro  25:41  

Thanks for listening to the Fixing Incentives podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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