Lesson 15 – How to Catch the National Psyche


Tangled Web Lesson 15

How to Catch the National Psyche

Previous lessons have focused on the importance of  the 7 Ps in our small internet business.  Passion, Problem, Profitably priced product, Person, Pathways to prospects, Promise,  Presentation.

Capturing the National Psyche can help in the process of finding problems that potential clients feel.

One sure fire way to have a successful internet business is to correctly guess what a large segment of society will do next.  Yet we cannot always deduce the future with logic.

Movements in mankind are hardly logical.  Quantum shifts in technology, politics, etc. make it impossible to begin with an accurate premise. This appears to leave us with just our flawed view of the past.

Fortunately this is not entirely true. We can see the future in the here and now!

In about 1991 or 1992, when I was in the direct mail publishing business, a client inadvertently taught me this fact when he recommended a book entitled “How to Survive the Upcoming Crash of 1995” written by Harry E. Figgie.

Figgie had high powered economic credentials at that time, head of Figgie International, a conglomerate that had grown from the 1960s into being the 360th largest company in the US.   The company had subsidiaries like Rawlings Sporting Goods and was at its pinnacle of success.  He was also on President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Advisory Board.

What Figgie wrote was taken seriously at that time.

I read Figgie’s book when it had been on the New York Times bestseller list for many months. The compelling, frightening information told how the U.S. economy was about to melt down because the U.S. deficit was out of control and American debt was headed to 1.6 trillion.

That figure seems a bit silly now when one year’s US deficit is more than all that debt!  This is an important fact to remember which we’ll get back to it in a moment.

First let me add that the book offered no solution to the dilemma of that meltdown it highlighted.  The book just told how the US economy would fall into disaster.

The story scared me… a lot.  This created a problem. How could I survive. this generated a passion… to prosper during the collapse.  Then it occurred to me that I had an answer.  I was, at that time, one of the few publishers focusing on investing outside the US.

I created a course on how to invest globally to overcome the risk of a US meltdown and developed a promise and presentation in the form of a marketing piece that mentioned the book, outlined this problem and gave readers a way to find solutions by ordering a course from me.

The Promise (the headline that market piece) was”

“Are We 23 Months from Disaster.  There is a destructive economic fundamental that is now so powerful it could overwhelm all other factors determining our wealth… in just 23 months.

The presentation then explained Figgie’s book… the problem and the solution (my course that helped them invest abroad).

I tested this marketing piece.  At that time, when marketing via direct mail, getting one dollar in sales for every marketing piece mailed was considered really good.  My first test went to 10,000 readers.  $10,000 in sales would have been a very good result.

The test brought in over $130,000 in sales… unheard of results!  I immediately rolled out my marketing (sent direct to more and more lists).

I had unknowingly tapped the national psyche.

Over the next two years this marketing piece worked unbelievably well creating millions in sales. Profits were fantastic because this was also a very profitably priced product.

Here is a most interesting point.  The premise of the book was totally wrong. The US economy did not collapse in 1995 but was well on its way to its biggest boom… ever.

Later I asked myself why did that marketing piece work so well.

The answer?

First, a problem does not have to be real. The problem only has to be perceived by the public.  Look at how many nuclear bomb shelters were built during the cold war.

That marketing piece based around Figgie’s book nailed the thoughts of millions of investors right on the head because they had all read that book!  The book had sold well beause people already had fear.  The book magnified the fear. My marketing piece magnified it more.

I had inadvertently tapped into a national psyche that was supported by this best selling book.

Since that time I always look at the lists of best selling books in large newspapers.

I ask… “why are these books selling well”?  What is the public perceiving?

So earlier this year, a reader sent me the novel “One Second After” written by bestselling author, William R. Forstchen.

The story takes place in a small North Carolina town after an electro magnetic pulse is detonated by terrorists over the United States.   The electrical grid and anything using a computer stops working.

Without central communication and distribution, mass devastation and chaos ensues immediately.   The agony is terrible and life almost unfathomably complicated. What makes this fiction meaningful is that the book really documents and details the West’s dangerous reliance on technological systems which are so extensive that no one even recognizes them any more.

Adding to the terror of this book is a forward by Newt Gingrich and and afterword by Captain Bil Sanders (USN) one of the foremost experts on EMP.   The comments  on how an EMP exploded over the US would create the Compton effect and how it would have “devastating consequences on our country”  scared me… a lot.

This created the problem. How would I survive this?  And the passion is to prosper during such an event.

Then when I was visiting a “Books-a-Million” book store I noticed that this book “One Second After” and many others of the same genre were placed in a hot seller spot within the store.

This put my feelers on alert!   I decided to create a marketing theme around this idea.

I was working on several Profitably Priced Products (still am) for this theme, when an article about the EMP risk arrived in the front page of USA Today.

That was almost the deciding factor… then came one more.

Merri but had I decided to buy a house in Florida.

I had decided that one product we should sell in the EMP theme is information on how to have and operate a shielded Ham radio and generator.

Later, after looking at hundreds of houses, we found the one we wished to buy. It was owned by a Ham radio operator and already had a ham radio tower and generator.

Merri and I always pay attention to coincidences of this sort… plus this added enormous immediate power to my marketing theme as well… because… we normally market what we believe in and write about what we are doing.

In this case our process of setting up a ham radio and generator have been dramatically accelerated!  We close on our house four days from now and I introduced the theme at my garyascott.com site today.

This, as you will see, adds punch to the initial introduction of this theme… I hope.

I am still working on the Ham radio and generator aspect for  a product but our Multi Currency Course and Ecuador Living service are already products we can deliver so I have started there.

This lesson helps you see how all the seven Ps fall into place.

The Passion and Problem… The book “One Second After” created a problem in my mind. How do I survive and prosper in an EMP attack?

The Person… anyone who has read this or a similar book or read last week’s the USA Today article about EMP and worried about how they would survive such an attack.

The Prospecting Path…  First our existing readers.  We’ll be looking for key phrases the reveal themselves in our initial introduction of this theme.

Profitably Priced Products… we already have two.. our Ecuador Living and Multi Currency services.

The Promise and Presentation…  can be seen at New International investing Era

Capturing the National Psyche can help find problems that potential clients feel.  If we are aware of how to search major media and remain alert… everyone will see and feel some powerful force that reveals problems and passions to find solutions that form the foundation of a profitable business.

Gary