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Decay Marketing: a Concept

Written by Nico Black

Digital Strategist and early-stage investor, Nico is also an AdTech enthusiast. He has over a decade of digital marketing experience and has been investing in tech companies since 2006.

March 30, 2011

Speaking to a friend today I recalled a concept that I had developed a few months ago. Yes, the name is nasty – but it’s quite a clever concept. In the world of personal improvement (money, health, relationships) we always have more or less of something. We are either richer or poorer, healthier or less so, enjoying our personal relationships or suffering in them.

Decay marketing uses the personal status of a user when they sign-up to get something from your website – while doing so they have to provide a data point, e.g.:

  • Money (how much you earn)
  • Health (how much to drink a day, smoke, work out)
  • Relationships (single – more dating opportunities for men, married – improve things in the marriage)

A single data point allows us to assume a trajectory of how things are going in that person’s life. Everyone wants more money, cut back on drinking (when shown the potential damages), more dates or a stabler relationship.

So a user signs up, a data point is picked up and the user joins a mailing list that is relevant to their data point. And until they change that data point’s status they will continue getting emails discussing those points.

So why the decay? We assume that most people are on a path that takes them away from their goal’s fulfilment until they click on our call to action. The call to action changes their data-point, and now they are on a new decay path.

E.g. Someone who wants to study Arabic (like me) – my decay point is that I can’t understand a full TV news edition. So the mailing list would be to send me a news edition once every 5 days. The call to action is, if you don’t understand this news broadcast isn’t it time you got your new Rosetta Stone Arabic software suite? If this is purchased, they the data-point can change to a higher level “guilt” point. With a new decay campaign being initiated.

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