Fabio: Hi guys, welcome to one more episode of 10 questions Back to Back. I have a really special guest here, Beto Altenhofen. It’s a huge pleasure to have him here and I’ll explain a little of his story so you can understand the context of why he’s such an important guest and how this can help you. We’re going to talk about marketing. Beto is perhaps one of the best known copywriters in Brazil, he’s helped many companies make money, and Empiricus has more than 300,000 monthly subscriptions. He’s a hugely important person within digital marketing, and Beto was my teacher on that journey, someone who helped me a lot. Beto is also a black belt in Jiu Jitsu so he really understands our market. He owns his own academy as well, so we’ll talk about all of that today.
Beto: It’s a huge honour to be here. When I received your invite, I didn’t think I deserved it. I saw all your other podcasts with really important guests, so it’s a huge honour to be here.
Fabio: I wanted to ask you the following. As I mentioned in the introduction, you’re one of the business partners of Empiricus, a company that has more than 300,000 subscribers. It’s absurd. My question to you is: what exactly is your role in the company today?
Beto: I like to define Empiricus as a business of ‘ideas.’ We sell content, so in some respects we are within the financial sector but we sell content rather than products. My education was in economics, I was a financial analyst. Within the company someone needed to do the marketing and we were a company of only 5 people, so out of necessity I started to learn how to do it and I really enjoyed it. I think today people confuse Empiricus as a company that generates financial content rather than a company that creates and launches big ideas within the world of digital marketing
Fabio: You launched a product last year I think which was the first copywriting course in Brazil.
Beto: I don’t think it was the first, maybe the second….
Fabio: Anyway, I remember I was in the first group and the course was nothing to do with sales. It was completely focused on marketing.
Beto: When you think of digital marketing there are two big questions. One, is the volume of people you access. You (Fabio) do this really well, but it can be whatever you chose to focus on. With the example of a Jiu Jitsu academy, you want to bring people into your academy, so you need to reach people and know how to ‘group’ your audiences and generate content on social media for each kind of profile of person. Then there is the part linked to the message you want to share and the ideas, which mean a person moves from ‘clicking’ a button to becoming an actual visitor of your academy.
Fabio: This was the thing that really got me fascinated with digital marketing. It was exactly that question, ‘what makes someone click on that button.’ It’s like a trigger. You have to find that mental trigger. You talk about this a lot at Empiricus, that your strategy is linked to the “Fear” or “Greed” factor, like we also see in the financial markets. Where did this idea come from? and what is its impact.
Beto: This is an interesting idea for all kinds of businesses, including Jiu Jitsu academies. As an economist my background was in human behaviour. I studied this for a long time, and I really believe that people buy using “emotion.” So in general, of course there are exceptions, but as a general rule people buy based on emotion. In second place, it’s logic, which is the justification that a person needs that thing.
Fabio: The way a man thinks!
Beto: Fear and greed are very clear emotions. Fear that you will lose money, and greed, where you want more money so you can improve your life, but we can bring that to any situation. For example, within the health sector, people are afraid to lose their health or to have a poor quality of life, or to feel pain, or get older. On the other side is greed. People want a better body, to be healthier, to hone a 6-pack stomach, or to lose weight but independently of fear and greed I think everything goes back to emotion. People act out of emotion. So I think with a business focused on academies, whether that’s Jiu Jitsu, sport etc there are a series of emotions you could explore in order to have a greater impact of potential customers. For example, you want to promote a kids class in your academy. You can try with logic: e.g ‘Does your child need to do more physical activity?’ using the logic that it makes sense to take up a sport, but what about using emotion. Parents are the decision makers so it needs to resonate with them.
Fabio: For example, your child is suffering bullying at school
Beto: Imagine you’re at work, and you don’t know what’s happening to your child. He could be a target of bullying and doesn’t know how to defend himself. There’s also the side of sport that improves confidence and discipline, so in a certain form the beauty of marketing is be able to touch people’s emotions. I think this is set in stone, and you can apply it to anything.
Fabio: I always question things a lot, but I notice people feel uncomfortable to do certain marketing actions. They think it’s something derogatory. But I think of it like this: if those professional that are really good don’t do it, this opens space for those that don’t contribute anything positive to do it, because that guy will use the tools available today, and will then become the most well known in that area. So in a way, you’re to blame for not doing any marketing in the area you work in. In our case which is Jiu Jitsu it was my main motivator, I really felt I needed to do it. Before, there was this idea that you don’t need to do marketing — if you’re good people will know about you but there are so many terrible people that become better known with this mentality.
Beto: Social media enabled this, so everyone can have an online presence.
Beto: Everyone uses the same space. Before for example, a news channel would look for you, for “Fabio Gurgel. “ It would be something selective, but today, this doesn’t happen. Everyone can post a photo. Everyone has the same space to promote themselves. This is the greatest danger. Another issue which I think is interesting…I was within the world of Jiu Jitsu as a practitioner first, and a few years later it became my business, but there was something I noticed with Jiu Jitsu which I think is maybe more to do with the Brazilian culture. Our company has business partners outside of Brazil and we see a difference. In the USA, people don’t see “selling” as something derogatory. People don’t think you’re the devil if you sell something. People don’t see you has having a bad character because you’re a capitalist. Businesses are sustained by money. At least in my head, people in the USA understand this. Another thing… I would prefer to pay for a service, because usually price is associated with quality. If you want to buy an old VW Beetle it will be one price, a BMW will be another price. Why? Because of the quality. When you pay, you become the ‘creditor’ of that business, and not the ‘debtor.’ Without paying, the exchange is simply one of favours, so when you pay for something, you can hold someone responsible for the quality of that thing. I saw a lot of this in Jiu Jitsu where the black belt doesn’t need to pay for training etc. I think we still have this culture a little bit embedded…. where it’s seen to be ‘ugly’ to sell….