So I had identified a problem and began exploring possible solutions. I also identified some other things. I knew to not try and reinvent the wheel. I knew that the solution was simple. That it would probably be a combination of ideas and tools that had already been tested and proven elsewhere. And I knew that this elegant solution eluded me. In light of my new goal to be myself at all times, including admitting publicly that I have a healthy appetite for porn, I had decided to start talking with people about my plans to break into this industry.
I had no problem breaking out the porn in the bedroom and the girls I have dated have always dug it too. But I had never talked about it publicly or practically for that matter. But I decided to let the pussycat out of the bag with a buddy of mine. Chat about it like we were talking sports. Funny thing happened that day. I wasn’t branded as a pervert. Well, not a bad pervert anyway. My friend even said he enjoyed porn too. What ensued was an open, honest, and funny conversation about it.
After a while, I brought up my thoughts on entering the business somehow and the conversation turned to discussing the ways I might break into the business. Passing the dutchie down the left-hand side, I ran an idea for a niche site by him. What about a site devoted to people getting even with their significant other by fucking their nemesis? The name was going to be grudgepump. He laughed and thought it was a cool idea so we started brainstorming who would fuck who and the conversation turned to how we would market it.
I have always dug the concept of viral marketing, even since the days it was called word of mouth and mentioned how cool it would be if we could get our customers to market it for us. Carry the message on a T-shirt or something. Well, my buddy runs a printing shop, in addition to digging porn, and he went and dug out of the closet a T-shirt he had printed with his favorite picture of Christy Canyon. It floored me. It was the coolest T-shirt I had ever seen. But more importantly, seeing that T-shirt made me realize what I really wanted to do. It was not producing content for a site like grudgepump. It was selling it. Or more specifically, showing the entire industry new ways to sell and make money. Bingo. Jackpot. Eureka.
Finally, the solution to the problem came to me. There are traditional marketing tools and concepts that have been proven to increase revenues that have yet to be fully embraced by the online adult entertainment industry. In particular, promotional marketing which has been used effectively for decades. Not only that, but I had employed promotional marketing tactics effectively in the past to increase revenues, conversions, and retention for mainstream Internet businesses. So I know a thing or two about it. In fact, I know a lot about it.
Not only that, but the more I thought about it, the more benefits to the industry I saw. Promotional marketing could help balance out marketing efforts that focused primarily on traffic, for instance. What if adult websites started throwing in a free mouse pad or T-shirt with a subscription? Would that increase conversions? It does in the mainstream, why wouldn’t it here? Not only that, but promotional merchandise can become a new revenue stream itself. While there are a million places to show how promo gear can turn into saleable merchandise, it is nowhere more apparent than with Rock and Roll, NASCAR, and Hollywood. Promotional merchandise has become a primary profit center in and of itself. Fans snatch up all the gear they can.
While I wasn’t around back then, I imagine that the first concert T-shirt or two met with controversy. Now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry in and of itself. Hollywood doesn’t just release a movie anymore. Custom merchandise is right there to not only help the movie do better, but add significant revenue to the bottom line. Many times doubling or tripling bottom line revenue. How about sports? You better not show-up to that tailgater with the opposing team’s colors on. Pabst Blue Ribbon promotional swag commands a premium on Ebay.
Not only that, do you know what one of the greatest moments in swag history is? It was 1951 and John Baumgarth created a calendar featuring a nude photo of a young and unknown Marilyn Monroe, with the words Your Advertisement Here underneath. It became one of the most sought-after pieces of schwag ever. A nude calendar in 1951.
And when I looked around, I noticed that there are few online adult businesses embracing promotional merchandise as a conversion and retention tool and an additional revenue stream beyond their main revenue stream. Why not combine my sales, e-commerce, marketing, and promotion experience with my affinity for adult entertainment and love of the Internet into a brand new way for this industry to make more money? Why not indeed.