This page is a work in progress, which I’ll expand upon in due course.
There is a feeling of “brokenness” in the traditional world of direct-response marketing today. (Unless, of course, you ask a traditional direct-response copywriter.)
DRM was built on the premise that human beings act in a linear fashion (which doesn’t represent the whole truth) and the idea that human relationships are mere transactions (seriously!?) that are easily manipulated through heavy-handed tactics of persuasion and FOMO and fake urgency and scarcity (yes, sadly, plucking at the physiological heartstrings of the human condition is too easily done, yet it doesn’t factor in the downstream consequences of unnaturally forcing action in this way).
If you’ve been engaging within the internet marketing / creator economy space for more than a month, you’ve undoubtedly been dragged, pushed, and shoved through many traditional funnels that represent a linear worldview experience.
While this trend will likely stay the same while the drumbeat of coercion marketing beats on, there is a better way — that’s slower, calmer, and personal.
‘Open World’ Marketing (OWM) counterintuitively turns the DRM model on its head, creating an ‘open world’ environment that is rich, engaging, captivating, and valuable.
Where people like Harper are attracted, naturally pulled forward, not through manipulation or coercion, but because they are genuinely attracted to the World.
The “closed” and linear nature of traditional direct-response marketing can (and almost always does) leave people feeling dissonance.
While ‘open world’ marketing leaves people feeling resonance like they’ve “found a home,” so to speak.
In my estimation, when we emphasize building relationships before optimizing for transactions, we establish the affordance for happy customers to emerge more organically, establishing a solid base to foster deeper relationships with our audience.
Linear vs. Non-Linear Worldspace
When everything to stripped away from a traditional direct-response marketing funnel, an A > B > C > D is revealed — an engineered linear path to push prospects down and through.
While there is a place for linear paths, front-loading it at the center of a creator-based business can undermine one’s ability to foster lasting relationships.
Here’s a hypothetical example of an “open” non-linear system funnel with the same starting and desired endpoint (a sale or offer conversion):
Open World marketing emphasizes an “open” worldspace on the front, allowing people like Harper to explore and interact with a greater sense of agency and freedom.
It’s counterintuitive. But when embraced, it unlocks a new dimension of possibilities and opportunities.
What if becoming a customer is an inevitability for the right people when exposed to a different expression of marketing — ‘open world’ in nature, negating the need for the traditional strong-arm tactics associated with direct response marketing?
See Parts I and II of my Tiny Worlds Manifesto for a more nuanced perspective.