Sales and Marketing Strategies: Mainstream Vs. Adult

By: , September 18, 2007 | General & Editorial Advice

A comparison of differences between mainstream and adult marketing strategies and how to identify which techniques are being utilized and when.

By Robert Warren of

We all know the awkward conversation that happens around a family or friends get together when you get those looks like some pervert that needs to be watched for sexual deviancy even around any random kitchen appliance or central vacuum wall sockets simply because you happen to make, sell or view copious amounts of smut.

On one such occasion I met one of my marketing peers who despite their distain for porn, was intrigued that I had spent roughly the same amount of time in sales and marketing in the mainstream world as I have in adult. As we conversed certain unique traits of each came forward. Overall marketing and sales goes hand-in-hand as one paves the way for the other. Have a rotten marketing campaign - and the road is rough, your sales will slow down for the bumpy ride and potholes.

In both mainstream and the adult human nature over common sense seems to show up within Managers/Owners who love to point fingers on the sales team, feeling that if certain strategies worked 10 years ago, it's sure to work now!! Incredibly I find that sales people who are on the front lines, the ambassadors of a company whose names are recognizable to clients are generally the ones considered expendable and the least in the company. They are surreptitiously traded around like baseball cards.

Those in marketing and sales are bewildered at times on how to enlist more webmasters relying on chat boards, email campaigns and references to save their jobs. One thing is for certain that our industry demands unlike mainstream to never burn your bridges and secondly keep info to yourself!! (Unfortunately - it's not just in Vegas that secrets are kept anymore). It is hard as a marketer to decipher market trends when there is no real sharing of information and stats unless you work in several companies thereby creative a competitive analysis.

Unlike the mainstream world, the adult industry is far more secretive on their numbers. We have our regular collection of a few thousand webmasters in either the gay or straight market collected by client lists, chat boards and conventions, but where are the hundreds of thousands of supposed adult webmasters out there we see reported on television special reports? Truth of the matter is that webmasters who are capable of buying content are fewer than we wish to admit, and the remainder of webmasters who actually have website(s) of any value or substance in traffic are pretty much counted.

Is there a large section of non-registered webmasters who haven't found a chat room or industry resource to attach themselves onto? YNOT itself has over 15,500 registered webmasters past / present - is that it? If so then those who are in marketing and sales need to adjust their thinking that the well is not bottomless. This holds true in the mainstream world but the numbers are more forthcoming.

So lets clear the air on a few things. First off, sales is not marketing. Sales people prefer marketer or fancy titles like "worldwide executive manager, International VP of client strategy and services" - anything but sales person!! Truth of the matter is marketing is different than sales as much as male is from female - those such as myself who are both in sales and marketing would be for lack of a better definition in the adult world would be as a tranny.

The sales mind should have only one equation - ABC (Always Be Closing). When you are on the boards, phone, email or adult conventions - Always Be Closing (ABC). Look for the opportunity to introduce, provide overview, get a referral or close a Webmaster on the service you provide.

As a marketer you need to know recent trends of the market, read your statistics, listen to webmasters / surfers and suggest changes in your overall approach - this reflects in turn to the sales person's approach. If your are the companies marketing director and don't know what the hell your doing since they never had a university / college course of Adult Marketing 101 but thankful neither does your boss - then let me give you some quick terms that are from the mainstream industry that can bridge over to your adult marketing campaign.

I don't want to load you up with technical explanations; I would like to make this as easy as possible in a descriptive way we all can understand. In my conversation with mainstream marketing peers I remembered this quick reference:

You see a smoking hot babe at a party. You go up to her and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." -- That's Direct Marketing

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a smoking hot babe . One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says, "He's fantastic in bed."

-- That's Advertising

You see a smoking hot babe at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed."

-- That's Telemarketing

You're at a party and see a smoking hot babe. You get up and straighten your suit. You walk up to her and pour her a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten her hair that fell gently out of place then brushing your arm lightly against her breast, and say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." -- That's Public Relations

You're at a party and see a smoking hot babe. She walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." -- That's Brand Recognition

You're at a party and see a smoking hot babe. You talk her into going home with your friend. -- That's a Sales Rep

Your friend can't satisfy her so she calls you. -- That's Tech Support 

You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be smoking hot babes in all these houses you're passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated toward the centre and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!"

-- That's Spam 

This is a quick reference chart in developing some marketing strategies, but remember whatever path you choose marketing is an ongoing process that changes regularly. The mainstream market has a more polished approach with a vast database of material and course material to increase their effectiveness, the adult market doesn't. Mainstream can draw upon a deeper well of information and criticism along with statistics, market surveys and customer service feedback that simply doesn't exist in our market. We rely not on corporate marketing plans and big budget marketing campaigns that depend greatly upon customer psychology and purchasing trends. Those in marketing today if they even went to school for marketing are frustrated since Internet Marketing has only recently became a viable tool for mainstream and sure as hell we are not going to see porn course. We are on our own for now, without seminars that skim the surface without dealing directly to the problem since the sharing of stats and company numbers is not permitted. Until we are able to co-ordinate our resources we are in the dark - trusting only those who have been here for some time to give an overview.

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