How Do You Know What You Don't Know If You Don't Know It?

35 replies
This is actually something that's been bothering me for a long time.

I'm not talking about common things like, you don't know how to write
salescopy so you look for a book on how to write salescopy.

You know you don't know it, and it's something common enough to marketing
that you know you need to learn it IF you're going to write your own copy.

But what if something existed (let's call it XYZ) that isn't common. It's
possibly brand new or even something very old but just isn't something
discussed a lot.

How do you know you don't know it if you don't even know it exists and
then how do you determine if it's something that you even need to know?

Where would you even go to find new or obscure marketing tactics,
software, scripts, or whatever, that might be of real help to you?

Essentially what I'm saying is this. I know a lot. At least I think I do. But
what is possibly out there that I am not aware of that could really be of
assistance to me...and maybe even make a huge difference in my
marketing efforts, if it's nothing more than a software program that can
help automate some processes?

Where do you even begin to research such things?

Is there some ultimate authority site like Wikipedia for marketing where
you find out every single marketing tactic, program, script or whatever,
that you can use for your business?

Or am I asking for the impossible?

I can't help but feel that there is one piece out there that can make my
life as a marketer at least a little better.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
  • Profile picture of the author SEOPoints
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    Where do you even begin to research such things?
    Maybe a place like this forum where you can get exposed to stuff in threads that you otherwise might not have thought about?

    Another place is conferences where you interact with other marketers and attend panel discussions. You might hear something that sounds unfamiliar which could lead to you learning something new.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by SEOPoints View Post

      Maybe a place like this forum where you can get exposed to stuff in threads that you otherwise might not have thought about?

      Another place is conferences where you interact with other marketers and attend panel discussions. You might hear something that sounds unfamiliar which could lead to you learning something new.
      Yes, but the problem with the above is it's hit and miss.

      I'm looking for something more along the lines of a site with a massive table
      of contents that I could go through when I have the time.

      Any such site exist that anybody knows of?
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

      Thanks. No index. Impossible to go through without wasting tons of time.

      Yeah, I know...I'm being very picky.

      That's the point.
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      • Profile picture of the author kf
        The problem with an index, is that you will use it to find things you already know ...

        Isn't the point to find answers that you don't even know the questions to? In that case, browsing is going to turn up topic areas that don't look familiar ... and provide more of a free-flow experience that will make you receptive to new ideas and ways of seeing things?

        Just a thought.

        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Thanks. No index.

        Just saw your post above, and thinking now you mean tools more than strategies or business models? (It's early -- I still need coffee.)

        In either case, you could do a blog post 'Five tools that changed my marketing life' and tag other blog writers to make it go viral and add their own top five tools. Should flush out some new things.

        Also ... have a look at the All - in - (you know the number) threads here as a starting resource.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by kf View Post

          The problem with an index, is that you will use it to find things you already know ...

          Isn't the point to find answers that you don't even know the questions to? In that case, browsing is going to turn up topic areas that don't look familiar ... and provide more of a free-flow experience that will make you receptive to new ideas and ways of seeing things?

          Just a thought.
          Yes, but with an alphabetical index, I'll find something that I am not
          familiar with and look it up. After a brief read, I'll know if it's something I
          want to pursue or not.

          Make sense?
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          • Profile picture of the author kf
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Yes, but with an alphabetical index, I'll find something that I am not
            familiar with and look it up. After a brief read, I'll know if it's something I
            want to pursue or not.

            Make sense?
            Yes ... but at the same time - using the RoboForm example, you could skip over a section on 'Keeping passwords' thinking it showed you how to keep them in a spreadsheet, or save them with your browser and completely miss the reference to RoboForm.

            So you may skip over topics you think you 'know' and miss a gem ... I guess my point is, when we want to learn something new or do not know (or a different way of interpreting something we do know), we need to start from a place of 'not knowing' ... which is often harder than we think.

            --- I was adding to my post above when you posted your reply, so check my note above on the blog idea.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by kf View Post


              So you may skip over topics you think you 'know' and miss a gem ... I guess my point is, when we want to learn something new or do not know (or a different way of interpreting something we do know), we need to start from a place of 'not knowing' ... which is often harder than we think.
              Well, yeah...which is why I never said this would be easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    If you don't know something and are unaware that you don't know it, why would you worry?

    Isn't the whole point of what you do to perfect what you do?

    There is not a single facet of commerce that is new - over thousands of years commerce has been exploited, expounded and exploded out of all recognition but it is only the wrappings that change.

    You have a product and find someone to buy it from you.
    You see potential for a product and find someone to produce and sell it.
    You see a product that is readily available and find a new use for it and sell it to those who can use it.

    I suppose you could always blame your bankruptcy on an over indulgence in research of a subject that can not be researched - only *******ised.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      If you don't know something and are unaware that you don't know it, why would you worry?

      Isn't the whole point of what you do to perfect what you do?

      There is not a single facet of commerce that is new - over thousands of years commerce has been exploited, expounded and exploded out of all recognition but it is only the wrappings that change.

      You have a product and find someone to buy it from you.
      You see potential for a product and find someone to produce and sell it.
      You see a product that is readily available and find a new use for it and sell it to those who can use it.

      I suppose you could always blame your bankruptcy on an over indulgence in research of a subject that can not be researched - only *******ised.
      First of all, I am not worried. But let me give you an example of why I
      would care.

      Up until a couple of years ago, I didn't know that such a thing as Roboform
      existed. So I had to always type in my login and password. Plus I had to
      think of my own passwords.

      Roboform has literally saved me countless hours of work time.

      Before I discovered DLGuard, I had to create my own download pages
      and then had to worry about people passing them around.

      DLGuard (only found out about it 2 years ago) has been the single most
      best investment I've ever made.

      Just because the foundation of marketing has been around forever
      doesn't mean there aren't things out there that can make your life a lot
      easier.

      So what, because I didn't know DLGuard existed I shouldn't have gone
      out searching for a product to help me protect my products once I saw
      that they were being stolen?

      Sorry Art, but I don't agree with your negative assessment of this question.
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      • Profile picture of the author grayambition
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        First of all, I am not worried. But let me give you an example of why I
        would care.

        Up until a couple of years ago, I didn't know that such a thing as Roboform
        existed. So I had to always type in my login and password. Plus I had to
        think of my own passwords.

        Before I discovered DLGuard, I had to create my own download pages
        and then had to worry about people passing them around.

        Sorry Art, but I don't agree with your negative assessment of this question.
        I don't think there's any one way to do what you want. And I totally get why it bugs you, because those are exactly the kind of "cosmic" issues I like to ponder. Here's what I do. I may not know what I don't know, but I usually know what I need to do, and I know what frustrates me about what I need to do. And I figure if I'm frustrated, chances are others are as well.

        Taking your Roboform example, I know that I absolutely detest repetitive stuff like typing passwords. So, I'd just search for something like "password program." Then, now that I know these programs exist, I'd just research them to find the best (by asking in here, reading reviews, whatever).

        I HATE repetitive typing, and I used to work with macros a lot back in the old WordPerfect DOS days. For some strange reason, macros don't seem to be as prevalent these days, but I figured there had to be something that would enable me to create text shortcuts that could be accessed from anywhere in Windows. So I just searched and researched... and ended up with Shortkeys, an elegantly simple little app.

        A few years ago, I knew I wanted to be able to read or use my laptop from my treadmill, my mini-trampoline, or simply while standing. It took a bunch of searching - the product I wanted wasn't on the first several search results pages at the time, but I finally found exactly what I wanted.

        That's pretty much my modus operandi in many areas, not just IM... ask myself what's bugging me and find out what's available to fix it. And if there isn't a ready-made solution, as others here have suggested, voila. A new product idea!

        I know this sounds simplistic, and it is. And it doesn't fully answer your question about how you find out what you don't know in every area. But between hanging out in places like the Warrior Forum, where you'll find people implementing solutions to problems you may not have thought of, and digging for solutions to stuff that bugs you, I think it's a decent start.

        I'm thankful it's such a no-brainer now to find solutions. I've been around since BEFORE the days of DOS, and my simplistic little method wasn't available. And it wasn't the case that almost everything had a solution. We have it easy now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    The first place I'd go is to my public library where you can research what publications, trade organizations, research associations, etc. exist for any given topic. If you don't know which reference material to even use, ask the librarian, they're experts at it.

    Once you identify all the players in the game, then it's just a matter of investigating what they offer. Probably 90% won't be of much use as they will only deal with the mainstream information of their specialty, but if you can dig out the others you should be able uncover a lot of the kind of esoteric information you're looking for.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankBowman
    Steven,

    Why not delve into the philosophy of not knowing,,,,,

    Check out this forum, its way over my head but I'm sure you'll get something out of it.

    Peace
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hi Steven,

    2 answers come to mind.

    1 - Don't worry about what you don't know - you can never know everything and new things will always come up that you can't already have known about.

    2 - Build relationships with experts in the industry so that you have a network that will find out new things and be able to tap you into them.

    The problem with your question is that it's a personal thing and no-one else can really know what you do and don't know - so ultimately you can't get 100% complete knowledge.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      Hi Steven,

      2 answers come to mind.

      1 - Don't worry about what you don't know - you can never know everything and new things will always come up that you can't already have known about.

      2 - Build relationships with experts in the industry so that you have a network that will find out new things and be able to tap you into them.

      The problem with your question is that it's a personal thing and no-one else can really know what you do and don't know - so ultimately you can't get 100% complete knowledge.

      Andy

      Andy, quick question. Do you personally know of any sites that have a
      mass alphabetical index of marketing related info?

      I found one that's so-so but nothing like what I'm hoping to find.

      I just figured that when I had some free time, I'd go through these lists
      and see if I can find something that I'm not familiar with.

      Thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Andy, quick question. Do you personally know of any sites that have a
        mass alphabetical index of marketing related info?

        I found one that's so-so but nothing like what I'm hoping to find.

        I just figured that when I had some free time, I'd go through these lists
        and see if I can find something that I'm not familiar with.

        Thanks.
        That's the sort of thing I would traditionally check the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) for - but in my experience their information is very focused on B2C and is missing a lot of the stuff you and I would take for granted about IM technology and strategies.

        Andy
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        nothing to see here.

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      • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
        Google Trends combined with Google Insights would be the closest thing I would think you could come to.

        -Dani
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Steve, first--I do not have the answer to your question.

    Suggestion. First, sit down with a pencil and notepad and make a list of say the ten (or whatever number) things you do each day related to IM. Then go back and pick the two of these that are the biggest pain-in-the-ass things--the ones that you hate the most or feel like you waste the most time on.

    Then think about them for a while. Do a little reverse engineering. Rather than looking for a product, look at your problem(s). Then ask, if there was a product, software, script available to solve this problem for me--what functions or capabilities must it have?

    Ok, so now you've conceptualized the problem and laid down some parameters for the solution. Perhaps you could look at the solution and try to functionalize or operationalize a product yourself to bring the product to life.

    You know how you want the product to function, so build a framework for the product so that it smooths the bumps out of your workflow and give it a test run. If someone with your experience and skill runs into a little road hazard on the freeway of Internet marketing, you can be sure that many, many others have experienced the same problem.

    Then share with us--or better yet--sell it to us! Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlharding
    Steven,
    I don't think there is a way for you to find out what you don't know about if you don't know about it. I think the only thing you can do is ponder about the things that you think could be improved upon, as an example: you may ponder on how to check your total combined income from your 200 sites in less than five minutes -, then, you would just have to do some research and see if anything existed that would allow you to do that. If not, see if it is doable to create.

    I think that's how lots of people come up with product creations...............looking for something they didn't know they needed until they need it and find it doesn't exist.

    On a broader scale I think it's a thirst/quest for knowledge......'is this all there is?'......keep asking the question and you will find out what it is you don't know.......without knowing that you didn't know it.

    Ruth
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  • Profile picture of the author esr
    With all due respect Steve, you're sounding a little OCD about this. LOL.

    I'm just kiddin', but seriously, is there really a way to "find out what you don't know?" The website or resource you're wishing for would have to be psychic to know what you don't know and post info about it.

    And, if there WERE such a resource, that listed every single marketing technique, tactic, software, etc., then we'd all be very successful and rich.

    And I can tell you from experience, THAT ain't the case.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by esr View Post

      With all due respect Steve, you're sounding a little OCD about this. LOL.
      A little? I've been OCD since I was a little kid and had to figure out how
      they put GI Joe's together. So I pulled mine apart...limb from limb.

      Getting it back together was a whole other story.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    The problem you have, Steve.. is that you will never find a true index of all marketing related info..

    Why?

    Because marketing is not one single industry. It is a whole plethora of techniques, strategy, ideas and implementation.... ranging widely in many B2(insert end user here) settings

    Even if you had an index of new released info and stuff in these areas, there is still tons of others out there, that use marketing, but aren't even remotely connected. So there would never be any reason for the resources to be pooled together.

    Think of it like this...

    Most people doing the selling in our field, have a real problem with marketing with dark hats, right?... so what are the chances of finding a list of combined resources for dark hats and light hats?...

    Each to their own, but it's just not something that would work, imho.

    If you don't know what you don't know.. then there is probably good reason for it

    Peace

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
    I think the whole thing boils down to the accumulation of information. Hmmm sites to accumulate info that are otherwise unawares. Warriorforum, digitalpoint, sitepoint etc. the forums would be the best place as they are faily organized. I would just check diff threads and titles and go with the ones that I don't know about to get more info
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    Steven,

    I'd suggest knowing where you want to go...then worry about how to get there. Should you discover you lack necessary knowledge along the way, find one who has been there and ask.

    Any other method is like shooting fish in the ocean...in the dark.

    Doug
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    Hmm

    You've obviously been doing some navel gazing Steve.

    You get more profound every day lol

    Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    You can know a little about everything but you can't know absolutely everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Ski
    No one would spend that much time in putting together a massive index of stuff, especially methods that were unknown to a lot of people, it would be your basics that you can find anywhere, at the end of the day thats all you really need, get really good at the basics and everything else will fall into place... There are a lot of blog posts on marketing tools, and resources but as far as a marketing library with every little thing is one spot that would just be pointless, for the webmaster I mean, they'd get a lot of traffic but zero sales, if you don't have any "secrets" then no one would want anything from you in the first place...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kitty Kiki
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    This is actually something that's been bothering me for a long time.

    I'm not talking about common things like, you don't know how to write
    salescopy so you look for a book on how to write salescopy.

    You know you don't know it, and it's something common enough to marketing
    that you know you need to learn it IF you're going to write your own copy.

    But what if something existed (let's call it XYZ) that isn't common. It's
    possibly brand new or even something very old but just isn't something
    discussed a lot.

    How do you know you don't know it if you don't even know it exists and
    then how do you determine if it's something that you even need to know?

    Where would you even go to find new or obscure marketing tactics,
    software, scripts, or whatever, that might be of real help to you?

    Essentially what I'm saying is this. I know a lot. At least I think I do. But
    what is possibly out there that I am not aware of that could really be of
    assistance to me...and maybe even make a huge difference in my
    marketing efforts, if it's nothing more than a software program that can
    help automate some processes?

    Where do you even begin to research such things?

    Is there some ultimate authority site like Wikipedia for marketing where
    you find out every single marketing tactic, program, script or whatever,
    that you can use for your business?

    Or am I asking for the impossible?

    I can't help but feel that there is one piece out there that can make my
    life as a marketer at least a little better.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    I don't know whether you know about this but I think you know about this but you don't realize about it. I am saying this with my salutation to you as an established internet marketer.

    This
    thing which I am going to share with you is...how religion is propagated? Whether you believe religion or not, I think you will definitely learn more on how Jesus, Gauthama Buddha, Confucius, Mohamed, Gandhi and many others who had somehow changed the world. Fair to say, they are the greatest marketers in the world.

    Since, I am not a successful internet marketer yet, I hope you don't mind me sharing with you on this. Should I disrespected you, I don't mind saying I am sorry.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      You get recognition to the "Question of the Week."

      I often find myself asking this very question. lol
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  • One way to catch new trends and news on any topic as they occur is to set up Google alerts to be delivered directly to your email inbox or in the form of a feed (preferably Google Reader). Of course, you will need to set up your seed keyword phrases properly to get the best results. In addition, you can subscribe to the mailing lists of the top websites and leaders in your field of interest so you get authoritative news and opinions on your topics of interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield
    God has got your back Steven.

    He gives you what you need when you are ready for it and need it.
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Hi Steven,

    When I saw the thread title I thought you were drunk or something

    But I got your point now...

    Here's a trick I learned that would help me know what's hot out there,
    and decide whether I want to learn it or not.

    1. Google trends - what's hot and what I should have some idea about.

    2. Doing some spying for hot articles on article directories - this gives me
    something like a table of contents on topics and decide whether I
    want to learn it or not.

    site:ezinearticles.com "This article has been viewed 1000.. time(s)."
    replace 1000 with something higher if you want to have a list of
    articles with much higher views.

    Now, those steps are just for seeing what's hot out there. As for the resources to
    learn those things, I have a few under my sleeves.

    1. I enrolled in a PLR/MRR site - this allows me unlimited resources for anything I want
    to know and at the same time get products for resale.

    2. Wikipedia - this is usually my first stop for a quick background on hot topics.

    3. Back to google search.

    That's basically how I do it.

    All the best,
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    How do you know what you don't know
    If you don't know, where do you go
    You can't get it done so you have to go slow
    You can't ask your lady, you can't ask your beau
    It makes you so sad, it makes you so low
    that you have no answers, you have nothing to show
    Ahh but there is one place that you can go
    to find out exactly what you do not know
    to all these good people here is where you must go
    to find out exactly what you need to know
    if you ask the right questions, they won't tell you "no"
    all I can say is just check the Warrior Forum... um, er.. bro!

    Chris "Dr. Seuss" Sutton
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  • Profile picture of the author chooch
    Technology changes so rapidly, like every few days to months, that is hard to keep track of everything that is new. For the old forgotten stuff, I haven't a clue, but there must be a place out there somewhere.
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