One of the bits of arithmetic that investors like to do in a startup is to compare the cost of acquisition (how much it costs you to get a customer), against the customer lifetime value (how much you’ll earn from each one during the period when the customer is in love with you).

This ratio works best when you can say the cost of acquisition is low, but the lifetime value is high.

But, right now there’s this existential problem in business generally in that previously effective marketing efforts are losing their appeal; which is driving up the cost of acquisition and screwing up this ratio.

Gold is you pour loads of value content out into the world and build an audience who comes to you.

Silver is you do outbound marketing (email, paid social, etc), but you actually do it well.

Bronze – and this is actually crap, so it’s more like “tin” -- is where you “spray and pray” poorly thought out messages and offers into the world.

Everyone has to level up because “tin” is no longer working. Do silver at worst, ideally aim for gold.