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A Guaranteed Way To Ruin Your Marketing (And How To Fix It!)

Bad Marketing

I’ve been in the advertising/marketing business for a decade.

During that time I’ve identified a number of factors that lead to success and some that inevitably lead to failure.

Here are three important factors to always consider:

  • ‘List’ – The actual audience you are marketing to and how receptive they are.

  • Promotion – What you are actually offering.

  • Copy – The effectiveness of the message you’re sending.

If all three of these are solid you have a good shot of making money with your marketing.

But there is one thing that can prevent success as surely as day follows night no matter how powerful your copy is, how enticing your offer is or how hungry your audience is for what you’re selling…


This is a trap companies large and small fall into.

They hem and haw for months about every little detail – the material goes back and forth, from department to department – changes are requested – then more changes – then the second-guessing begins and the process starts again.

If you are lucky, you are left with a little life in your promotion.

Usually though, marketing by committee leads to failure.

Either way, one thing these folks will never get back is lost time.

If they had just sent out the material quickly they would know right away whether it brought in business or flopped.

If it brings home the bacon, you’ll have all that revenue coming in during the months you might have otherwise spent in analysis paralysis…

…and if it fails, you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take another shot.

There are no guarantees in this game but people who go for it rather than sitting around talking about a campaign for months are going to profit.

At the end of the day, you have no idea how people will react until you send your marketing and see the response.

Here’s a real world example from two recent clients.

The first, a large corporate client with 1800 employees across Canada.

The second, a small four-person outfit.

Here’s the contrast:

Last September, the small company came to me and asked for my help. They were excited and ready to go – or so it seemed.

I wrote the copy, sent it to them and am still waiting for a response. They have done absolutely nothing in the past 8 months.

One delay after another – one excuse after another.

This is the type of project that should be turned around and live in the market within a month.

When I find I’m more concerned about getting the project finished than the client – it’s time to cut bait.

Quite obviously, the small company sits right where it was last year with no results to show for their expenditures of time and money.

Who knows what would have happened if they’d just gone for it. I suspect they would have more clients today than when we first began work.

On the other hand, the large company, the one you’d expect to have layers of bureaucracy and months of delays went for it with gusto.

When I sent the copy – they were very uncomfortable.

Why? Because it was unfamiliar. It was different than the stuff they usually put out.

But they took a deep breath and ran it anyway.

The results were very good:

The initial campaign increased leads for one of their products by 2000% and brought in a few million dollars extra compared to the usual revenue for this product at this time of the year.

We have since rolled out more campaigns – most have been very effective, a couple less so – but overall they’ve achieved some solid growth because they didn’t delay – they moved.

So what’s the lesson?

If you’ve got the three fundamental factors in place…

… a good list or at least a receptive audience – a solid product, service or promotion – and good content to sell it…



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