Viacom ads & the Content vs. Pitch death spiral

PerryMarketing Blog2 Comments

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This morning at breakfast, my buddy John Fox who writes a marketing blog on the Huffington Post handed me an interesting article. The Wall Street Journal explains how Viacom has been piling more ads onto its TV channels like Nickelodeon.

They’re doing this because viewership is down. They’re making up for it by selling more ads.

4% more commercials in 2010… then 7% more in 2011… then 9% more in 2012.

Nickelodeon’s viewership is down 29% this year.

How do you think this story ends?

Sounds like a death spiral to me.


In Autoresponder Boot Camp, I say your content to pitch ratio should be 80/20. Guess what, ESPN sells 9 minutes and 27 seconds of commercials per hour, that’s 84/16%.

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

The Discovery Channel sells 10 minutes and 59 seconds of commercials per hour. That’s 82/18.

Some folks err too much on the lean side. I’ve seen guys with business blogs and email lists who promise to never pitch you on anything. That’s a mistake. You have every right to earn something for your efforts; it’s not like you’re doing it for charity.

But if you wanna drive your customers away, Nickelodeon will be happy to show you how.

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

2 Comments on “Viacom ads & the Content vs. Pitch death spiral”

  1. Perry, First thank you for your response to my comment on the 30 something post. I have it saved. I just have a quick question here. I had been wondering about excatly what you are saying here, how much do I sell? So basically you are saying that for every ten messages sent eight should be some good content and 2 should be selling something, thus the 80/20 rule, am I correct? I have an auto responder that will be going live on 09/20/2012 and it’s almost 6 months long. Meaning I have almost 6 months worth of emails, blog post links, etc set up. I plan on continuing to expand it. How ever I quickly realized I am selling NOTHING AT ALL. So should I insert two selling messages after every eight that I have set up? Thanks.

    1. In 20% of your messages, you should be asking people to do something that brings them closer to you, asks them to make steps of commitment.

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