Joe Polish is a legend in the marketing world. He’s a former carpet cleaner turned marketing guru He’s pals with the likes of Richard Branson and Paula Abdul. The running joke about Joe is, he always says “Let me introduce you to my good friend ____” because EVERYBODY is Joe’s good friend.
A long time ago – one year out of the Dilbert Cube, struggling to get my biz off the ground – I cornered Joe in a restaurant at a seminar one night, bought him a hamburger, and picked his brain.
His #1 piece of advice was:
GO D-E-E-P INTO YOUR MARKET.
“Here’s what I mean, Perry. Do not just skim the cream off the top of the market, shake off the low hanging fruit and be content with that. If you do that, you’ll only get the most fickle customers.”
He continued: “If that’s all you do, you’re super vulnerable to competition knocking you off. Eventually someone will. What you should do instead is be the guy who’s willing and able to spend more than everyone else to get a customer. It makes you one stiff competitor and gets you access to customers that nobody else can reach.”
He went on to regale me with stories of how he would intentionally drive his competitors out of business by luring them into markets and magazines where they could never even hope to break even – he knew it but they didn’t.
Probably 5-6 years later when I was compulsively, tirelessly banging the AdWords drum and driving my stake deep into the ground – I suddenly remembered where I’d gotten that. I’d gotten it from Joe.
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