10 Things Even a World-Class Marketing Strategist Cannot Do

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Hi, I’m Perry Marshall. Wrote the world’s best selling books on Google and Facebook advertising, have consulted in 300+ industries, endorsed by the most famous people in the business.

I’ve guided companies from “diapers” to hundreds of millions, even over a billion dollars revenue.

But there are still ten things I cannot do (based on my email series “30 Day MBA”) –

1. Can’t steer a parked car. If your business isn’t moving – if your numbers are ZERO – then everything is still just talk. You gotta sell something. It is VASTLY easier to improve an existing business (even if it’s a little wobbly) than to put jumper paddles on a corpse. Even God can’t steer a parked car!

2. Can’t save a business from a tanking market. I learned this the hard way in ’09 when, in my hubris, I tried to save a bunch of mortgage and real estate guys from the economic crash. Nearly everyone I knew who was in real estate then, went bankrupt. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. This is one of the reasons I teach Star Principle today – you wanna be #1 in a market growing 10% or more. When your market is growing, it makes your job 5X easier.

3. Can’t rescue people from con men – or from their own craven desire to drink pink koolaid. Just today I got an email from a guy who’s reasonably successful. He’s definitely “over the hump.” Yet he’s still smarting from mistakes he made with this education dollars. He said, “some marketers promised to help me move closer but in the end only depleted my energy and resources. Some left me deeply in debt. Not angry about it – but resolved to not do it again.”

4. Can’t un-ban you from Google or Facebook.

5. Can’t rescue you from a sabotaging employee. I’ve encountered numerous situations where suddenly the numbers are off, suddenly sales started sliding, and there was no apparent reason… then later, sometimes much later, owners found out some highly-trusted, “un-impeachable” employee had decided to extract revenge for a decision made. Or a new direction in business. Several times it nearly took the business out. Is there somebody working for you with no checks and balances? Someone you’re trusting or relying on just a little too much? Address it YESTERDAY.

6. Can’t make somebody measure stuff who doesn’t wanna get measured. Organizations and especially employees naturally R-E-S-I-S-T getting tracked, held accountable for results. Symptom #1 is general bland brand advertising where the Return On Investment can’t be charted.

7. Can’t fix bad economics with good marketing. If you’re taping $20 bills to every box you ship out (and you don’t even know it!!!) – or if your product doesn’t have enough margin to support a strong marketing effort… then even the best marketing in the world can’t save you. Economics FIRST. This is why the “Traffic – Conversion – Economics” triangle is central to my book “80/20 Sales & Marketing.”

"What should I do next to grow my business this year?" Take my 2-minute quiz and I'll show you where you'll get the most bang for your buck.

8. I can’t fix your “free traffic” when it dries up. All I can tell you is: *if your business is based on free traffic, you don’t have a business. You have a promotion that’s waiting to go bust.* The asset value of your business is directly proportional to your ability to buy eyeballs, followers and customers with advertising dollars, at will. You need to do everything in your power to engineer your biz to work that way.

9. Can’t repeal the 80/20 Principle. There’s a long history of politicians who ran on the “I’m going to erase all the inequality” platform – A.K.A. “those fat cats on Wall Street are taking more than their fare share and we’re going to take their money… and buy you a free college education.” Most entrepreneurs are too smart to fall for this story on election day… but they still vote for it in their own business: They ignore that low-maintenance customer who spends $50,000 a year (every now and then his order unobtrusively shows up, yet they barely know who he is) yet they’re still chasing that super-sexy client who, after a year and a half of wooing and romancing, has spent ZERO. They’re still trying to “fix” that rogue employee… while the dependable-and-reliable employee puts in 60 hours a week without complaint. Oh, and they’re committing the advertising version of the same sin. 10% of their money is bringing 60% of the phone calls and they don’t know which money it is.

10. Can’t get you sober if you’re still buying tickets to the Good Ship Hope. After a seminar, John Paul Mendocha said to me, “Most of your people have something very interesting in common. They’ve been through not one but two failure cycles. They were in that MLM deal and wasted a year of their life in that. Then they did some other thing, maybe it was some marketing guru selling them magic beans. They thought they were going to be Jack and the Beanstalk. But THIS TIME THEY’RE READY TO BECOME A SERIOUS STUDENT.” And yes, there is a “rose colored sunglasses” phase that 80% of wanna-be entrepreneurs never escape from. I can’t help those who are still on that merry-go-round. The ones I can help are the ones who are finished with that, thank you very much.

Planet Perry members and members of my Renaissance Club are the ones who have finally realized that a REALITY based business that works is better than any fantasy.

Get the rest of my “30 Day MBA” email series here:

Perry Marshall’s Street MBA

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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.

7 Comments on “10 Things Even a World-Class Marketing Strategist Cannot Do”

  1. Hi Perry,

    I am a big fan of your content from India and I agree with this ” If your business isn’t moving – if your numbers are ZERO – then everything is still just talking. You gotta sell something. It is VASTLY easier to improve an existing business (even if it’s a little wobbly) than to put jumper paddles on a corpse. Even God can’t steer a parked car!”.

    I am a digital marketer and looking for AdWords and strategy tips in future articles.

  2. Dearest Perry. I have a big wish that i dare to ask. Is there any chance to get your 80/20 book with your signature? I was just about to order it on amazon but decided to ask first because a miracle might happen :-)
    I heard about you first time when Ken McCarthy mentioned your name in his System seminar newsletter back in 2003..ish. Since then i am witnessing your success and truly admire your ingenuity. I was once successful in my field but since last 5 and 6 years ago, i have been battling a chronic depression. I promised myself that this year i will change it and will stand on my feet again. I reached my first milestone today and as a treat, i wanted to buy your book to myself. But then i thought how cool it would be if the book can have the world’s greatest marketer’s signature. I know it’s a long shot though…
    Thanks a lot for your previous kind replies to my comments. The email below is my genuine email :-)

    1. You don’t need his signature on the book because there’s something far more valuable in it: Perry’s thoughts are across it from beginning to end.

      I can think of no other living person from whom I have learned so much.

      You need no signature to learn something, do you?

  3. Perry,

    have you ever come across the phrase, “your customer values your product more than he does the money he gives you”?

      1. I was expecting you to mention something about 80-20, which is what the sentence is all about. Or, if looked at more thoroughly, the tactical triangle. But then, 80-20 is but the tactical triangle put into numerical form.

      2. It’s always a disappointment when someone hasn’t the time to converse.

        There is one thing that accompanies the ability to think simply: it’s confidence. The window cleaner I spoke to has the kind of confidence I’m talking about. You don’t need numbers and you don’t need evidence to see this. I can tell if someone can ‘think’ in 16,000/1 concepts just by the way they sit down.
        There’s something else, though. When anybody has that special something, there’ll be contradictions too.
        […]
        if you can find a contradiction, a genuine one that does not arise out of a lie or a misconception, you’ve found someone who has what Richard Koch terms the ‘Star Principle’

        Want to know more? Click my name. It’s just a link to an obscure blog.

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