Is the Internet constantly changing, all the time?

PerryMarketing Blog36 Comments

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Just got off the phone with a guy who said, “It’s SO hard to keep up with the Internet, there’s new stuff happening every single day.”

It’s true… but it’s really a HALF truth.

If you’re paying attention, this 2 minute article will save you about a year of frustration.

If you completely believe everything’s always changing and you MUST keep up with it, you’ll be in a perpetual state of overwhelm and you’ll hardly ever manage to get anything done. Every time somebody says “jump” you’ll jump. You’ll think that the latest, coolest, bright shiny object is the Secret Of Everything.

The symptom is, 2 months after every single product launch you’re 2 months further behind in having a business that actually works.

Here’s the real truth:

90% of what’s ‘new and different’ is completely irrelevant. A waste of your precious time.

Only 10% of it is ever going to make a difference for you at all.

Case in point: From the standpoint of actually selling something to somebody, there’s only been about a dozen major developments in online marketing since the late 1990’s:

-Online Auctions
-Shopping Carts
-Pay Per Click
-Contextual Advertising ie Content Network
-Streaming Audio & Video
-Social Networking ie Facebook and Twitter
-Blog software
-Live Chat

In other words there’s about one major development per year. Not 100!

Sure, within all these things there are other smaller major developments. But my motto is, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Which is not some kind of cynical statement, it’s a massive time saver.

You may have noticed, I rarely jump up and down and yell at you about how something urgently needs your attention RIGHT NOW. That’s because success comes from mastering the basics, not from widespread panic.

When I do tell you something’s important, it’s well worth your time to sit up and pay attention.

I see the world like this: The surface is always changing but the really important stuff stays roughly the same. As you master the core principles, you quickly see how to apply them when something new comes along.

In other words:

When you can immediately recognize what part of the “brand new whiz-bang thing” is NOT new, that’s when you possess the ability to profit from it.

"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.

When Google AdWords was brand new, I immediately knew it was “Scientific Advertising” from 1918 all over again, only 10,000X faster. I knew the money was going to be made by being scientific about it. And by entering the conversation inside the person’s head.

When Facebook advertising was brand new, I immediately knew that it was just like the classified ads in “Black Belt” magazine: If you know somebody is a black belt, there’s a whole list of other things they’ll buy that don’t appear to have anything to do with Martial Arts. That’s Right Angle Marketing. What was old is new again.

I can absolutely promise you, in the next few years new innovations will come that are currently unimagined. Billion dollar empires will emerge from seemingly nowhere.

When they do, massive mobs of people will be yelling and shouting at you, urging you to pile on the bandwagon. But you will find that the hypesters don’t know how to use what’s new because they never understood what worked before.

The Social Media hype is starting to fade now. Which is precisely when real business people start to make real money from it.

One of the “rats” in our Facebook advertising research lab is a guy named Bill. Bill does NOT want me to disclose his full identity, so I have to keep him anonymous. We guided Bill as he built out his Facebook campaigns.

In the last 2 months he’s put $12,000 into Facebook ads and gotten $48,000 out.

Quietly. With no hype or fanfare.

Just skillfully applying the basics and adapting the old to the new.

I invite you to consider that when you learn from the masters . . . when you practice your craft like a master . . . then instead of being the frenetic Red Belt, you can be the serene, utterly confident, unflappable, 4th degree Black Belt.

You can be the champion who calmly and quietly steps onto the mat and demolishes his opponent with three lightning-speed strikes without so much as breaking a sweat.

Master the basics. Become a marketing black belt. Find the old within the new, and discover how to function in an entirely new level of serenity and confidence.

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.

36 Comments on “Is the Internet constantly changing, all the time?”

  1. Back to basics, and for me watching the innovations in my pain elimination field more. I spent most of the last year creating a video training programs and thought I had the right price point …

    Then the market went dead!

    Back to the basics!



  2. Dam that has to be one of the most eloquent and well presented articles i’ve read in ages. Its so true how people jump when are told to jump, and their only response is how high.

    I always focus on the basics and resist the hype, and more importantly look to whats happening ahead rather then the masses fighting over whats happening now.

    Peace Z

  3. I loved your email, that is so true what you said! :-) If I could go back in a time machine, I would go back and find John Caples when he working as a copywriter, and then I would shake his hand and let him know that in the future he will still be considered the master, just so he could know.

  4. Hi Perry, spot on as always! I am learning to reprogram my curiosity and have more faith on things that will work in the long run. Hype is all about excitement and that is what I call “the art of the new gurus”. When everybody is confused it’s too easy to “divert attention” and get people to believe in the magic button solution, or their get rich scheme. Unfortunately, that is what I have seen of the time on my inbox, so my action is to un-subscribe as soon as you see unnecessary hype and focus on what will last, I believe this strategy will produce real results. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. …And you wrote an article about discernment a while back. I would add that discernment is the muscle to be worked out… Thanks again for naming such an important matter and nailing it right in the middle, as always. We don’t have a choice but to adapt to living in the eye of the hurricane and stop resisting, while the balm of discernment calms our spirit. The real test to discern what is vitally important, as you said. A test to filter, to grow. I love the way you think. There is always that fulfilling resonance in your writing. Big hug my friend.

  6. Very true and wise words, Perry. Focusing on truly understanding the fundamentals and applying them the right way is what endures, while fad after fad passes by and withers. Yes, the internet is merely the medium through which we as entrepreneurs reach out to the people we seek as customers.
    Thank you for the reminder – it’s so easy to get lost in technical details sometimes, even when one basically knows that the people is where it’s at.

  7. Nice insight.

    It’s human nature to not want to be left out of something great and it seems that people with the latest, greatest offers play to this.

    Do any of us really need an inside the eggshell egg scrambler? A Magic Bullet blender that can only blend the contents of a single cup of something? We can scramble eggs and blend food without either of these, using some basic tools we already have in our kitchen.

    We can draw an analogy from watching the recent World Cup soccer finals…regardless of who they play, soccer players focus on the core principles of fitness, agility, ball control, communication, using space on the field, etc. Similarly, we need to focus on our core principles and ignore all the screaming Vuvuzelas, media commentary, etc. that’s out there begging for our attention.

  8. Very sage advice. I am certain that the more we are exposed to this idea, the deeper it will sink into our subconscious and eventually we will start to abide by it.

    I know it is much too easy to chase rainbows than to focus on doing the basic work. But as you point out, doing the basics is where the money and success are.

  9. Aloha, Perry:

    Great thoughts on sticking to the basics. After 20 years in traditional marketing and advertising, I only jumped into the social net pool in the last year, after critically dissecting it and trying to associate the basic marketing principles that are supposed to make it great in the first place. I believe they exist, I just had a hard time seeing it through all the smoke and mirrors.

    This industry is full of white noise, if you don’t focus on end product/results/satisfaction. I’m very content oriented and am treading water with a client, trying to help them understand that it’s not just where you pitch your tent, but the type of tent you deploy has an impact on how long you can last out there in the Internet wilderness.

    Your emails are a welcome break in my day.

  10. Hi Perry,
    Right on and to the point. Thanks for pointing out the not so obvious and giving me pause.

  11. Hi Perry,

    You made some amazing statements.

    Here’s the real truth:

    1. “90% of what’s ‘new and different’ is completely irrelevant. A waste of your precious time.
    Only 10% of it is ever going to make a difference for you at all. “

    2. “I see the world like this: The surface is always changing but the really important stuff stays roughly the same. As you master the core principles, you quickly see how to apply them when something new comes along.”

    I recently discovered the power in your statements, as they relate to Network Marketing.

    Some core principles which ensures success, despite all the fancy things which came and went.

    Perry, you are on the money again!

  12. Excellent insight once again – and I loved your karate master metaphor. I appreciate your digging into the past (Claude Hopkins) to reveal time tested truths.

  13. Seems like the more it changes the more it stays the same. Yeah there’s a lot more going on but in the end the same fundamental principles are driving it all. If anything rather than being more and more confused by all the new concepts, we should be more certain and confident that the fundamentals have again shown themselves to be reliable.

  14. Hey Perry,

    What you describe has definitely been my experience. The ROI on spending time learning a ‘new’ thing is often presumed to be positive – but sometimes it just isn’t – its negative.

    Did I really need to get an iPad and spend time figuring it out, downloading all new apps etc – how much did it really cost me in terms of lost productivity to much around with this new toy.

    This is the same as the newest course or the newest software release …

    Lately, I’ve been organising all my projects backwards, starting with people putting money in my account and then working back to determine every essential step that has to be in place that them to be able to do that.

    Very quickly, all the stuff that doesn’t matter is left off the list.

  15. Perry, great summary of the most relevant breakthroughs of the last 20 years. I´d add the follugin 3 as weel:
    1. Info publishing business online with clickbank
    2. Apps for Mobiles and Mobile Advertising
    3. Group purchases like

  16. You see Perry, that’s how a lot of people make money. I believe 95% of buyers are not looking for a way to get the job done.

    They are looking for a “magic pill” that will save them from doing the work.

    So when something new comes out, they jump on it because the last thing didn’t work (code for: I read the first few pages but it would take to long to see results)

    In other words, people jump on a new thing because they think it’s going to be a faster, better… shortcut!

  17. Perry
    Thanks for helping me remembering that people are people. Internet marketers, like many others, confuse the mean with the end. They forget that the internet is just a tool and they forget that people are using the tool. What is changing is how fast people are using their tools to get what they want. But what they want has not changed.

  18. Perry,

    I have followed you for a long, long time. I always read your emails, from the 1000’s of emails I get.

    Unlike many of the ‘marketing gurus’, I find your sage insights to be directed to us, and not how great you are.

    I think you’ve put into practice not only your domain expertise, but the rarefied expertise of Permission Marketing (i.e. Seth Godin).

    You will always get premium space, top rung on the ladder with me when you deliver concentrated value with each punch.

    Thanks for the reminder to keep focused on the big stuff, and not sweat the details.

    Keep up the great work.


    PS: You might include ‘form factor mobile content distribution’ (ie. iPhone, iPad, Droid) into your more recent list of important marketing breakthroughs.

    1. Brad,

      You’re right, Mobile marketing does belong on that list. I think this is especially true in the realm of local businesses. National businesses are still trying to figure out how to generate sales dollars directly from mobile phone users.

  19. Totally agree with you Perry. The challenge is to get the skills and insight to the point that you can actually understand and see the significant things worth investigating and learning. FB is one of them for sure.

  20. Fantastic post Perry. More relevant than ever. I still am continually trying to fight the distraction demons and “the new thing” is what grabs me the most. Thanks you helping keeping us focused. And its so true, technology changes all the time. Principles don’t.

  21. Hi Perry, awesome article!

    I was thinking just the same when I saw that you can apply hundred-years-old statistics theory to improve your online campaigns, the only difference is the metrics and new jargon but the core is the same.

    I live in Argentina and write an Online Marketing blog in spanish, marketers from here are having the same problems getting overwhelmed by all the hype and shiny mirrors.

    Can I translate this article to spanish and post it in my blog? of course you will get all the credit for it.

    I already translated some articles and ebooks from Anne Holland and my readers really appreciate all the new info they can get :)


  22. We have pumped only a grand into facebook advertising and gotten over $200K out in sales.
    The ads and writings were totally by accident but we stumbled on something which worked for a very small, niche market. Lucky?
    maybe … but it does work.

  23. good post Perry; but kinda like everybody’s list of Oscar worthy movies. Your dozen will differ from mine ?

    “From the standpoint of actually selling something to somebody, there’s only been about a dozen major developments in online marketing since the late 1990’s:”

    Would add two more major developments. 1)Niche Selling via long tail inventories and 2) .mobi

  24. Perry, geez, you always hit the nail on the head – I was just feeling buyer’s remorse today about the silly purchases I have made recently, that promise “new stuff, you never heard about this before” – – and turns out it is either stuff I would never do (not ethical or honest) or the same-old-same-old rehashed with a hip-hop attitude. I completely agree that every foray into a “new and improved” venue is likely to set me back, not only the paypal part, but the wasted time too. It is just not worth the trouble to try to find the nugget of newness in a pile of rubbish.

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