Category: Marketing Strategy

So you want to start a business…

Visions of entrepreneurship often start with someone raising $10 MM in venture capital on the back of a clever idea and a snazzy PowerPoint deck. Most real stories of entrepreneurship don’t involved venture capital at all. They start with a modest self-funded effort or a small capital raise through friends and family. My wife and

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How to Write Better Headlines

Many more talented marketers have spent a lot of time on this subject. I’m not sure I have anything much different or more meaningful to add. But, I’m also reasonably confident that an automated WordPress widget doesn’t either. Every time I write a headline for this blog, a little box appears with a 0-100 score.

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The Next One in the Door

The goal of performance marketing is to generate profitable sales. You buy leads or clicks or impressions and work to convert them into customers. Your marketing costs per sale (CPA) need to be below gross profit per sale, if you want to stay in business and keep at it for the long-haul. To understand how

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Don’t let me rain on your parade

A close friend is working on a start-up. The product is a piece of apparel targeted towards women with a very specific need. Her experience has been a long slog through various highs and lows, consistent with the prototypical entrepreneurial journey. She recently asked for my perspective on the problem she’s solving, the opportunity for

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You can grow your business overnight

You can buy clicks on Google and Facebook. Or, you can buy leads from a lead gen company. All you need is money and a little bit of technical expertise, and you have a fast path to more volume. Unfortunately, all your competitors are getting that exact same sales pitch. In this case, you’re really

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More marketing is not the solution

If you have a well-run marketing organization, the next incremental dollar spent on marketing will be less efficient (and more expensive) than what you’re buying now. There’s nothing wrong with spending more on marketing if you’re willing to trade margins for volume. But, it’s not going to double the size of your business while also

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That’s not for you…

At 40, I still only shave twice weekly and spend about $10-12 annually on razor blades. Why would anyone want the hassle of managing a subscription service for such a small, infrequent purchase? Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The worst part of playing my Nintendo as a

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Solve your problems for other people

Fifteen years ago, my wife and I started a direct-to-consumer, niche publishing business. Back in those days, we often created our own solutions to our biggest operating pain points – out of necessity. We sourced good, reasonably-priced contract design talent before Upwork or Fiverr. We found advertising buyers in large organizations before Sales Navigator was

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Is your feedback loop working for you?

Some jobs have very tight feedback loops. Weathermen and day traders get regular, immediate feedback on how they’re doing. Today’s stock trades are this evening’s profits (or losses). Other jobs have looser feedback loops. It can take years for a personal injury lawyer or venture capital investor to see the results from today’s efforts. And,

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Is the power of SEO diminishing?

Google is phenomenally good at monetizing search engine results pages (SERPs). Do a search for any keyword with high commercial intent to see for yourself. Here’s the SERP for the search term of “home security” from a day in September: What do you notice? The above-the-scroll page is 100% ad space. Not 90%, or even

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