Businesses Succeed and Fail Based on Their Marketing – You Can SUCCEED!

Author : , Date : November 6, 2014



Every day across America businesses open and close and failure rates are extremely high. The Small Business Administration says that nearly 70% of all businesses will fail within the first five years. Out of that 70%, nearly 60% will fail within two years.

hire-meThe lifeblood of any business is cash flow. It doesn’t matter how great your business model is or how spectacular your product or service is if you don’t have enough money coming in the bank account on a consistent basis.

Why do most businesses fail?

In my experience, both personally and by watching others, it’s because they don’t understand marketing and they certainly don’t understand the relationship between marketing and sales.

You cannot just create a website, blog, social media accounts and start posting away with the expectation that people will flock to you and give you their money. It won’t work anymore than standing on a street corner with a sign that says hire me.

I’m going to add a thought about marketing that many don’t discuss or haven’t thought about…


Marketing is not just about attracting new customers; it’s about winning minds!


You see, too many people attempting marketing in their businesses are not trained to build, run, and grow successful businesses. They have been taught one skill to benefit a company where the owner(s) has learned over time how to build their business.

As business owners, the truth is that we are all participating in OJT (on the job training).

Let’s think about it for a moment. How many small business owners:


  • Went to school to learn how to be a business owner versus getting a job for a business owner or corporation?
  • Have no training in marketing, messaging, branding, niching, networking or sales?
  • Regularly read about psychology and its importance to marketing and sales?
  • Have spent time learning about business? I would say as a general rule that successful business owners are created through the learning and experiences that shape and form a company.
  • Have developed the necessary people skills to work with employees, vendors, prospects and customers?
  • Have sought out experienced mentors in their field that have been there and done that?
  • Think because they own the business they know it all, about EVERYTHING!
  • Lie to themselves and fall into the trap of believing they will be successful by staying the course?
  • Have egos bigger than the Freedom Tower in NYC but haven’t built anything lasting yet?


Yet, week after week, month after month and year after year we wonder why our business is not achieving what it is capable of and as great as we are the money is just not there.

You have a website, your search engine optimization vendor says your doing great with traffic from Google, your social media has a lot of followers and your email list is growing.

But where is the cash? You’re in business to make money. You’re not a charity. Yet, it feels like you’re giving away the farm and getting little or nothing in return for your hard work and efforts. In fact, you may be paying instead of making money by the time you factor out all of your expenses.

Why is your businesses cash flow struggling?

Because you have not thought all the way through your business and you don’t have as a result a marketing strategy.

The fact is that rich people make money by knowing their business and cash flow.


Marketing Comes Before Sales


I know to some that makes sense. But to most business owners, marketers and sales people it is very confusing thanks to all of the marketing and sales trainers out there conflicting with one another so that you will buy from them and they stay relevant.

Marketing and sales are very separate things. Here is the simple truth about what each one is what each one does:


  • Marketing is about the sharing of ideas that lead to building competency and trust. Marketing is the foundation for sales and if done right make sales easy. It offers the why and is the persuasion behind sales.
  • A sale is the ability to allow people to buy through their experience with you. It’s the physical process of receiving cash.


The work is done in marketing. Yet, many business owners and sales people are still marketing in their sales meetings, calls and on their websites. You know you’re marketing in a sales meeting, call or email when you have to convince someone why they ought to buy. Remember, the why is answered in your marketing. If you’re still dealing with “why” issues in your sales processes then your marketing is not working.

Once people have been influenced and believe your product or service is for them, you are no longer marketing you are now selling. You’re just allowing people the opportunity to buy from you through the experience you create for them.

When we confuse marketing and sales and blend them, it causes chaos and anarchy in the minds of our prospects and guess what they do not do?

Exactly… they don’t buy.

I’ll save the sales discussion for another article because I know that sales will not happen if you don’t get your marketing right.


Getting  Your Marketing Right – What Do People Really Want?


If marketing is an idea and a tool to persuade, then how do we persuade people that we can do something for them if we don’t understand them?

This is the heart of context marketing. If you don’t understand people then writing content that just educates without explaining why it’s important is meaningless.

If we stop and think about it, that means we have to take the focus off of us and put it on our audience.


  • What might be in their minds and hearts?
  • What issues in their lives might appeal to them to buy from you?
  • What event is happening locally or nationally that has their attention?


People are attracted to your business for only a few reasons and you have to determine which one it is:


  • They have a physical need or want
  • They have an emotional need or want


In marketing, every decision to pursue a thought by a consumer that might lead to a sale is an emotional choice that is dependent upon if they feel secure. In other words, is it a good idea to give my money for something and what will I get for it?

The more complex the choice or the higher the cost and the more that is at stake, the better your marketing must be!

This is why content marketing with a context is so important! (Read last week’s article titled “The Decline of Content Blogging in a Context Age”) Context marketing offers you the ability to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re competent. If you can add video then you can add more reassurance because your competency will not just be read but also seen and heard.

People want to know that if they spend their money it was a wise choice.


It’s all about security!


This is why some will pay more money for brand name products or services over generic ones.

This is why some will pay more for one consultant over another.

Great marketing when connected well to your businesses purpose and your prospects and customers will solve your cash flow problems.

a91c2d48a43b28a639cff92142b77ac3_f330In his book “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For… Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven By Purpose” Roy Spence shares:


“You have to first identify and articulate the purpose of the organization to have a meaningful starting point to build a brand.”


How Do I Build A Marketing Strategy?

You build a marketing strategy by first starting on your business and its relationship to your prospects and customers.

You have to ask some very basic questions that pull out very profound answers. Please keep in mind that you will not be able to do this by yourself. The questions are (in order):


  • What business do I think I’m in?
  • What Business am I “really” in? (i.e. how do my prospects and customers perceive me?)
  • What problems do I “really” solve or what needs to I “really” meet? (from your prospects and customers point of view)
  • Who do I “specifically” solve the problems for or meet needs of? (be careful here, it’s not just the obvious)
  • How do my products and services play a role in solving problems or meeting needs?


It could take months to answer these five questions. When you are done, there ought to be a lot of information, data, and ideas to start crafting specific marketing strategies.

If you don’t take the time to learn your business and how your business is experienced by your prospects and customers then your marketing becomes nothing more than gambling. It’s like sitting at the black jack table just playing the odds, and those odds are always stacked against you.


Context Marketing Tells Your Story

I don’t mean it tells the story of how your company came to be and your history. Odds are that right now no one cares yet. If you help enough people then society will become interested in your story.

In the mean time, telling your story means that you have to create an experience through your brand.

Let’s think a moment of how a few big companies market in context and create experiences:


Google – when someone does a search and finds what they are looking for.

Starbucks – morning sip of two-pump, extra-hot, no-whip Mocha.

John Deere – green and yellow tractors on the horizon of farm fields OR someone mowing the lawn.

Kohler – every time one of their designers transforms an everyday commodity item into an inspired work of art.

Southwest Airlines – when an employee tells a joke, offers a fun time when every plane leaves on time, every time someone takes a flight they might not have because they can afford it, and when one can redeem their rewards without a hassle.


When you have done the work in your business and understand your market, you too can create a message and content that is full of context.

That’s the game changer and that’s why the overwhelming majority of small businesses are struggling. They don’t know who they are and how to relate to their prospects and customers. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great at what they do it just means they stink at creating contextual marketing experiences that mean something to those who could buy from them.

How do you wrap context around your marketing if you don’t know yourself and how the world perceives you?

Many companies still operate under the delusion that they can just create short, meaningless snippets about themselves and how great they are on their websites, blogs and social media, and just hope that people will come to them and spend their cash.

Unfortunately it no longer works that way. The consumers have gotten savvier and more experienced and don’t like being spoken to. They want to have an experience that offers them security and a reason to buy.

As I said in my previous article titled “The Decline of Content Blogging in a Context Age”; “Everything you do in your marketing requires a set of strategies, goals and objectives (i.e. executable tasks). If you don’t have those with your context then you merely have content that no one cares about.”


Let’s Look at a Few Great Examples from the Blogosphere of Successful Online Marketers

I read a lot of blogs during an average week and here are a few articles I’ve read that really get to the point of good online marketing:


Entrepreneur Business Coaching – It is in the Doing That Your Being Becomes – Deborah Tutnauer

5 Ways to Use Engagement to Boost Online Sales – Stuart Davidson

Blogging Fears: I Can’t Write – Sarah Arrow

3 BAD reasons why your business Stinks and Sinks! – Enstine Muki

2 Quick Steps to Get Your Business Noticed Now – Nathan Ambrose

What is Smart Strategic Content Marketing? – Sylviane Nuccio

The Perfect Blend to Grow Your Business – Donna Merrill

How to learn blogging and become a pro blogger? – Mi Muba

Why You Shouldn’t Target The Most Influential Bloggers (And Who To Target Instead) – Dave Schneider



Your Business Potential Is Limited Without Marketing


Marketing is the driver of your business! It’s what makes everything else go. When you really dig in and understand your business it changes everything!!!!

You will never see your business the same way again.

When you learn your business and execute great marketing will enjoy your life and the opportunities that come your way.

The opportunities are endless and the possibilities only get better and better as your cash flow stabilizes and grows.

The hard truth is that if you don’t do good marketing that turns into sales you will never grow your business. It is all predicated on marketing that drives sales. Like I said earlier, if you do your marketing right and it has a context that allows people to understand what you do for them you will never have to worry about sales and money.

You cannot differentiate yourself from you competition if you are not being uniquely you and connecting with people. Instead, you will be forced into the HARSH world of advertising. In today’s world that is a major long shot to success.

Your business is built upon people connecting with you in their context, not your context. The faster we all learn that the better our websites, blogs, social media, email campaigns, direct mail pieces, billboard ads, TV and radio commercials connect and resonate the easier it will be to generate sustained cash flow that allows us to make investments in our businesses and fulfill our dreams.


The simple fact of the matter is: Great brands and spectacular context marketing are born out of great leaders who have created great organizations that create something that actually matters to people and makes a difference.


Is your marketing making a difference? Is your messaging relevant to your prospects and customers? It’s not enough for them to see your logo everywhere? They have to experience you!

Learn how they can do just that on the Begin Here page.


If you have a thought, idea or want to contribute to the conversation, please do so in the comments section below. I look forward to chatting with you there!

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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32 thoughts on “Businesses Succeed and Fail Based on Their Marketing – You Can SUCCEED!

  1. Hey Don,

    What a great share and wonderful explanation of why marketing is so important.

    I think my understanding of it became much more clear a year or so ago when I was told that everything I do is marketing. It’s part of who you are that makes that initial connection with your readers and your audience.

    I think for me I can SO relate to what others are going through because I’ve been there myself. Really wanting to help them solve their problems, they can see when you’re being genuine and when you’re not. It’s like your example of why people will go with big named brands over anyone else. They KNOW they’re going to get a great product and support if needed. That trust factor between me and my prospect, it has to be there.

    I also like to continue telling me that I’m a work in progress, I still am. I’m always learning, growing and seeing how I can do things better. How I can be better for my audience.

    Just be truthful, genuine and authentic and I think your audience will see that. Of course you have to be helping them in the area they need or there will be no sales.

    Great one Don, thank you and I’ll be sure to share this post with my audience.

    Have a great day and hope you’re doing well!


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I love that you share that you’re still a work in progress. It’s so true for us all.

      I love to read and study successful people and businesses. The one common thing among them all is the recognition that they have not arrived and they never will.

      Great companies like Southwest Airlines, Apple, Macy’s, BMW… they are continually working to improve their products, services processes and systems, and their messaging and marketing.

      Honesty, truthfulness, genuineness, accountability, integrity… these are all things our audience and see and experience.

      I am doing AMAZING. Honestly, I couldn’t be any better. Well, I suppose I could always be better… but things are great. Thanks for asking.

      I hope you have an amazing finish to your week Adrienne!

      ~ Don

  2. Hi Don,

    Such a detailed and well thought out post!

    A quote that always sticks out to me when talking about marketing comes from Donald Trump.

    He said in one of his book that, “Marketing is the engine of any business”. The nicest car ever made will go no where without an engine.

    At the same time all engines are not created equal of course. That 4 cylinder engine will get you there but if you invest the right resources into the 8 cylinder, you well get there much faster, getting you quicker results.

    If you haven’t noticed I’m a quote guy and love the quote about winning minds! Excellent! I will have to share that one for sure!

    Sharing this post now.

    Have a great rest of the week Don!

    1. Hi Steven,

      That’s a great quote by Donald Trump! I admire what he has done over the course of his career and how he has survived and thrived in business.

      Personally, I’m trying to get that 12 cylinder engine. Those babies get up and go!!!! LOL…

      Thanks for commenting Steven and sharing. I hope you have an awesome week!

      ~ Don

  3. Hi Don,
    I couldn’t agree with you more on this post. The level to which a business understands and implements marketing determines its success or failure.

    Marketing is functional aspect of business just like production and finance. The business of marketing is totally different ball game which should be approached with all experience and practice.

    Marketing/sales should be EMPHASIZED more by every online business for pure success!
    comment shared in

    1. Hi Sunday,

      I’m excited that so many clearly understood my point in this article. I believe there are five functional areas of any business and if any one of these is off you could be in trouble. They are in the following order:

      1. Marketing
      2. Sales
      3. Production / delivery
      4. Customer Services
      5. Administration

      I put them in order because if you don’t have marketing, you’ll never get sales. No sales = no money, which equals no production or deliver. Nothing else really matters if you are not marketing and selling.

      That’s why I tell business owners you are in the media business first and then you’re in your real business.

      Thanks for sharing Sunday. It’s a treat as always to have you here!

      Have a great week ahead.

      ~ Don

  4. Hey Don,

    You know what I found out late last year? The deeper I go within myself, looking for those frustrations and trying moments when I started doing network marketing and affiliate marketing, the better I connect with other people. When it comes to marketing, you really have to get deep within your psyche in order to find the link that connects to your TRUE niche market of people.

    How did I figure this out? I remember writing a post about Marketing. When I was in college, I majored in CIS (Computer Information Systems), which was a challenging major. With that said, I didn’t understand why people majored in marketing because I thought it was an easy major at that moment in time. Fast Forward to some 10 years later I started doing network marketing, and through that experience, I found out the importance of Marketing. I really went through the struggle, the trials and tribulations of learning the psyche of myself as well as other people I prospected to. And you know what, we were quite similar and that’s the key to really getting their attention.

    You mentioned Security here. That’s what it boils down to. People want to be sure, or secured that what you promote will fulfill that part of the psyche that’s within all of us. I will definitely have to equate Marketing with Psyche. What type of market, or psyche are we all trying to appeal to? What is it about what we promote that’s going to fulfill that market of people? How can we deliver to their psyches? What is it about their ego’s that’s making them hesitant to take that first step?

    Wow Don, you never really learn all of this in school, unless you’re a psychology major LOL… Anyways, this was a post that made me think and Im glad of it! Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re having a great weekend!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      In reality, it all comes down to psychology! All that means is learning and understanding how different people communicate, see themselves, and how they relate to one another.

      I love studying personalities and have them figured out usually with five minutes. That helps me know how to talk with them and give them what they need. It also helps in my writing because I know the type of person I want to work with and who will be drawn to my writing style and who won’t.

      Security is the most overriding issue when we talk about marketing and sales. It’s a part of establishing competency and trust and without addressing those issues indirectly we won’t have a shot.

      School, what’s that? LOL… No you don’t learn all this and neither do the psychology majors. It’s something that once you learn the basics you can pull it all together. The downside to school is they really don’t teach us how to critically think anymore. That’s the real skill we need after we have the core competencies down.

      I hope you have an awesome week ahead Sherman!

      ~ Don

  5. Hey Don,

    Great post here. Lots of truth that you wrote here as well.

    Marketing does come before any type of sales. And you’re right, if the work is done in marketing first, it’ll make the sales a little bit easier.

    “Once people have been influenced and believe your product or service is for them, you are no longer marketing you are now selling.”

    Excellent point. The part many people struggle with, I would guess, is to get people actually influenced and convinced that the product is for them. But it all goes back to what you said, if the work is done in marketing first, it’ll make the sales a little bit easier.

    There comes a point in time where every blogger has to stop thinking of themselves as bloggers and start thinking of themselves as marketers. Otherwise, they’ll never truly grow.

    Great post here, Don.

    Have a great weekend.


    1. Hi Andrew,

      BINGO! If you’re a business blogger, you’re a marketer, not a blogger. You write to educate, inform, share ideas and gain trust through competency.

      Every article we write is a chance to share that we can help someone in a way no one else they’ve come across can.

      In my opinion, content/context marketing is just another way to help people see and understand how we can make a difference for them. That’s why I’m not into the fluff articles.

      Marketing makes sales easy!!!! That doesn’t mean you’re going to get every opportunity. There can be a lot of reasons someone doesn’t buy from us. It could be their finances, their not ready or maybe their personalities just don’t go will with ours.

      I’m really good at spotting that right away. I won’t even try to sell at that point. I’ll help them with what they need and thank them for their time. If I can make a referral I will do that as well.

      You are doing an AMAZING job on your blog!!! Keep up the great work Andrew!

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    One cannot succeed without marketing knowledge. If you are online, you bet your booty that you need to spend time learning how to market. Then using many strategies from branding to psychology, to measuring analytics..and that’s just the beginning!

    Because I was always the entrepreneur, and had a few off line businesses under my belt, I had to learn way back then. When I came on to the online world, it was another learning curve.

    But I would say it all comes down to knowing your passion and acting upon it because your passion will stand the test of time. When things fall down, you will come up with another way to keep your business afloat.

    In my own experience, word of mouth was the strongest in any endeavor I partook in. I still have an off line consulting business and the word of mouth is going strong for 30 years. I don’t mention that one much because it has nothing to do with my internet business. But it is a people business.

    I also have investment properties, which is another business I run. Who to hire and manage to properties, how to deal with renters, etc. People started knowing me and how I keep up my properties and looked me up because they heard about me. “Do you have an apartment to rent?”

    So, taking all into consideration, when marketing, the strongest of all is our integrity, ethics, and how we treat people.

    But, It is a requirement of any small business owner to keep up with the trends of marketing. If you don’t have your marketing plan in place, you are doing it all for charity. If you want to be able to build your business, you better get going and spend half of your time learning every stinking marketing strategy there is out there, and see what fits to your brand.

    OK I’m off the soap box Don. I want to thank you for the mention, I sure do appreciate that!


    1. Wow Donna! I can really relate to you, well, except for the investment properties part as I haven’t started with that yet haha.

      You and Don both totally get this topic. Ever since I started online, I never really interacted with anybody. I worked alone most of the time. But ever since I did (this year which was 8+ years wasted!!) I got to meet and learn a lot from people and bloggers like you and Don. I really appreciate all the information the both of you put out!

      Marketing for me was all self taught. I’m a freaking licensed civil engineer for crying out loud. LOL! So it took a lot of learning and persistence to get to this point. I’m still learning daily. Thanks for this post Don!

      1. Hi Dennis,

        Thank you for the incredibly kind words!!!! You know what, learning marketing the way you are is in my opinion the best way to do it. You’re not constrained by a box that is taught in college and you’re free to experiment and try new things.

        So what if you’re a civil engineer? Play off of that and have some fun with it. All that means is you’re a very disciplined, educated, persistent person who is capable of learning. I’ll take that all day long!!!!

        Have a great week Dennis!

        ~ Don

    2. Hi Donna,

      Get back on that soap box!!! You’re awesome and I LOVE how you articulate the issues.

      One company who I think does it so well is Southwest Airlines. Have you ever been on their blog or seen their YouTube channel? They are AMAZING!!!! They really resonate, connect, inform and educate their customers. Plus, they like to have fun and that’s a big deal. I need to work on that one somehow in my marketing.

      I couldn’t agree more, we have to keep up on marketing. I’m convinced if we just do it in a way that resonates with people both in a serious and at times a playful way we can have a lot of success. But it comes from the hard work of knowing our audiences and ourselves.

      I look forward to your next soap box and can’t wait to see what you have to teach me!!!!

      I hope you have an awesome week Donna!

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don

    You rock as always.

    It is very common to intermingle marketing and selling. Though one just supports the other and other one simply shows the results of the former.

    Small businesses fail in huge number everywhere around the world. Main reason is lack of doing any kind of feasibility before starting a business because most of them take their several start-up decisions on verbal advice and do everything in centuries old way of just buying products, showcasing them and finally hoping to get a crowd of buyers just because they believe it will happen.

    Introspection is the first step before starting a business and it is so easy to ask who I am or what I am but to give its right answer you need to have a brave heart and courageous mind. We in our whole life keep promoting our strengths and keep hiding our weaknesses. We forget the reality hiding does not mean overcoming and conversion of weaknesses into the strengths is the job of real entrepreneurs.

    Another big reason of small businesses failure is they fail to maintain balance in their production and marketing. I have seen several great bloggers created wonderful products but fail to market them because of their misunderstanding about the power of marketing. Similarly many online marketers try to sell peanuts in a way as if they are selling diamonds hoping to get great results just because of their massive marketing efforts.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post on really an interesting topic and am waiting for your next post on selling as both of them are my favorite subjects.

    Also thanks a lot for the kind mention.

    1. Hi Mi,

      What a wonderful comment! You really have a strong grasp on business and for that I’m very grateful.

      I agree that many people start businesses on a whim. However, in the US right now we are creating a significant amount of new businesses and the studies show that it’s linked to how the economy has performed relative to jobs.

      As corporations continue to layoff employees and people find it harder to find work, many are turning to starting businesses. While that is wonderful, as you mentioned most will fail because they haven’t done their homework.

      In addition, they aren’t trained in how to start, build, run, grow and sustain a business.

      This has led to all kinds of problems that solutions are needed for in the small business community in the US and it’s true regardless of if it’s a brick-and-mortar store or online, or combination of both.

      I will be writing on sales shortly. I look forward to your engagement!

      Have a great start to your week Mi!

      ~ Don

  8. So true Don,

    The mentality of build it and they will come is nonsense. We have to proactively market our content and real estate properties.

    And hey, if you ever find a school that does teach all the skills you included in your bullet points, let me know, I want to go there, lol. How much easier the past 5 years would have been it such a place did exist. 🙂

    I’m approaching my 5th year in online business soon, and honetly, there’s still SO much more to learn. Running a successful online business is not something anyone can acheive overnight, as you already know.

    Totally agree with you when you say “how do we persuade people that we can do something for them if we don’t understand them?”

    Without a deep understanding of our target audience, their pains, needs, desires, etc…

    we’ll struggle to make even $1 online! That’s why building community around your business and getting to know your target audience is SO important for success.

    And if we don’t invest the time researching and learning more about the audience we want to servce, we don’t deserve to make money anyway. It’s a people’s busienss, and we need to connect with our audience.

    Very insightful post Don. Learnt a thing or two. Rest assured I’ll be sharing this with all my online friends.


    1. Hi Kerry,

      Of course I found a school that covers all of those points. It’s the school of hard knocks, lol…

      It’s unfortunately something we cannot avoid. After ten of being in business for myself I’ve learned first hand all of those lessons. Of course I love to teach them through my coaching programs and consultations.

      I really believe as I posted in my last article titled “The Decline of Content Blogging in a Context Age” that context is now the #1 thing we have to think of, not content.

      There is more content created in 48 hours than in all of human history up to 2003. We don’t need more content. We need context! We need to understand our readers, prospects and customers and be able to relate to them and their needs.

      The key is that we have to make it about them so that they can identify with us. Otherwise we are just mass marketing in hopes of meeting someone while we reach no one.

      Thank you so much Kerry for such an insightful comment and for your openness to share it with your friends.

      I hope you have an awesome Friday!

      ~ Don

    1. Thank you! I so appreciate you sharing your comment with me and couldn’t agree more. I didn’t really mention consistency but you definitely alluded to it and its importance!

      I hope you have an awesome Friday!

      ~ Don

  9. Thank you Don for highlighting me and my blog in this fantastic article!

    I have been offline for two days, while sponsoring – of all things – a marketing conference and workshop. Sitting down to decompress this evening I saw your social media posts about this new article. I’m smiling as I read it, because in a nutshell much of the workshop I am at has been teaching the participants about the very topic you have covered here so well!

    The nine bullet points near the beginning grabbed me right off and so very true. And then this: “How do you wrap context around your marketing is you don’t know yourself and how the world perceives you?”

    Again Don, you have nailed the $100,000 question!
    If readers take nothing else way from this article but that question – and they chew on it for a good long while – deep shift in their understanding of marketing and the sales follow up must occur.

    Beautiful presentation of a powerful topic ! And the conversation continues!


    1. Hi Deborah,

      Sounds like you were at an awesome conference! I would love to have been a fly on the wall or better yet have been an attendee. Sounds like a great learning experience!

      Each one of those bullet points come from my own personal experience. I have to admit I was that person for each bullet at one time in my journey. It really is a muturation process that every business owner has to be willing to go through.

      If not, you won’t make it. Personal and business maturity is the long-term key to success.

      It’s so easy to identify where a business owner is at now that I’ve been on the other side for a few years. The ones I personally struggle with and refuse to work with are the ones who are not teachable and think they know it all.

      We never know it all! Even the oldest most mature, successful business men and women are still learning and they love to remind us that ego and arrogance will be our downfall if we are not careful to control it.

      If we are going to put our marketing into a context that resonates with each reader, viewer or listener we have to struggle with my question. That question was positioned right where it was with purpose and intention. The fact that you got it is really ENCOURAGING!!!!!

      I’m looking forward to more conversations with you. I’m so glad to have connected with another like minded person such as yourself that I can learn from and grow with!!!!!

      I hope you have a restful Friday!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don.

    What a great post, and what an honour to be mentioned!

    I really like your quote: “Marketing is not just about attracting new customers; it’s about winning minds!” That really does help to emphasise that marketing comes before sales.

    As for the other bloggers that you mentioned, there are some that I have not read yet, so I will do that now.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for the kind words. You’re welcome on the share as well, I really appreciated your article and it was very well done!

      People really do misunderstand the difference between marketing and sales and they wonder why they aren’t meeting enough new prospects and aren’t selling the ones they have.

      You cannot keep convincing people when you are giving them the opportunity to buy from you.

      I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a great upcoming weekend!

      ~ Don

  11. Great article and I thought this sentence from Sarah’s comment is an absolute gem.

    “If you cannot differentiate yourself from you competition if you are not being uniquely you and connecting with people.”

    1. Hi Nigel,

      Thank you so much for for leaving a word of encouragement. I really appreciate you commenting to let me know what you thought of the article.

      Sarah is a very bright person!!!! I always enjoy our conversations and reading her blog as well.

      Thanks again for sharing and I do hope you will come back again soon.

      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don,

    First of all thank you so much for the mention. I’m really, really honored, coming from someone like you.

    Now that you’re saying it, I’ve seen many people doing more marketing when they really were at the point of selling, and as you said if marketing is done right there’s no need to sell any more.

    I know for myself, once I’m sold, I’m sold, and the more you’re going to try to convince me some more the more you are going to start putting doubts in my head. It would almost sound like you’re not confident about what you’re selling.

    So, selling is the easy part, it’s marketing that we really need to get a better understanding of and do it right.

    I’ve learned so much about marketing since I’ve been reading your blog and I can’t wait for us to talk about all that…. oh, yeah, like today, right? LOL!

    You certainly know your stuff and you’re invaluable. Great post!

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      You are so right… if we continue to market in our sales we do exactly that, we plant seeds of doubt. That is extremely hurtful to any cause.

      Marketing is the hard part. If we know our business and if we are trained to be exceptional marketers then the selling comes naturally. Like you said, you don’t have to be sold, you just have to be given a reason to buy.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and very kind words. I cannot express my gratitude enough!

      I really enjoyed our call and conversation. It was a lot of fun. I forgot to mention that I’ll be including my clients in the group mastermind I intend on launching in February. WAY COOL!

      I hope you have an awesome finish to your week!

      ~ Don

  13. Hey Don thanks for the mention! “The hard truth is that if you don’t do good marketing that turns into sales you will never grow your business.” That is hard to swallow but the truth indeed!

    1. Hi Dave,

      BINGO! People are too busy however blaming a lack of sales on their cash flow problems instead of thinking about how they are marketing and how their marketing can make it easier on sales.

      You’re so right… it’s very hard to swallow.

      Have a great evening Dave!

      ~ Don

  14. Another fantastic read Don. I was listening to a guy talking yesterday, Paul Evans, and he was sharing how he and a partner market a faith ministry. He said something very profound – Authenticity is our common ground, it’s where we make our connection with someone. And I’ve heard so many ways of being authentic in your marketing, and this just clicked. I’ve always said the best marketers are not always in the same niche as yourself and they’re the ones you should follow ;).

    “If you cannot differentiate yourself from you competition if you are not being uniquely you and connecting with people.” Absolutely, you are not being authentic and presenting no opportunities for contextual marketing if you cannot show how you are different from everyone else.

    Knowing who you serve and the context you serve them is overwhelmingly important, yet you still have people who want “everybody” rather than focusing on a specialism. The sooner advertising skints these people the better 😉

    1. Hi Sarah,

      The truth be told I believe our niches are many times bigger than we think they are or allow them to be. For example, when it comes to partners I try to connect with people who serve the same audience I do but in a different way.

      That can really open a lot of doors! Those folks don’t have to do what I do or even be in technology for that matter.

      I always say that if you’re trying to reach everybody, you will reach no one. It’s like shooting an arrow without a target. You miss it every single time!!!!

      Great comment Sarah!!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Have a great finish to your week.

      ~ Don

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