How to Immediately Stop Losing Money on Marketing

Author : , Date : March 7, 2016

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How-to-Immediately-Stop-Losing-Money-on-MarketingEvery year, businesses spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) on marketing and advertising in order to reach their prospects and consumers and for the majority it is a complete waste of time and money.

When I was in sales for the New England Life and Investment Company in 1996 I remember being told that if I want more business, I have to spend more time advertising and marketing myself.

I was told that again when I started my first business in 2005.


“Don, it’s just a numbers game. You have to reach as many people as you can in order to meet the right ratio of people who will buy from you.”


Hum… I always felt there was something off with that message.

Today, those techniques no longer work they way they once did thanks to the internet.

It’s disrupting everything we ever knew about marketing and advertising and how to reach more prospects and customers.

Compound that with the reality that the internet itself is changing at light speed and many business owners feel trapped between a world that once was… one where you spend a lot of money to reach as many as possible; and a new world where spending a lot of money reaching everyone equals losing a lot of money.

What are you as a business owner to do in order to keep up?


Stop Assuming You Know Your Audience and Discover Who They Really Are


Do you know who your customers “really” are?

Do you know what they need or want or are you assuming?

Do you know what their lifestyle or business lifecycle is and how what you sell fits into their needs or desires?

Over the weekend I bought a car at a dealership near Philadelphia.

I had the chance to talk to some others who buying a car as well and come to find out they were business owners.

As we talked, it was apparent that they had a lot of assumptions about who was visiting their websites, who was following them on social media and who was actually showing up in their place of business to buy from them.

As we talked, each one began to discover that their assumptions were wrong and they admitted that they struggled with marketing and sales and were not happy with their business results.

They were frustrated and visibly upset because they felt conflicted about what to do, and they were honest about how little they trusted those who claimed they could help them.

As we talked, it became apparent to them that the real problems were deeper than just strategies that are always pitched to them.

Do SEO, social media, videos, or create a new website… One said he felt like it’s a ploy to give up their money to these supposed “marketers” who claim they can help them and then they never deliver.

As we talked more, they began to realize the real problem is their message and that they don’t know who their message is for.

In a recent survey by IBM in October 2015, nearly 80% of respondents felt that business websites were in no way relevant to them.

In another study by the 2015 B2B Web Usability Report, nearly 50% of respondents said that website visitors left a website almost immediately due to a lack of message.

In still another survey by Gleanster, inefficiency in content production has resulted in an estimated $958M each year in excessive spending for mid-to-large B2B US companies.

That means they didn’t get a return on their investment.


Because they didn’t create relevant websites or social media posts for those who were able, willing and ready to buy from them.

Do you see the theme that is developing?


Most Businesses are Making Educated Guesses About their Prospects and Losing Money as a Result


How do I know that the majority of businesses don’t know their real audiences?

Numbers and metrics don’t lie…


On a business website:


  • Is traffic to the site high but sales or service pages have less than 20% of the traffic that other pages have in total?
  • Are bounce rates higher than 50% (A bounce rate means someone came onto your website and then stayed only on the page they came to and left)?
  • The time on a website is less than one minute.
  • Do few people tell you that they found what they were looking for or needing on your website when they call or come into your place of business?
  • Few to none are filling out your forms or contacting you by email.


On social media:


  • You have to participate in groups to gain followers who make your presence look large but don’t care about or need you.
  • Very low social engagement on social media posts (i.e. Likes, shares, comments or tweets)?
  • Few are sharing your articles around social media.
  • You don’t get anyone who calls or shows up at your place of business who says they saw on (insert social media page) that you (insert whatever they need).


Relevancy and specificity is the name of the game when it comes to marketing.



After I finished talking with the business owners waiting to finish up at the dealership, my sales person and I began talking.

I asked him; how many people come in and say they saw a commercial with the cool car racing across the desert or going up a huge mountain and are saying they want that car?

He said; “no one.”

As we were talking, a nearby single mom was listening and interrupted and said us…


“I came in because I was talking with a friend about how this vehicle (as she was pointing) held up in an accident with her two kids in the car and she will never own any other vehicle again. I want that car!”


The car company was completely missing the message to this person.

She only came in because her friend had an experience and if that were her, she would want the same experience.

She wanted safety for her and her children.

She didn’t care about features and benefits.

Yet, the majority of businesses still talk exclusively about features and benefits over solutions to needs, problems, or desires.

For those who are serious are about discovering who their audience really is, it may take months or even years before they stumble into discovering their message.


Because they don’t have a structure or system to help them know who their specific prospects are and then communicate relevantly to their problems, needs, wants and desires.

Here is an even worse thought if you are conscious at all about making money for your business…


How much money are you wasting trying to save a dollar?


Some estimates say that 2/3 to 3/4 of a marketing budget is wasted, meaning companies have to spend money to make money but the returns are much lower and take longer than they would like.




John Wannamaker, a nineteenth-century department store owner was once quoted as saying:


“Half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”


Businesses are spending tons of marketing dollars trying to reach people in old mass marketing methods that don’t work anymore and are throwing tens of thousands of dollars or more down the drain.

When you factor in how much money a business is losing because they have the wrong message for the wrong people that number will likely make your stomach turn.

Yesterday, I was at the pet store when I came across a couple who had a large puppy Neapolitan Mastiff and two Old English Bull Dogs. My son love bull dogs and wants one someday.

As we got to talking, he shared that he is a general manager of a local car dealership (different than where we bought the care… I know it’s confusing but hang in there for the point) who wanted my opinion about marketing on Pandora?

I asked him why he would do that.

His answer was: “The owner thought it was important to do digital marketing.”


Most people listen to Pandora as it’s on in the background if they are listening at all.

I bet if he knew who was driving his cars he would market very differently to them.


Relevancy and Specificity is Your Friend


Just knowing your broad demographics is not enough. You have to be in the head of your consumers.

You have to talk to them online in such a way that they say:


OMG, how did you know…”


While making assumptions is a great starting point, you have to get to the real specifics.

That’s where research is important.

Your business may be in a local community so knowing about that community is really important.

Or, your business may be bigger than that.

However, you still have to know about the “community” of prospective buyers as well as how and where to share your business with them.

This is why knowing the lifestyles or business cycles of your audience are important.

I shared in this article titled “How to Go From Out of Work to Successful Entrepreneur” a story about Joe.

Here is the summary of Joe’s specific profile:


  • He is a 20 year IT employee of a large company with incredible benefits who was let go to do outsourcing overseas.
  • He’s been out of work six months or longer and debts are piling up.
  • Employers said he was either over-qualified or they are not hiring at this time.
  • He can’t afford to take a low-paying job at Home Depot to support his needs.
  • He never saw himself as a business owner and yet he always wanted his independence.
  • He’s already broke, so starting a business from his point of view is a good risk.


Joe’s target market for his new IT business – Municipal, County, State and Federal Governments:


  • A $450 billion government IT market.
  • There are over 2,000 companies competing for government IT contracts at all levels of government (local, county, state and federal) thanks to shrinking profits in corporate America and cheaper IT services overseas according to the Reference USA database of business trends.
  • Government IT infrastructure that exists today goes as far back as the 1980’s and in some cases even the 1960’s – they are woefully inadequate to serve the needs of the public.
  • For the next ten years the forecast calls for a 4% annual growth in IT services which means there is plenty of room for a company with a dynamic message and the skill set required to meet the needs of the particular agency.
  • Governments are experiencing high costs to taxpayers and bloated government budgets due to wasted time and inefficiencies of older IT networks and systems.
  • Old equipment, wiring and software that is easily hacked into thus creating a major liability.
  • Lack of resources by government staff to handle the upgrade of the system themselves.
  • Lack of understanding of how specific networks and systems work and their advantages and disadvantages specific to their needs.


That article has attracted numerous clients to me because of its specificity.

In fact, my sales increased 125% from March 1, 2016 – March 7, 2016 from people who said that article did it for them.

The good news is that article will be working for me still today, tomorrow, next week, next month and in the years to come.

There is a massive ROI just on that one specific article.

No matter what kind of marketing you do either offline or online, it’s vital to have the right message for the right audience who is able, willing and ready to buy.

I hope that the story of the single mom in the car dealership or Joe’s story resonated with you.

I hope that it showed you how important it is to move from being general to specific.

The key to earning sales online (it applies offline as well) through your website, social media, video or email is to be specific, relevant, and relatable.

However, without the intense focus for a short time that is structured and organized, it can take months or years to learn who your audience really is; at an extremely high cost when you factor in how much money a business is losing because they have the wrong message for the wrong people.

Are you ready to stop losing money on marketing and learn how to leverage it to help your business grow?

If you’re reading this article to this point, then you already know that you have a problem.

You’ve been in business for a while and you know you have a great service or product but you’re not getting the business you believe you should be getting.

Perhaps you’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars or maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you have nothing or very little to show for it.

Or, maybe your business has been successful but you know that something is still missing and this is the key to improving your business.

If you’re ready, I have a structure and system to help you discover your specific audience and learn how to communicate relevantly to your prospects problems, needs, wants and desires.


If you ready to really know your customers and create a specific, meaningful, relevant and compelling message that will attract those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you…

Take me up on a free, no-obligation consultation.

Click here to access my calendar or on the image below.




Want to learn more about messaging and digital marketing, click here and visit the “Begin Here” page.

In addition, for a limited time you can have a FREE copy of my highly popular eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing.

In total, over 1,500 of your peers

Be sure to get it while it’s still free!



Do you have a question, thought or idea and want to share with me and my readers? Leave a comment below in the comments section and let’s chat!



Special Thanks to the Following


I want to thank those who included me in their recent articles. Please take a moment check out some incredible articles (not because I’m in them) by these well-respected bloggers:

“How To Stop Failing Miserably With Your Blog (Even if You Feel Tired and Worn Out)” by Adrienne Smith

17 Facebook Groups Every Blogger Should Join” by Todd Worley

“Comment Display Order ~ Newer/Older at the top! What do you think?” by Enstine Muki

“Focus On These 3 Things and Watch Your Startup Flourish” by Kim George


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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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37 thoughts on “How to Immediately Stop Losing Money on Marketing

  1. Hi Don,

    I have been following this thread with great interest, because I am currently looking for the weakest spot in my business, and finding out how I can fix it. That’s actually the title of a post I am working on.

    As Sherman just said, to try and run a business using the notion that traffic is not people with families and financial problems, who laugh and cuss like the rest of us, is a recipe for failure.

    I used to work in direct advertising sales on a local newspaper back in the day, and the highest paying customers were always the worst offenders. The big stores used to cook up a full page ad in an office 300 miles from the town it was meant to be targeting, and then send us the copy. Instead of actually asking the folks of Bognor Regis what they needed in the store. I never understood that.

    Yet the local businesses would sit down with me for hours, tweaking copy and changing graphics until it was just right. Yet the one meeting I ever had with the advertising guy who bought thousands of pounds worth of space from us, was all about discount rates for a series and nothing to do with copy at all.

    Thanks to everyone who has added to this great post


    1. Hi Richard,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and engaging with me! I’m so glad you’re here!!!!

      If you have a moment, please feel free to stop back by here and share the link to your article. I would love to read it!

      Isn’t it amazing how many businesses feel that they can disengage and throw money at something and that should the problem?

      Your story really hits home and I hope that those who read your comment will take what you wrote to heart.

      It takes thoughtfulness to make something work… if you have some money it will help.

      Great comment and thanks again for stopping by Richard!!!!!

      ~ Don

  2. Hey Don,

    You just brought back a memory of when you were talking about your first adventures into sales.

    When I was in network marketing I though it was pretty odd, impersonal, and self absorbed for anyone to say that it’s all about numbers. It’s like they wanted all off the reps to think less of potential connections with others.

    But when you have this mentality, especially now days, this can be a detriment to your reputation and business.

    There are many tools and strategies out there, but if you’re not specific as to what you do and what you’re all about, then those tools and strategies can backfire on you. Most people will blame these tools and strategies for the money they lost in marketing where in actuality it’s the message they’re putting out.

    You must study your analytics and get to know who really your audience is if you want to get anywhere with your marketing. The best ways to do this is through network and branding. Mix it up with collaborating and engaging others, you will develop your own advocates on top of the marketing that you may spend on.

    Great post Don and this will open some eyes! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      You are so right about that! That mindset is a serious detriment!

      While numbers are vital and important, I believe that there isn’t enough emphasis put on clarity and relevancy.

      Imagine what it would do for most people if they increased their sales by 10%.

      Huge game changer!

      Thanks for an amazing comment Sherman!

      ~ Don

  3. Hi Don. What a truly fascinating post and one that really blew me away when you started giving the details of the complete waste of marketing budgets by many organizations.

    It realy does all come down to clarity of our message.

    I’m guilty of being one of those who made “educated guesses” re my target audience and this error of my ways was definitely brought home to me when I looked at the traffic stats of my blog in detail.

    I was initally carried away with the growth in my traffic but did wonder why I was getting so little engagement with my blog posts (plus a bounce rate of nearly 60%).

    Yes I was definitely creating posts for “an assumed audience” and I was also guilty of having a focus on benefits of whatever I was offering without really knowing what it was that my reader’s “really needed.”

    This was an incredible wake-up call for me.

    I then spend some considerable time completely overhauling (with assistance from the excellent guidance I have received from you) my target audience, my message and what I was really all about.

    With that challegingly but critical part completed (well to be totally honest its probably always going to be work-in-progress for me!) , I then started creating content that was relevant to my target audience’s specific “pain point”.

    Initally my traffic decreased alarmingly (or so I thought) with unique visitor numbers falling by 55%.

    But I then also saw that these reduced number of visitors to my place started engaging with me, looking around so much longer, joining my tribe and purchasing my relevant offers.

    The most popular pages on my blog are all associated with discovering my message and those stats really and truly have given me the confidence that the clarity of my message was the key and this is what has improved my overall blog experience.

    Thanks as always for your enlightening post Don – I always gain so much from your posts.

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village marketer


    1. Hi Peter,

      Clarity around what business we are “really” in is the key to short, mid and long-term success!

      It’s the difference between a business that is thriving and one this is just surviving.

      I’m excited for what you are discovering and learning about your own business.

      Have an awesome weekend!

      ~ Don

  4. Hi Don,

    I didn’t realize so many bigger companies waste so much money on marketing. That’s pretty eye-opening and should signal a problem area for these companies because they are dropping good employees in the process of saving money to spend money on wasteful marketing tactics. It sounds too like some of the best marketing tactics are actually much more inexpensive to create and maintain, such as creating content sites. The story of Joe is definitely inspiring and I can just imagine the need that is out there to update the government site infrastructure.

    I’m sure you’ve even heard a small business owner utter helplessly “Well I throw about a thousand into ad fees per month – and I may get some small inquiries from that.” Like they have no idea who they’re targeting, and feel like they are just throwing things out there that they heard might work but don’t have much faith in it.

    It sounds like Joe was able to identify the key needs of a very specific target and market successfully that way.

    I really like how you presented your argument about once identifying your target – creating meaningful relevant and a compelling message that speaks to them. Sounds simple but clearly it’s harder than it seems!

    Maria Snow

    1. Hi Maria,

      Welcome to my site, I’m excited that you stopped by!!!!

      I hear you, unfortunately I’ve talked to some executives and marketing professionals who feel they must continue to invest in reaching customers in order to grow their businesses, and they would be right.

      But you bring up an excellent point as well about efficiency and how that plays a role in keeping their employees. It’s a delicate balance for sure.

      I see small businesses every day who are spending money in marketing and are deeply frustrated by the lack of results.

      Much of it has to do with not having their foundation in place and what business they are “really” in.

      It’s all about specificity, relevancy and presenting your message to those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you.

      You’re right Maria, it sounds simple and in some ways it is… once you get through the process of gaining clarity. Pulling everything out of our heads, organizing it, and then researching the facts to build a message is some of the hardest work one will ever do in their businesses.

      But it’s also the most rewarding and game changing!

      Thanks again for stopping by Maria. What an honor and blessing and I appreciate your comment immensely!!!!

      Have a great end to your week!

      ~ Don

  5. Hi Don, we can even bring it down to wasting valuable time as well, for the typical blogger that isn’t spending much money at all. You’ve probably seen Adrienne’s post about not making a profit due to targeting the wrong audience.

    “Business as usual” has killed many companies over the years. Even entire industries.

    That was a powerful testimonial that lady had. I wonder how many traditional companies even know what a brand advocate is? Or would even consider developing a brand ambassador program?

    BTW, I love your post format with several methods of content. Very cool.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Absolutely right… time does equal money. I am coming to the conclusion on my own and it was has been reinforced after reading Mark Schaefer’s book titled “The Content Code” that content marketing is losing its impact thanks to supply and demand.

      Mark goes as far as to say that because so much incredible content is being created we are actually paying readers to access our content for very little in return. It’s an interesting read!

      Yes, I read Adrienne’s post. I had a great time coaching her last spring and summer and she is an exceptional client!

      You liked that comment by the lady? It’s pretty powerful.

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s all about value and giving people access to my content in a way they can use it.

      Have a great week Brian and thanks so much for stopping by!

      ~ Don

  6. Hey there Don,

    You did an amazing job on this post. It all boils down to us being humble and responsible enough to learn from people with results and follow what they do. We definitely can’t market to everyone. It would be crazy stupid to advertise meat to vegetarians. We need to know who our target market is, how they think, what they want, the issues they’re experiencing and how we can fill in the gap and give them value.

    Great video and podcast as well. Keep it up!

    1. Hi PJ,

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words.

      Great point, choosing who to learn from in a world where everyone claims to be an expert but doesn’t have to the proof to back it up is becoming more and more of a challenge; especially online.

      Again, you offer an excellent word picture to explain target marketing… I love the visual!!!!

      This week, I’m actually confronted with the effectivenss of content marketing and its effectiveness; as well as what is good and bad about it.

      Is supply and demand eroding it’s usefulness?

      Consider it part 2 of this article; lots and lots to think about as I write for this coming week’s article.

      Thanks so much again PJ. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don,

    Again, I’m going to mention that as far as I’m concerned, personal development plays a key role here.

    This, to me, is all about knowing who your customer is. You know who they are – when you know who YOU are.

    I see this as a situation where we’re relating to one another. That’s the only way we can truly know what someone might want. To listen to them and feel compassion about what their needs are (and why they aren’t being met).

    I think that’s what sets you apart. You listen. You know what business YOU are in because you’be asked yourself these questions and answered them honestly. You now know how (and why) to do this with others and since you’ve made that connection thanks to your own self-awareness, you can serve them better.

    And then take it a step further and teach them how to do the same with their marketing efforts.

    The video was powerful.
    Truth is, I don’t watch television, so I don;t even catch commercials. If I wanted a car, I’d go with personal experiences. And when I did watch TV, all car advertisements looked the same to me.

    We have to personalize everything…because people are personal.

    1. Hi Dana,

      Absolutely, there is a bit of personal development involved and it also heavily involves business development.

      You can know your customer through knowing yourself, but only to a point. It requires the research and skills to take that research and compile into a ones message. The example of Joe that I used in the article is a case-in-point. Knowing the marketplace is vital.

      I appreciate your kind words Dana… if one cannot listen then they cannot lean or help someone. I find those who don’t listen have either come to assumptions that may or may not be true and/or they have decided they already know all there is to know.

      If one already knows, it’s still wise to listen and learn how to communicate in a way that the other party can receive it. Know one gives or receives information in the same way.

      I appreciate you as always Dana!

      I hope you have an awesome weeknd!

      ~ Don

  8. Specificity! Magic word Don. Because when I got specific about what I did, and fell in love with it, I made a beeline for folks who loved and needed and wanted what I did, and they make a beeline for me. Almost like heat-seeking missiles heading for one another. Of course, the more we make these connections the more we make money, and the losing money on marketing bit dissolves, for good.

    For anybody who’s lost money on marketing for months or even years, this feels like freaking magic! But it is clarity and specificity at work. Because once you get clear on your end, you naturally spot probs and ask questions and share relevant content and solve problems and serve for the specific, ideal customer…..and attract more and more business to you.

    Fab post Don!


    1. Hi Ryan,

      It’s been a lot of fun watching you grow your business… and even funner to see you connecting with some people like Zac offline.

      One of the things I’ve discovered, and my business is exploding as a result, is that with my business marketing is more than content marketing and blogging… it’s all about how I take connections from the offline world and bring them online into sales funnels and vice versa.

      It’s leading t more speaking opportunities, one-day BootCamps, and even branching back out to web design.

      I can see how you can bridge the two worlds as well… especially when I think of your opportunities at NYU.

      But without clarity, good luck. We both know that it’s nearly impossible to do.

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I was in DC leading a few BootCamps and networking with some phenomenal entrepreneurs.

      Have a great weekend Ryan!

      ~ Don

  9. Hi Don,

    Making educated guesses are never good measurements, are they?

    It’s all about getting the right kind of traffic coming to your blog, or business. Know that and you have a great recipe for creating great content that people will want to read – and turn them into clients or buyers.

    How do you create that recipe?

    You define who you want coming to your blog?

    What do they want most of all – and how can you give it to them?

    When you know this, you can’t help but write powerful content for them because they’ll tell you what they want to read (and what they think is powerful content).

    Sure, they have a vague idea – usually “Everyone who wants to know about Internet Marketing”, or “Losing Weight” or “Writing Kindle Books”, and so on.

    But they don’t know who really wants to buy what they have to offer. Or who, out of all those people are going to be ready to buy before they even arrive on their blog. Even less, they don’t know what their customers are already buying and how to turn this knowledge to their advantage.

    That’s the key.

    How do you get them to do this? This is what I talk about on my blog and what I teach through my training and coaching. And do you know that nearly everyone who comes to me to help them discover these answers does not know who they’re really trying to sell to.

    – Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      You make my case so well! LOL…

      The recipe is the process I take my clients through in one-day BootCamps or over a few weeks that helps them arrive at their message.

      To get the right traffic, you have to have the right message that is specific and relevant to their needs, problems or desires and speak to them.

      Back up the message with relevant facts, statistics or numbers and you position yourself for explosive growth when you’re talking with those who are able, willing and ready to buy from them.

      Great comment Tom. I’ll be by your site soon. I was leading a BootCamp yesterday in Washington DC so I’m playing catch-up.

      Have an awesome end to your week!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don
    I impressed by your indepth knowledge on marketing and especially on budgeting aspect of marketing.
    People take marketing a kind of maths and be very calculated one every dollar they return and minutely watch its ROI.
    Things never go according to numbers every time and one should not forget the production side as well while marketing.
    I observed so many times that a blog with huge traffic is hardly making sales to 5 or 10 per cent of its total visitors and this could be also because of the quality of the product and the way that product is being showcased.
    Many thanks for sharing such a thought-provoking post.
    Have a great rest of the week

    1. Hi Mi,

      We’ve both seen blogs struggling to gain traction. Expectations can play a huge role in it as well since it depends on the purpose of a blog and how it’s actually being used.

      I’m under the persuasion that if the blog is carrying the message of the business, the opportunities are there so long as the blog is structured properly with a clear call-to-action with a means to ask someone out for coffee instead of marrying them.

      I appreciate your kind words Mi and thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be by soon to check out what you have going on and do some learning from you as well.

      Have an awesome end to your week!

      ~ Don

  11. Hi Don, I have saved this blog! Great info and great job. Hope to learn more about marketing my Blog and knowing my audience. Karen Castleberry Giebel, The Journey Girl.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Welcome!!!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing! I appreciate your kind words.

      I hope you’ll come back and gain some deeper insights for your blog and your audience.

      Have a great week!

      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don

    Awesome post

    You’ve crammed a lot of powerful ideas into today’s offering, but of course, the central theme is about identifying wants, needs and pain points, and then offering solutions.

    I’m glad you made a point about sales people who are obsessed about features and benefits. It’s one of my pet hates.

    These folk never seem to uncover the real motivators that will transform a prospect from being mildly interested in our offer, to where they’re ‘ready take our arm off’ for it.

    Or to put it another way, most sales people are order takers, not sales makers. They kinda take the line of least resistance but often let fantastic sales and income opportunities slip through their fingers. Even if the prospect buys their widget, they may miss out on a ‘total solution’ sale, which would have a big ticket price tag attached.

    Your point about specifics is right on the money once again. Specifics always outsell generalities, which is why we need to be always super diligent about knowing the real needs wants and concerns of our ideal customers.

    Thanks for also bringing your key points to life with your two illustrative stories.

    Your readers are well advised to take up your generous 60 minute consult offer.

    Power to you, Don


    1. Hi Kim,

      Yes, and it’s about being specific and relevant to the wants, needs desires or problems that someone is experiencing.

      It’s about how to use those things and leverage those things to benefit both the customer and the business. It’s supposed to be a win-win for both parties!

      Unfortunately, many business owners stink at marketing and sales and all they want their sales people to be are order takers. I love that language Kim and the illustration’s meaning.

      I appreciate your insightful comment as always!

      ~ Don

  13. Hey Don,
    Here is another solid proof that you know where you can lead businesses to. You clearly expose the weaknesses of traditional media based on assumptions with no clear figures to aid profitable business decisions.

    I think the problem starts with the business owners who don’t know their markets. Maybe they have had some successes in the past that’s keeping them tied to their stagnancy. Sometimes, we get some clients by chance and if nothing is done, there is going to be high level of inconsistency in sales – moving up and down. The truth you have mentioned is that if we narrow down to specifics, business will blossom.

    You brought up some important points about knowing the quality of website visitors – from entrance to exit page. There must be a funnel that should help businesses know where visitors are dropping. That way, they will be able to readjust or completely eliminate some campaigns.

    It’s exciting to know that your business is growing. What you teach works for others so there is reason for you to see good results. I can see better days ahead so keep giving.

    Thanks for the shout out in this post.
    Do have a more wonderful week ahead

    1. Hi Enstine,

      Nice to see you hear my friend!

      I agree that business owners don’t know their markets, but I think the root problem is different and starts much earlier.

      They don’t know their markets because that’s where they are starting. When you start at the market or audience you end up to broad because you haven’t thought through the problems and who those problems are solved for.

      Notice I flip it in my training:

      1. What are the “specific” problems you are passionate about solving?
      2. What are the tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience?
      3. What are the “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value?
      4. Who are you “specifically” solve each problem for (in detail)?
      5. How are your products or services “a” part of “a” solution?

      If you start at the “who” you never get to the “why”… If the “why” is cleared up then the “who” becomes easy. That gets rid of “luck” or “chance” and makes one intentional in message, marketing and sales.

      I appreciate your comment Enstine and thank you for your words of encouragement!

      Have a great week.

      ~ Don

  14. Hi, Don

    Another good article about marketing. i believe many Ads from big companies have way too general message just like that car Ads. For family, parents want safety over features in their family cars.

    If we don’t careful, our ads will not specific enough to do well for us at all.

    Will book mark this post for future use.

    Thanks for sharing

    – Stella Chiu

    1. Hi Stella,

      I agree Stella, but the websites and social media marketing is just as bad, if not worse!

      We have to remember that what we’ve been taught in mass marketing, directly and indirectly, over the years have influenced our thinking.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. I appreciate you and your comment!

      ~ Don

  15. Hi, Don,

    As always, your business wisdom is invaluable. It is quite natural to want to highlight features. But as we all know, they don’t sell cars (or anything else!)

    I agree with Adrienne’s comment, I rarely see anything on TV that resonates with me anymore. So I do think your example and story is spot on. It also makes me wonder just how much money these large corporations are wasting each year.



    1. Hi Sue,

      Thank you, I am blessed by your comment! We are so ingrained with features and benefits that we forget why they exist in the first place.

      If the features and benefits are tied into the problem/need/desire then it all comes together. But, they are not independent of one another.

      I personally feel that the majority of online content is just as bad as the offline. I am actually growing weary of reading blogs that waste my time.

      If you want to know my real feelings, lol…, I think people in the B2B world (which is where I play) are tired of reading blogs that don’t help them either and this is making it harder and harder to attract people to our blogs.

      Here is the good news… when they find great content – they stay forever!!!!!

      Companies of all sizes are wasting money on marketing, online and offline. Last week, I mentioned the $985M in content marketing losses by medium size businesses.

      So it’s not an online vs offline thing… it’s lack of competency across the board. One actually feeds the other positively or negatively now.

      Thanks for your comment Sue!

      Have a great week.

      ~ Don

      1. Hi, Don,

        I do agree with you that there is some bad content out there. But there is some great content, and you’re right, it stays forever. They are the blog posts that get read time and time again.



        1. Morning Sue… read time and time again… and helps pad profits more and more.

          With each sale, the value of the post increases to the business as it’s cost basis goes down – increasing profits.

          Love it! Create it once, get paid for it over-and-over again.

          Have a great end to your week Sue!

          I’ll be by your site soon – love what you share!!!!

          ~ Don

  16. Hey Don,

    Well you’re definitely spot on my friend and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Since having worked with you I have personally seen a HUGE change in the audience I’m attracting and the clients that are signing up with me. What I’m sharing is resonating with them because I got very specific with who my audience is and what problems they’re incurring. It’s really benefited me and my own clients moving forward because they too were just like me. Not understanding why you should just address one person at a time with their one problem. It can be confusing until you finally get why it’s SO important.

    I actually love the direction this is taking because so much of what I see on TV and read is WAY too generic. I can’t relate to anything they’re sharing, it’s rare that I feel anything is personally directed to me. On the rare occasion that it does happen though, it’s like BINGO!!! Talk about really getting my attention.

    I’m sure both of those car salesmen got a big education from you though. Hoping it helps them moving forward as to how they interact with their customers.

    Another great share Don, thank you so much and you be sure to enjoy your week.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I’m SO happy for you!!!! One of the most rewarding things in business for me is to see my clients succeed!

      TV, radio, magazines, billboards… all way to broad and generic. I was talking with a business man last night who invests a lot in offline marketing and he’s fed up. His ROI’s are plummeting and he doesn’t understand why.

      You outlined the problem extremely well… marketers are not creating the moments where their audience feels they get them.

      It’s a problem offline and it’s a problem online. They will either figure it out, get help or go by the wayside. They market will eventually force it.

      I appreciate you Adrienne and you’re the best!

      Have a great week.

      ~ Don

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