10 Realities of Marketing in 2010

1. If you sell coffee as a commodity, it’s worth 2 cents a cup. If you sell it as a good, it’s worth 25 cents a cup. If you sell it as a service it’s worth $1.00 a cup. If you sell it as an experience, it’s $5.00 a cup. A 250:1 difference between commodity and experience.

2. Meaning: Getting ahead by slashing prices is cutting your own throat. You MUST take a lead from Starbucks and deliver an entire customer experience. Move UPSTREAM, not down.

3. Your marketing plan MUST include Google. Love ’em, hate ’em, Mother’s Milk or Big Brother, there is no avoiding this fact.

4. If your marketing plan ONLY includes Google, you’re an accident waiting to happen. You must invoke the Unlimited Traffic Technique and elevate your conversions to a level where you can compete on any level playing field. Once accept this reality, you liberate yourself from the mosh pit of misery and mediocrity.

5. If you have a successful affiliate business and it’s still standing, congratulations. You still have time to move to higher ground. Time to move NOW.

6. Regardless of where you buy clicks, if you don’t have an Autoresponder sequence, you’re leaving 2/3rds of the money on the table.* Social Media is a freaking a waste of time compared to just TEN well-written emails. In my opinion if you don’t have AR’s in place you’re lucky to still be alive.

7. The principle of the Slight Edge says: If you’re just 5% better than everyone else you get 50% more of the spoils.

8. There is no such thing as One Single Ideal marketing message, anymore than there is One Single Ideal shrub in the jungle. What you need is a toolbox of effective hooks that work with different kinds of people. That is the premise of the Swiss Army Knife.

9. Market Research is crucial. In 2004 you could afford to sling mud against the wall. Not in 2010. Ask your prospects the right 3 questions and sort the data right and your chances of success in a startup go from 5% to 50% overnight.

10. Most people now are on the defensive. They’ve shuttered their doors and windows and they’re trying to ride out the recession. That’s just slow motion suicide. Those who prevail have decided to be 21st century alchemists and every single day they’re trying to figure out how to deliver a more awesome customer experience.

7 insidious “X Factors” that will drown most AdWords advertisers this year

1. Conversion rates in free-fall: Your conversions are half what they were 18 months ago. But the clicks still cost more than they did then. What do you do about that?

2. “What are Google searchers actually looking for?” Your market is shifting unpredictably. Prospects who search Google aren’t asking the same question they were asking this time last year. Your market is more complex now and your position in the food chain is different. Have you changed accordingly?

3. There are growing numbers of deeply competitive markets where not one single advertiser is turning a profit. There are some niches where this shouldn’t be terribly surprising; certain parts of the business opportunity market have been this way for years. But now I’m seeing this in other, unexpected places. There is a constant churn of new advertisers and/or “stupid money” that is artificially inflating bid prices. (Yes, even at a time when “stupid money” isn’t supposedly available.) There are all kinds of crazy reasons for this but the bottom line is, you need a way to determine if this is going on – and how to overcome it.

4. Affiliates are hyper-intelligent and they’re everywhere. If you’re not an affiliate, odds are you’re competing with some. If you are an affiliate, odds are you’re competing with a whole bunch of ‘em. (Unless you’re in a market where they all got slapped.) 5% of the affiliates are making 95% of the money. Which group are you in?

5. Google relies heavily on real human beings to review websites. If a Google editor gives you a Quality Score of 1, all the HTML changes in the world will never fix it. If you don’t have an ace Google rep (which generally requires a monthly spend worth of $15,000), it may be impossible to get a straight answer as to why your QS suddenly dropped to 1. But real human beings with $500, $1,000 and $5,000 monthly ad budgets still have to make their businesses work! I’m going to show you how to get around this and play ball with the big boys, no matter what your budget is.

6. When you ask a question, some nameless, faceless person at Google pats you on the head (“Thank you for using Google AdWords”) and sends you a useless, cut-and-paste, non-answer to your question that was written by a committee of recent college grads (Hint: with hundreds of thousands of reasonably funded and fairly ignorant advertisers entering the market on a regular basis, you’re little more than a commodity to Google. Commodity = pawn on a chessboard. Expendable.)

7. Google’s Content Network can deliver gratifying quantities of quality traffic, but to most people it’s a mysterious, money-sucking fog. (Did you know that the colors and layout of the Google AdWords interface are scientifically designed and meticulously tested to vacuum out your wallet while you remain placid, comfortable, unaware?) Only those who know how and where to slice and cross-section their Content Traffic get the rewards.

To know more advance details, well, my colleague Perry Marshall has written a very helpful e-course that you can find out about it here: 2010 Definitive Guide to Google AdWords

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