Do Marketing That Works

Do marketing that works and avoid unproductive, unaccountable advertising.

It’s unconscionable, in this day and age, to spend money on advertising and marketing that doesn’t work. It was much easier to excuse in the old days. In the old days, the media was a monolithic, inscrutable, impenetrable mysterium.

As a small business owner, you were at the mercy of your media sales rep. The salesperson from the newspaper, radio station, or TV station, called on your business and made a persuasive pitch for the latest advertising “package of the month”. You bought, often out of desperation or obligation.

If your business was of a slightly more affluent nature, your media sales rep was more intent on getting a longer-term commitment from you. In that case, you were pursued for an annual contract, usually persuaded to sign up for the long-term commitment by some sort of rate concession or extras “thrown in” to the package.

What is curiously missing from these approaches of the past is attention to the primary goal of all advertising and marketing: to actually make your cash register ring.

In fact, discussions of such crass activities as ringing cash registers were often discouraged by media sales reps. They were quick to start mumbling some sort of arcane mantras about “building your brand” or simply “getting your name out there”. As if you could pay your lease by “getting your name out there”. Last time I checked, the bank wasn’t accepting “name recognition” as lease payments. They still prefer dollars.

Even so, even though most of us knew that the advertising sales game was rigged and the small business owner was its unwitting victim, we also knew there was little we could do about it. No more.

Now, thanks largely to the power of the Internet, and the nearly limitless transparency and instant access to information it provides, the world has changed. Google proved the efficacy of one of the oldest forms of selling known to mankind: direct response marketing.

As sophisticated as Google Adwords may appear at first, it is really the digitalization of simple direct response advertising. It is mail-order gone high-tech.

This ought to get you really excited.

Because it tells of possibility.

While it is not necessary to do all your direct marketing on the Internet, what is salient is how irrevocably the Internet has proven the worth of direct response marketing itself. It works, and works with ruthless efficiency.

Advertising and marketing can (and must) be measured. No more fuzzy talk about “getting your name out there”. Now, the game is very simple, just as you always suspected it should be.

The most important question in marketing is simply, “Did it make my cash register ring?”

If the answer is yes,  if a given campaign brought profits in your door, then it was a success.

If the answer was no, if you threw money down a hole and no money came back out, then it’s a failure. Or at least seriously in need of some alteration.

The point is: you can know.

The message is clear: stop paying for marketing you cannot measure. And for goodness’s sake, stop paying for marketing that doesn’t work. Today it is possible to know, without a doubt, whether it works or not.

For many, this is a new way of thinking. It will require a bit of a stretch of your mental muscles. But that shouldn’t be too difficult, especially because one of Earth’s most wonderful delights is about to become yours: the ability to say “no” to advertising salespeople who want to push packages on you!

“Packages” that are unmeasurable, unwarranted, and unintelligent.

And now you will be able to say “no” with confidence, knowing that you, and you alone, know what’s best when it comes to marketing your business.

Imagine living in a world where your marketing and advertising is a source of profit you can rely on, instead of being a cost you resent.

Simply by reading these words, you’ve already taken a step into such a world. Rejoice. The keys of the kingdom are yours.

Say it with me: “No more lousy, stinking marketing that can’t be measured.”

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at