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The Blog


Category: marketing

The "Burned Before" Series, Episode 8: Cheaping Out

We've seen many companies blow through their budgets on marketing programs that failed to deliver. And it's sad. But it happens mostly because there's so much nonsense out there.

Everyone tells you what you need to do - "Do SEO!" "You need Click Funnels!" "Stand on your head and squawk like a chicken!" - but the vendor never draws the link to revenues, so you never achieve your goals.

And then you're left with not enough money to do anything meaningful, and ask us to fix the problem on the cheap.

The fact is that successful marketing is hard to do. And all those "easy answers" are like cheap insurance. You can afford it, but it isn't going to be there when you need it.

The funny thing is that the hardest thing to do in marketing is to come up with a strategy that's actually going to work.

But are you willing to spend the $20,000 it's going to cost to do that? Doubtful.

But that's the reason you're getting burned. It's not your vendors' fault.


In-House vs Outsourced Marketing

Many companies wrestle with the question of whether they'd be better off hiring staff to do their marketing, or to outsource it.

Hiring arguably gives you more control, and it may save you some, but it limits your talent pool and flexibility. Outsourcing gives you a lot more options, but management can be tricky.

But neither of those arguments matter if your marketing plan isn't working.

You see, here's the thing. What really matters most in marketing is strategy. And that doesn't just mean picking a target market and a bunch of marketing mix elements. Strategic market planning is a science. And if you hire a Marketing Manager who doesn't understand it, you might as well just throw darts.

The reality is that if you hire people for a critical function like marketing, and they don't succeed, then they'll just go on to their next job - leaving you holding the bag.

That's why you should call At least we know the right things to do.


Liar, liar, pants on fire

Have you even gotten one of those pitches from a call center where they brag about the high number of dials they can make each day, and it sounds high but reasonable?

And then as icing on the cake they tell you that they can generate lots of great leads too, and it sounds even better?

Run the math, though, and you may find out you're about to get snockered.

Let's assume that it takes three minutes to dial someone - because you have to familiarize yourself with who they are and what they do. Otherwise, of course, it will sound like you're reading from a script, and they'll just hang up on you.

So that 100 dials/day will take about 300 minutes, or 5 hours - assuming no bathroom breaks.

Then ask yourself: If the caller actually gets someone on the line, how long do you think it will take for them to persuade a prospect to agree to a meeting? Ten minutes? (Ten if you're lucky, but probaby more like twenty. But let's run with ten.)

And how many of these ten minute conversations would the caller have to have to get one person to say yes? Five? (Again, five if you're lucky, but probably more like ten.)

So here's the math: Five appointments required 25 conversations, each of which took ten minutes (not counting the time it takes to write notes), for a total of 250 minutes. Add that to the five hours from before, and you have a 9 hour day.

Do you know what a "blivit" is?


Any Idiot Can Make Phone Calls

Desperate times call for desperate measures. That's why so many marketing firms are getting into the telemarketing business these days. It's also why so many companies use them.

And it's also why so many of these programs fail.

At we've offered professional B2B telemarketing and lead generation services for over 20 years, and so we know a thing or two about it. For example...

First, you can't just hand someone a script and a telephone and expect them to get past gatekeepers and voice mail.

Second, you can't put someone on the phone who doesn't know what they're doing and expect them to persuade a busy executive - someone who may be running a $50 million business - to grant an appointment.

And third, doing this wrong doesn't just waste money, it wastes time, and it can ruin your company's reputation. And if you think that opting for pay-per-lead is going to help, wait until you see the blowback from bogus appointments. Or worse, what it does to your bottom line.

But go ahead. Go with that vendor who says they can make 600 dials-per-hour and guarantee 47 qualified leads per day.

Then watch them make a monkey out of you.


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