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The 2020 Marketing Blueprint

Why Your Marketing Fails

This blueprint is designed to help small to medium-sized business owners build and execute effective marketing campaigns.

An effective marketing strategy is like a bicycle wheel, the more spokes you have, the less likely you are to succumb to the failure of a single system.

Separately, each of the strategies we teach will yield results, but together they become a lead machine that will power your business in 2020 and for years to come.

First, let’s dive into why our marketing strategies of the past have failed.

Not Understanding the Marketing Funnel

An elementary understanding of how traffic enters the funnel and moves from a lead to a qualified prospect to a paying customer to a repeat customer is critical to your business’s success. Failure to understand this results in allocating marketing dollars to the wrong marketing channels at the wrong times or, worse, hiring someone who doesn’t understand the marketing funnel.

Viewing Marketing As Only An Expense

The number of business owners I sit down with who view marketing in a negative light is mind-boggling. A successful marketing campaign is an engine that drives your business forward. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin—after all expenses—is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.

Not Having A Marketing Budget

When I sit down with a prospect, one of the first questions I ask is, “What is your budget?” One of the misconceptions people have is that by telling me their budget, I’m going to try and raise it, or they won’t get their money’s worth. I don’t take on clients unless I’m 100% confident we can generate a Return On Investment [ROI]. Why do I need to know your budget?

Imagine This:

You’re planning a nice dinner for 20 people, and you decide that you’d like for me to cater the event, and we don’t discuss a budget. We go to the store to pick up the ingredients for the menu below.

Steak and Lobster Tails
Caesar Salad
Mashed Potatoes

As the cashier starts ringing the items up and the total begins to climb, you begin to get nervous. There’s no doubt that the meal is going to be great, but the total is more than you expected. So, you do what any logical person would, and start removing items.

“What if we didn’t do lobster tails?”
“What if we skip the salad? ”
“How about we put the asparagus and truffles back?”

We have successfully lowered the total, but we no longer have a complete meal.

If at the beginning had you said, “my budget is $200,” instead of planning for steak and lobster tails, we could have done spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and a salad: happy guests, a complete meal, a successful strategy.

Your marketing strategy is no different, understanding what you have to work with allows you to set realistic expectations and goals.

Not Understanding Where Marketing Channels Fit Into the Different Levels of the Marketing Funnel

Often I sit down with a potential client, and I hear things like this “I tried direct mail and didn’t get a single lead” or “We don’t get any business from social media.” A perfectly valid takeaway, and I can understand the frustrations.

What if we look at your marketing like this.

Marketing is your toolbox, and within your toolbox, you have different tools Search Engine Optimization, Facebook Ads, Radio, Direct Mail, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media, Reviews and Referrals, Network Marketing, and so on.

Now, let me ask you this. If you were replacing a water heater, would you only use one tool?

No, replacing a water heater would require a ProPress or Solder, a wrench, a knife, plumbers tape, a wire brush, a hose, a variety of fittings, and so on.

It’d be impossible to complete the job using only one or even two of the tools above, and your marketing is very much the same.

More times than not, they were only focused on one or two strategies and were unable to move prospects through the funnel, which leads us to my next point.

Not Executing a Complete Strategy

A successful marketing strategy includes utilizing multiple marketing channels. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is focusing on only a single channel, even if it’s successful. I’ve seen clients concentrate too much of their budget on the Awareness stage of the funnel without any means of working leads through the marketing funnel. Another common mistake I see are companies that only focus on one marketing strategy. For Example, I have clients who made tons of sales using only organic Facebook reach in 2012 – 2015, but as Facebook became more pay to play, that strategy was no longer as profitable. Or, clients who rely only on Search Engine Optimization and then the algorithm changes and rankings fluctuate.

Not Being Realistic

So many business owners expect, and so many marketers promise unrealistic returns. If a marketer can turn $1 into $100 consistently, why aren’t they working for the biggest companies in the world and speaking on the biggest stages? Marketing is an investment, start with a reasonable return, and then build on it.

Not Sticking With It

Two of the biggest mistakes I see are business owners turning their marketing efforts on and off like a water faucet and not sticking with a strategy long enough.


Just because business is good doesn’t mean it’s time to cut your marketing budget, there’s an argument to be made for investing more in marketing.

If marketing is the engine that drives your business forward, you must continue to refuel it. What takes less effort to move? A car that’s already moving (a campaign that’s running) or a car that’s at a standstill (a campaign that’s stopped)?


Your marketing strategy is like working out; results don’t come overnight, regardless of what people tell you. Consistency is the key to success.

Not Hiring A Pro

When I first started my business, the only way I could convince business owners to hand over their hard-earned money and the fate of their companies over to me was by working with them in the field. Over the years, I’ve worked with more service businesses than I can count. I’ve gone out and pumped septic tanks and replaced field lines, installed grease traps, and replaced water heaters.

If I needed to replace a water heater tomorrow I could do it, in theory. But I’d call a pro and more importantly I would know how to hire a pro.

Many of you have been burned by “marketers” in the past. This guide is designed to do two things. 1. Give you a basic understanding of marketing and how to implement and execute a marketing strategy. 2. Get you and your business to the point where you can hire and vet a competent pro. Chances are you’re an expert at what you do not a marketing expert, that’s fine, let’s keep it that way.

What’s Next?

An Introduction to Customer Acquisition Cost