“I believe all great things are created in the space between method and madness.” – Ted Gunn, Mindhunter
I’ll just say it straight. There’s no sure thing in marketing.
Anyone who guarantees you leads, sales, or the nebulous “results” is more often than not talking about their behind.
Yes, I said it. 95% of marketing “agencies” out there—who is really just one person running the show—are bs’ing you.
That said, I get it. That’s what they have to do. They’re simply practicing what they preach.
But it’s also the reason why so many businesses feel cheated after spending thousands of dollars on agencies that are supposed to get them results.
They were promised “X number of leads” or “grow your sales 10 times”.
But when the agency fails to deliver—and most of the time they can’t—
Those business owners are none the wiser.
Of course, they immediately lump all agencies together. “Marketing agencies don’t work. Facebook ads don’t work. It’s a scam.”
That’s the easiest excuse to give.
Between two truths, “I don’t know how to market my business” and “Agencies or online ads don’t work”…
One is obviously the more palatable truth.
Wait, aren’t I contradicting myself?
On one hand I say there’s no sure thing in marketing. And then I go on to say that business owners who call agencies “scams” are just lying to themselves.
Which is it?
Here’s the thing:
They aren’t mutually exclusive.
See, there’s no sure thing in marketing. Any marketer worth their salt knows that the key to good marketing is testing and adapting.
You need to place your bait and cast your rod. And if after a certain time you don’t hook any fish, reel it in and cast it in another area of the pond.
That’s marketing in a nutshell.
However that’s not gonna sell. People want certainty. They want to know that paying you to cast a rod will yield them fish every time.
And as marketers, we are programmed to sell people what they want. And therein lies the problem.
Let’s just roll the dice and see
That’s the approach many marketers take.
Close the client first. Figure out how to deliver later.
If the client gets results, then they take credit. If there’s no results, they’ll just try to hold out and test more until either their ill fates or the client’s budget breaks.
And if the client’s budget breaks and they decide not to continue, the agency simply moves on to another client.
It’s a numbers game. And it may seem “scammy” because we are brought up with the concept of equal tangible exchange.
We go to an apparel store. We pay money. We get new clothes.
We go to the dentist. We pay money. We get our teeth cleaned.
However when it comes to marketing services, marketers are taught not to sell the deliverables but the results.
What do I mean?
Instead of saying, “I will set up, run, and manage your Facebook ads for you. And you pay me $X per month.”
They say, “I will get you 10X sales and you pay me $X per month.”
And like I mentioned, therein lies the problem.
The marketing machine is far too complex for anyone to say for certain if I press certain buttons in a predictable sequence, I am able to get you a sale.
Results not guaranteed*
That’s why many industries are regulated. Health, nutrition, and finance specifically.
None of those sectors are allowed to guarantee results.
Because the regulating bodies understand that eating a certain probiotic every day won’t make you any healthier.
Or that putting in $100 to trade the forex market won’t necessarily make you $1,000.
The thing is the marketing industry isn’t that big enough for the government to want to come in and regulate it.
Advertisers may have a code. But it’s just that… a code.
Facebook and Google have their own policies that they enforce. But it doesn’t stop people from circumventing those policies whenever possible.
For example, you might not know this but advertisers are not allowed to use “before and after” photos for health and beauty products/services on Facebook ads.
Neither can you make false claims on your ads (which is honestly very subjective but them’s the rules).
This is nothing more than a thinly veiled rant
There’s really no purpose to this article other than to say what I have to say above.
But I’ll leave you with this.
Do your due diligence and don’t dismiss those without a track record.
Because past results or case studies or testimonials aren’t indicative of future results.
Now, I know that even though I say that, I still put results, case studies, and testimonials on my page. So take my words with a grain of salt.
Any marketer who has read a book, taken a course, or simply just actually tried to use the platform can get results.
I know because 3 years ago, as a copywriter, I haven’t run any Facebook ads before.
But I partnered with an entrepreneur who decided to give me a chance. I used my copywriting skills to start running a few Facebook ads, and…
The rest is history.
See it’s not the method that’s important. That’s the easy part.
Good marketers create systems to test the market
Anyone can learn how to run ads on a platform or write “high-converting copy” (which really means nothing if you think about it).
But the truly good marketers understand how to use the method to get data in order to see what works and what doesn’t.
The “madness” is in understanding the why. Why doesn’t something work, or why does it work.
That takes a certain level of experience and creativity.
And that’s where the true marketing genius is The willingness to take risks, to stand out, and to go against the grain (within reason).
That’s how companies like Grab, Razer, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, all came out of left field and blindsided industry giants.
It’s not because they know a specific method or they follow what others have done.
It’s because they learned the rules… and then broke them.
And don’t think that they weren’t called mad during their early days.
But genius and madness is just two sides of the same coin.
And the truly great marketers and businesses are the ones who are willing to take reasonable, calculated risks.
That’s it. I’m not sure how to end it but I gotta leave with a CTA.
So hey, if you haven’t checked out my videos on YouTube, head over here.
I’d appreciate it if you do. It’s free and you get to hear me talk for about 6-8 minutes at a time.