The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing: What I Learned Applying Them To My Business

As some of you might have heard in one of Tim Ferriss’ most popular podcasts with the infamous Noah Kagan, one of Tim’s most beloved books about business is the old school version (my copy was copyright 1993) of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. I bought this book with me when me and the fam went to cape cod for the week, and I tore through the book in about a day. It was an incredible little book that you could totally use as a workbook, of sorts, for your own business. I’m afraid that you won’t be able to experience this book exactly as it was in 1993 anywhere on the internet, so I want to share with you these 22 original (I think???) Laws of Marketing, and how I plan to apply them to my business.  Almost every rule in the book was tied up with its own prediction as well. It’s incredible, because he totally got a bunch of them right. I’m going to share as many predictions with you that I can, and you’ll truly be blown away by how many these guys got right.

This book is a truly incredible piece of work, especially when you think how much the marketing landscape has changed since 1993. The internet went from a passing fancy, the the main information superhighway of the world. Major companies has risen and fallen, many unexpectedly. There were two massive stock market crashes, and there are so many new companies, new ideas, and new business philosophies based around the internet, that you would like that the world must have changed nearly completely since 1993, especially in the marketing frontier.

However, this book proves that people still really think the same way, and they still react to business in the same way as well. The feeling of comfort from choosing a business to buy from based on these laws, the feeling that you made a good choice, doesn’t go away. In short: It works.

Now, I’m going to go over each and every law from the book here: and I’m going to make a short write up about the essence of the meaning, then I’ll write up the plan I decided to use to apply that law to my own business.. At the end: I’ll write down the guesses that the author made (in 1993!) and let you guys decide how accurate his predictions were  in the comments.

FOCUS: Read through this article, get ideas, and then use this worksheet to help you create a marketing plan that WORKS.

Law 1: The Law Of Leadership:

The Law of Leadership is simple enough to understand: If you’re first in the prospect’s mind for a specific product or service, you will always be first in their mind. A lot of people seem to undermine the importance of being first, and I really did as well until I read this book and Al Ries and Jack Trout pointed out how many companies were “first” in their industries, and therefore were first in market share in their industry as well. Its interesting, but very true: when you think of it, almost any specific product you think of will make you think of a specific brand first. Soda? Probably coke (first.) The first thing that comes to mind for cellular service? Probably AT&T (first.) How about the first thing you think of for hash tagging? twitter (first!)

So how will I be first in online marketing? I want My company, Berkshire SEO, to be the first in comprehensive online marketing. What that means is that we will offer soup to nuts online marketing solutions for small businesses, at reasonable cost. When people think of online marketing, I want them to think of  Berkshire SEO first, and remember that we can do it better than anyone else, for less.

I won’t get into the “how” behind that now, but believe me, it’s been keeping me up at night for weeks now. It’s going to be great. I’m so excited to bring this fully fleshed idea to market.

CHALLENGE: What companies are already the first in your category? are you truly the first? Why or why not? How can you become the first?


  • Coca Cola will still be first in soda forever.
  • The First Domestic Light beer was Miller Lite. It will still be the best selling light beer. (sorry guys, Bud Light took the prize)
  • QUOTE “ Not every first is going to become successful, however. Timing is an issue– your first could be too late. For example, USA today is the first national newspaper, but it is unlikely to succeed. It has already lost $800 million and has never had a profitable year. Ina television era, it may be too late for a national newspaper”
    • USA today is still around, but not doing so hot.

Law 2: The Law of The Category: If you can’t be first in a category, setup a new category to be first in.

This is a brilliant second law. I’m sure a good number of you read that first law (like I did the first time I got through the book) and felt a little beaten down….how can you be first in a category? That’s where the Law of the Category comes in: You can always create a new, completely different category for your business to be first in. Not the first in pharmacies? be the first pharmacy that offers an alarm app on your smartphone. This was a HUGE revelation for me.

I realized that even though what I’m doing (just doing SEO, online marketing, and analytics work) can all tie together to create a new category: Comprehensive Online Marketing. Now this means that I’m making some trade offs (the law of sacrifice… we’ll get there) and I know that, but I want to focus on small businesses. I’m not equipped to work for large firms, especially at the prices that I offer, but I’ve realized that SEO work, Social media automation, analytics, and website maintenance is fairly simple, and low impact at the small business level. Therefore, I can easily organize for ALL of these items for a small business in a short space of time, and give great service doing so. This is something that nobody else is touching on as far as I know. So: While all the big, bloated marketing firms and web development guys are busy chasing large companies who want to talk too much, get nothing done, and not spend money, I can focus on working with the exciting new “Muse business” Market segment that grows every year.

CHALLENGE: What category can you create for your company?


Budweiser: Instead of trying to fight Heineken when they came out with “the first imported beer” They came out with “the first premium domestic beer” which you all know as Michelob.

Law 3: The Law Of The Mind: “It’s better to be first in the mind than first in the Marketplace”

This chapter demonstrated this as a “preparedness” type thing more than anything. Essentially, if you’re going to bring something new to market, don’t attempt to be the first if you aren’t ready to market it properly to actually firm yourself as “first” in the market. Otherwise better funded “me too” companies will show up and crush you. It’s a very good point: If you’re not ready to spend the time and effort to properly promote your business, then don’t try and throw something out there. Wait.

For me, this means that a lot of my plans for the future for my business need to wait for the infrastructure of this one to be set up. I need to get more subscribers to my email list, and tell my story better. I want people to understand that this blog, and this business, is a business about BUILDING Muse businesses. Its about finding a way to take the business, or the idea, or the job that you have, and build it into a business that fits the lifestyle you want.  this is a large goal for me to reach for, at least for 12 months, or until I have a subscriber list of 100,000.

CHALLENGE: what companies are first in the marketplace? can you beat them into the minds of prospects? Why or why not? What is your 6 month plan to beat those companies out?

PREDICTIONS: The chapter didn’t really harken itself to predictions, as you have to look backward to properly see it. some interesting facts that they did mention were how Honda is a far second to toyota for car sales in japan, because they’re primarily known as a motorcycle company there.

Law 4: The Law Of Perception: “Marketing is not a battle of products, it is a battle of perception”

This chapter really drives home how important it is for you to fully understand what your customers are thinking. Marketers are often worried about demographics, surveys, studies, and the like to help them understand what target market they should be going after. At the end of the day, it’s more important to imagine your ideal client, and think of what they would want to hear, how they would want to hear it, and what they would want to see from you so that they NEED to choose you as the one to do business with.

For my business, this means that I needed to change a lot of things for the user interface of my site, and the rhetoric I’m using to promote my products. I want to make a lot more free, high quality content like this, because It helps to drive people to my site, and gives them a reason to trust me. I know that this is the most important thing that I can do.

I’m really excited to start to build a great relationship with all of my readers, and my clients. I want them to understand that  I’m here to help distill the deluge of information that can be found about online marketing, SEO, and social media marketing, and get it down into manageable bite sized chunks so that you know how this stuff works, and how it can benefit your business. This is the goal.

CHALLENGE: how exactly do you want your business to be perceived?  What specific steps can you take to have your business perceived that way today? In the next month? in the next 6 months?

PREDICTIONS: No predictions in this chapter.

Law 5: The Law of Focus: “The most powerful thing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind”

This is one of my favorite chapters! It’s kept me thinking constantly since I’ve read it. The idea is, once again, very simple. If you own a word in the prospect’s mind: meaning a very small idea, then you got them.  When you think of a safe car, you think of Volvo. When you think of Soda: You think of Coke. Adjectives are generally the word you see, unless is a specific product such as copier, which is a word of course owned by Xerox. Being able to own a word within a sector can be just as powerful too. I think this is an amazing idea, and very true. If you try and take another company’s word, you will fail. If you create your own, you can succeed.

I’ve been brainstorming this chapter forever, and I still haven’t really figured out what my word is. As I’ve written this, I’ve started to think of the word “Freedom” which I think really speaks to the idea of the company’s values for creating a lifestyle business, and for what we want our clients to get as well: more freedom. I hate the idea of small business owners sitting at their computers, taking time away from their families learning how to do SEO on the fly, or online marketing, or Search Engine marketing, all because they asked a firm and they wanted to charge them thousands,or they were too afraid to even ask. I want to offer that Freedom to these business owners to get back to their families and their jobs at a reasonable price.

Law 6: The Law Of Exclusivity. “Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind”

This is a very short chapter, but very true. If any company has a word pegged, I.E. volvo and “safety”, another company can’t run in and go “me too!” nobody cares. Its not important. What you need to do is find a good word for your company.

For me, I’m fairly concerned that people will attempt to run in and steal the idea for my word, especially since I don’t have the marketing steam to solidify a word in a prospect base’s mind. Eventually, when I launch another product with more resources, I plan to take full control of a word, and reap the rewards. (keeping this section quiet on purpose :))

CHALLENGE: what is your company’s word? Google search it in as many ways as you can think of. write a report on how google treats the word, other companies that might hold sway over it, and how you can beat those companies out.

PREDICTIONS: They spend the majority of this short chapter talking about Fedex and its attempt to take over the word “global” at the time of this book. They infer that DHL global (obviously) already owned the word, and that fedex will fail.

Law 7: The Law Of The Ladder : “ The strategy you use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder”

This finally attacks the issue we all worried about in chapter one “what do you do if you’re not number one in the prospect’s mind?” That’s ok. All you need to do is change your strategy. If you’re not number one in the prospect’s mind, then you need to focus not on being the biggest first, or best, but on something else. One of their favorite stories in this book is Avis, who had an ad for a while that said “We’re number two in car rentals so why use us? Because we work harder” And people love it, they grew massively during that ad campaign. Then they changed it to “Avis will be number one in car rentals” and they lost their shirt. Because nobody believed them. Why? Because number one already belonged to Hertz in their mind. You can’t change a prospect’s mind, at least not often, and not easily. So don’t fight it if you’re number two, or three, or 5. Just find a way to carve out your own niche. Become the “whole package” solution, give incredible customer service. Have a specific charity focus. Have a super simple User interface that beats everyone else’s. There’s a million ways to do it, but don’t give up just because you’re not first. REalize you’re not first, though, and act accordingly.

I, am obviously not the first in online marketing. I will also not be the last. Therefore, I’ve decided not to sell online marketing, but a lifestyle. I want my clients to know that if they sign up with me, their online marketing is done: You don’t have to worry about it anymore. Except for the few calls or emails you’ll get from me checking on different campaigns I’ll run for you, you’ll be all set.  When people think of my service, I want them to think of more time with their families, more leads to work when they get to the office in the morning, and a better work/life balance. It’s not that I’m number one, and that I’m working with Coke, and Procter and Gamble. Quite the contrary. Its that I work ONLY with small businesses to help those small biz owners get their lives back, and enjoy the success they worked so hard for.

CHALLENGE: which rung on the ladder do you occupy in your category? Why is it that one? Can you move up? what would cause you to move down? How can you focus your marketing based on your position in the ladder? What specific steps will you take?

PREDICTIONS: As I mentioned above, they talked about Avis and their ad campaign about being second in rental cars. Obviously they never became number one, just as they expected.

Law 8: The Law Of Duality: “In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race”

Coke and Pepsi. Hertz and Avis (is Avis even still around?) Crest and Colgate. These are the companies that they mentioned in this book as two horse races. When you look at just about any “industry”, although I’m not sure thats the right word, you realize that everything boils down to two at the most. there might be a far distant third, but it’s always two. The Iphone and Android (amazon as number three?). Xbox and Playstation (nintendo has its own thing going). PC and Mac. Firefox and Chrome. Google and Yahoo. You can go on forever. There are plenty of different examples of this rule, and even if you’re not a top dog its still important to think about this one in light of your business. Why? Because you can learn a lot from those two top dogs when you look at them.

For instance: In online marketing, I would have to say the two top dogs would be Google and Facebook ,the biggest traffic controllers on the internet. These two, like it or not, control the online marketing scene. Any change of algorithm, or payment structure for ads, will change the entire internet.  Knowing this, I know that my job as a marketing consultant is to react faster than other, bigger companies to change sin google, facebook, and others, and use that speed with which I can react to give better service.

How can you take a look at “the big dogs” in your industry and react to them? is there a new product or service they’re offering that you can use as a springboard to get you more clients? What about a new marketing strategy THEY’RE using that you can piggyback on? There are always ways to react to the big guys to help your own business out.

CHALLENGE: How will you be sure to take one of the two spots in your market? What steps can you take to make yourself “the answer” To a problem in the prospect’s mind?  Are there other companies in top spots that will affect yours? how so?

PREDICTIONS: Long Distance Wars: ATT own(ed) 45% of the market, MCI own(ed) 17%, and Sprint has 10%. They guessed that MCI would win the long distance wars.  MCI is now a subsidiary of Verizon, so I suppose it DID pan out.

Law 9: The Law Of The Opposite: “ If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader”

The best quote from this chapter and maybe this entire book is  right here in the second paragraph:

“Much like a wrestler uses his opponent’s strength against him, a company should leverage the leader’s strength into a weakness”

This is exactly the nature of how you should attack the idea of fighting a big, mean, fully grown company. Look at your competition with their money and resources. You need to find a great way to fight them that will show that you aren’t going “me too!” but instead  “I’m different” Nobody wants to hear about the me-toos. They want to hear, fresh, new ideas, and concepts, and services. When a market leader states plainly what their focus is, you should do the opposite.

I know there are bigger, scarier companies out there than mine. I know that these companies are focused on closing the big, huge, fat, boring companies that want online marketing. They aren’t focused on small business. that’s my Opposite. That’s my different.  I want to offer a solution catered SPECIFICALLY to small businesses, not one that is looking to become huge, bloated, and eventually uninteresting as a marketing idea maker. I want to stay “small” so that my clients can relate to me, and so that they know I’m going to serve them well, because I understand their problems.

CHALLENGE: What is the number one competitor doing in your field? What definite idea or ideal are they using to market? how can you do the opposite?

PREDICTIONS: Burger king had its most successful years when it opened up the “have it your way” campaign, which touted how Burger King would create the burger you wanted, not just the same thing always like Mcdonald’s. Burger king strayed from this marketing path of being opposite, and tried to do the “me too!” system. The prediction was that they would flounder versus the more powerful McDonald’s. Of course, he was right.

Law 10: The Law Of Division: “Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories”

We all know this to be true. If you look at the “computer” industry 30 years ago, it was just computers. Now its tablets, cell phones, desktops, tablets as laptop replacements, laptops as desktop replacements, and on and on. There are probably about ten times as many categories now as anyone could have imagined in the 80s.

If you think about cars 30 years ago, it was Cars, Trucks, and Vans. That was it. Today there are sports cars, sports coupes, sports 4doors, SUVS, Crossovers, you name it. There are a ton of  different categories of car now. This seems to happen to any industry as it matures, and evolves. Will some of these ideas die out, or change entirely again? Absolutely. But nonetheless it is important to look forward, and understand how your industry might divide as time moves forward.

For me, I can imagine that the online marketing industry will change over the next few years.  Small business owners are now seeing large companies, and maybe even some large local companies, using comprehensive online marketing solutions (usually created internally) to get more business, and keep their company front of mind. As this continues to progress, and small business owners realize that the internet is the only place to market anymore (well, basically) they want a piece of the pie too.  Who will fill that niche? who is going to handle the new market  of small business owners that want, nay NEED a new online marketing solution?  That’s where I will come in. I’ll be looking to fill a niche of small business owners who need to get their online marketing up to date, and want it simple, inexpensive, and one stop shop. Just how people used to go to many different services for email, text, phone, etc, now everyone goes to their phone for everything. Since people use Facebook, Email, PPC, SEO, and such all apart from one another for marketing, I want to offer a comprehensive solution that gives a simple answer for small business owners. The benefit? Biz Owners will be able to 1) step away from the minutae of online marketing, and get back to their lives and 2) having all of these solutions handled by one person, under one roof, will allow for a real synergy between all the methods.

Online marketing is changing now. People look for their next product, service, or idea everywhere now. They look on social media, they look in emails from businesses they know. They look in paid ads on google, bing, and elsewhere. They look in NATIVE searches from google, and then back up their search result with Social media, quality content, and so on. If all of these areas are pushed together into one cohesive strategy, then the marketing solution will be lower cost, more effective, and super simple to use.

CHALLENGE: How will your industry “divide”? what sub industry do you want to be first in as it appears? How will you take control of that sub-industry?

PREDICTIONS: “Prudential, American Express, and others have fallen into the financial services trap. Customers don’t buy financial services. The buy stocks or life insurance or bank accounts. They prefer to buy each service from a different company

The way for the leader to maintain its dominance is to address each emerging category with a different brand name, as General Motors did in the early days with chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac ( and recently with Geo and Saturn)”

Not quite.

Law 11: The Law Of Perspective “Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time”

This chapter can really be distilled down into a single sentence: “Many marketing moves exhibit the same phenomenon (to drinking). The long term effects are often the exact opposite of the Short-Term effects.”

Here’s a simple sample. When you go to Macy’s you see a rack of shirts as you walk in that are for sale at say, $75 a piece. You will never buy one of those shirts. You might look at one of those shirts, you might even try it on, and snap a picture of yourself in it. You will not buy it. Why? because you’re going to wait for the HUGE SALE that Macy’s will inevitably have in a few weeks, letting you get that shirt for $40, or $20.

In the beginning, Macy’s thought they had it made. they would put up a sale, and people would get stoked. They would rush into the store, buy everything on sale, and MAcy’s was happy. They made a ton of money, got a ton of response from their advertisement of their sale, and sales grew.

As this method continued, Macy’s realized that people started to expect the sales, instead of hoping for them, and shopping anyway.  The sale had the inverse effect over time. It actually caused them to get LESS NATIVE BUSINESS.

For my business, This means that I won’t experience the benefits of this blog post for a year or more. Initially, this blog post will give me interest, hopefully some responses. I hope that people respond at the bottom of the post with ideas, goals, and what they learned from the post. The inverse of that would obviously be no interest, no response, and no sales. I hope that, as this post lives on longer and longer, that people can use this as a roadmap for me and my business, and that they can read it and re-read it as my business grows, and their business grows with mine as a client.  How will their business’ position change in regard to these laws as it grows? How will my business change as the market changes, as the ideals change, and as unexpected problems or opportunities arise?  I’m hoping that this post becomes a resource not only for myself, but also for the clients I work with, my readers, and anyone who stumbles upon this writing.

CHALLENGE: What marketing methods are you using now? What are the results now? What results will you expect in a year? two years? Five years? What is the opposite of that result? Is that possible as well?

PREDICTIONS: Couponing will die off, and companies like Wal-Mart will pop up as the new leaders in department store selling with “everyday low prices”

Nailed it.

Law 12: The Law Of Line Extension: “There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand”

This is my favorite chapter in the book, because it’s so true.  If you read this book (and I HIGHLY recommend that you do) you’ll notice that each of the companies that he mentions who has broken this law have failed. Its amazing.

The law of line extension is simple: If you’re pepsi, stay as pepsi. Don’t be New Pepsi, Pepsi Zero, Or anything else like that. Don’t try and take the brand that has built a great reputation, and then paste it on another product to get more sales. Just like in law 11, it will get you lots of sles early on, but it will end up failing, and will not only cause the new product to fold, but will also tarnish the original brand.

Why doesn’t this work? well think about it. If you run a construction company, your brand is your name, and your work. People talk about how fast you get a job done, they know that you’re easy to work with, and they recommend you to their friends. You have built an excellent brand.

Now, if you take your name (let’s make you John Smith) and then open up “John Smith’s Lawn Mowing Service” to piggyback on your construction company’s success, at first people will buy from you. They’ll be happy that they did, and they might even refer you to other people. However, as the years pass on, people will still only remember you as a construction guy, and they will start to wonder why you run a lawn mowing company under the same name. Are you struggling as a contractor? is your work not up to par? All of a sudden, the excitement of a new service from a great service provider is gone, and both the lawn mowing service and contracting service has suffered a loss of brand quality.

For my company, this is something I’ve thought long and hard about. I want to make sure that for the new products I will be rolling out in the coming years, that they have their own websites, their own ideals, and their own voice. I will hire someone to write the copy, and the newsletter. I will change the voice of the company to match what it will be about. I will probably step back and create a personal blog that people can follow if they like, but the marketing for the new companies will be autonomous, different, and run by different people.

CHALLENGE: How could you “extend” your brand, and lose track of your focus? Have you already done so? In what way? Are you building a new brand for your next product or service?

PREDICTIONS: IBM copy machines, 7up in a million different flavors.

However, my favorite: “ Microsoft corp. said it is aggressively seeking the dominant share in every major software application category in the personal computer field….Microsoft might be able to achieve as much as 70% share in every major application category

Whom does that sound like? Sound like IBM. Microsoft is setting itself up as the next IBM, with all the negative implications the name suggests”

Not quite guys! ^_^

Law 13: The Law Of Sacrifice: “You have to give up something in order to get something”

I have worked in many different industries. I worked for ten years in food service, managing several restaurants. I worked in financial advice, and was promoted to a VP after just one year. in all of these industries, I’ve noticed that all of them fall prey to the trap of wanting to add more services. They seem to get scared, get worried that their core product or service isn’t good enough, and turn around and offer something different.  They add on more services, more food, more product, longer hours, you name it. Does it help? in the short term. Does it continue to help? of course not.

I’ve only ever worked for one company that followed this rule to the letter. It was a small fine dining restaurant that I worked for in college. When times got tough, they cut their hour of operation instead of increasing them, making it a spot exclusively for dinner. When a new fine dining restaurant came into town, they raised their prices, solidifying themselves as the premium option in the area. They were always “giving something up” but in reality, they were creating a idea in people’s minds that this was THE place to eat in town.

Years later, this is the only place my wife and I go for our anniversary dinner every year. Why? not only because its the best food, but also because their constant cutting away of bullshit that they didn’t need to succeed, and a focus on what they do best, has made them even better.

For my company, that means that I will only focus on small businesses. Why? Even a medium sized local business can pay someone to do this work for them full time on payroll, and I will advise them to do so. Small business owners cannot. If they can, then they already have the marketing steam they need for now, and need to focus on growing. I want to work with small business owners who are worried about their LIVES. they want to be happy with their families. They want to experience the benefits of being self employed, like long vacations, fridays off, and the like. I want to help them experience that easier, and faster than they thought. This is the key to my entire business. It’s all about using online marketing to get these people to the lifestyle that they dreamed of at day zero.

CHALLENGE: What are you giving up in you business? What should you give up, but you haven’t yet? Why?

PREDICTIONS: Fedex focuses solely on small packages overnight, Emery focuses on rush service, small packages, large packages, economy services, and other things. Emery will fail.

well, I don’t even know who emery is, so there you go.

Law 14: The Law Of Attributes: “For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute”

Marketing is a battle of ideas. This is the most important thing you can remember when you’re marketing your business. As such, people often subconsciously think of your service in regard to its attributes. If you’re a contractor, or a dentist, people probably think of you personally when they think of your business. They think “John is a nice guy, and I like going to him for X service” The attribute in their mind that they think of is “nice.” sadly, that’s not marketable, not a very solid word, and will probably not keep their business if anyone with a lower price, better product or service, or idea comes by.  You need to create an attribute that will be 1) opposite, or in competition to, the big guys in your field and 2) will create an attribute that you can own in your prospect’s mind. For a small business owner, that can be “best customer service”, it can be “fast response” there are a millino choices. Find the one that isn’t taken in your area, and use it.

For me, this attribute will be “all in one marketing” and “small business only” I have no desire to have my marketing ideas thrown in front of a stuffy committee, or to be dealing with large companies, board rooms, and other such nonsense. I want to work with small, lifestyle business owners, whether locally running on internet based, and help them build companies that give them the lifestyle that they want. that’s the focus.

CHALLENGE: What attributes do your largest competitors have? what attributes will you take on as a result? How will this change the way you run your business?

PREDICTIONS:  Burger King attempted to put out bigger, better play areas than Mcdonald’s, instead of looking for their own attribute to attract customers. They will fail.


Law 15: The Law Of Candor: “ When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive”

Marketing is funny like this. If I tell you that “hey, im not the biggest marketing firm, in fact I fight to stay small” you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt that I’m probably hard working, enjoy working with small clients, and that I’m glad to be in the market that I am.

you would be right as well.  I’m small, I work with small clients. And I love it.

I’m not looking to be the next big marketing firm working for Coke. I don’t want to be. It doesn’t fit my lifestyle. As I write this, my daughter is taking a nap in the room next to me. I can see her from my desk. When she wakes up, we’ll go for a walk in the woods, go to the playground, and enjoy a smoothie together. That’s something I can’t do if I’m working for Coke.  Not only that, but this is the exact lifestyle I want to make possible for my clients. If they wat to spend the afternoon with their daughter–they can. Why? because I’ll be here, handling the marketing for them. This is the key to the law of Candor. Give up something, and your prospects will assume something else is true. And usually- they’re right.

CHALLENGE: What is a negative you can admit to that will imply a positive? How will you use it to drive sales?

Predictions: Listerine’s “the taste you hate twice a day” campaign will push them to the top of mouthwash.

Law 16: The Law Of Singularity: “In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results”

80/20 rule. If you haven’t’ heard of this before, get out from whatever rock you’ve been hiding in.  80% of the results come from 20% of the work. 80% of the sales comes from 20% of your list. This is a common buzz phrase we all hear time and again. It’s also common to see way higher ratios: 90/10, 99/1, you get the idea. Often times the VAST majority of results come from one very small subset of work. Figuring out how to cut out the remaining 99% of wasted work and focus on the 1% is the hard part.

There are a million types of marketing. In today’s world, you’ll notice that there are even more than there were ten years ago, some more effective, some less. So how do you pick the best ones?

I’ve realized that building large, high quality posts like this one for my list is what gets me more subscribers, more interest, and more business. I’ve used PPC before, I’ve focused on SEO before. I’ve spent countless hours trying post sharing, link building, and any other form of marketing. They all work, and for some companies they’re the answer for sure. Using each one is also important for my business, as they each work in tandem to promote this article I’m writing now. However, the meat of the work is here: in this article I’m writing to you now.

CHALLENGE: what is the 1% item that brings you the most business? Why aren’t you focusing on it more? What other methods could you cut out with very little change in results?

PREDICTIONS: None to speak of in this chapter.

Law 17: The Law Of Unpredictability: “Unless you write your competitor’s plans, you can’t predict the future”

You can never guess what the future holds.  There are so many different thing that can happen in the world in the industry, even just in a subcategory that it’s impossible to guess what will happen next.

My company is indeed trying to guess what will happen next. People will stop using the phone book to advertise, and they’ll need a way to deal with all of their online marketing together in one place. That’s my focus.

CHALLENGE: What are some crazy things that could happen in your industry to change things? how will your company react?

PREDICTIONS:  Healthy Choice meals will be big as people care more about their health. Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn took the chance that people would pay twice as much for premium popcorn.

Law 18: The Law Of Success: “ Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure”

We’ve all seen it. Amazon takes the world by storm with their online shopping experience. So why then, can’t they take over the tablet market? Newsflash: they can’t.   A local company crushes it with their small business, and instantly opens up a new completely different shop. Both businesses fail. As Bane Says in The Dark Knight Rises: “Victory Has Defeated You” (I picture bane speaking in only capitalized words)

For me? I’m hoping that once I start to succeed in this business, I’ll be able to pass that success on in a new, interesting way. I have many plans for this, but I’m keeping them quiet for now :))

CHALLENGE: What are some ways that your success has made you arrogant?  How can you change that? What are some things you can do to capitalize on your success?

Law 19: The Law Of Failure: “ Failure is to be expected and accepted”

Oh, have I failed. I’ve failed at small businesses, big businesses. I’ve failed at marketing ideas. I’ve failed and failed again. Each time, I’ve learned something new and interesting that I was able to apply to my next endeavour. Failure happens. Its important not to forget that. Every time something doesn’t work out for me. I sit down with my wife and I talk about it. We work out what happened, why it didn’t work, and how I can do things differently next time. If you keep doing this over and over again, you’ll eventually get it right. that’s when the 80/20 rule comes into effect.

In marketing, there is a long, long list of failures before you experience success in many cases. At least real success. Most success comes from actually working in the marketing field forever, and building up the experience to find things that will work for certain companies. However, the joy of marketing is that new, innovative ideas are what sells. Seasoned marketers fail jsut as much as new ones, big just as much as small. So keep failing, keep learning, and build from there.

For me, I know that failure is a part of my business. I hammered the phones in wealth advice, I went to town meetings selling solar. I’ve been told no at least 10,000 times in my professional career, just to get to the 100 or so yeses that have made me who I am.

CHALLENGE: What failures have you experienced recently? what 3 things did you learn from each? How will you apply these learnings to your business?

PREDICTIONS: none to speak of that haven’t been mentioned already.

Law 20: The Law Of Hype: “ The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press”

What a great chapter this was. Essentially the premise is this: how many time have you seen a company “blow up” in the media, then never to be heard of again? More time than you can remember I’m sure. When a company is doing well, it doesn’t look for press, they just keep going on the same path, and take the great word of mouth business they’ve earned. When sales are slowing, or they’re rolling out a fledgling product, or something of that nature, then you’ll see the ads  on tv, the news interviews, and the buzz feed articles. More often than now, after this blast of media, you’ll see the company drop off the face of the earth, or they’ll just disappear again. The company touted by CNN as “the next big thing” will be pushed into the background again.

For me, this means that my focus is always on making sure that my business is focused on its mission: to help small business owners live better lives by taking online marketing off their plate for a reasonable price. That’s it. I am exceptionally interested in sharing my story, but I’m not particularly interested in going “viral” or having a ton of press in a short space of time, because I can understand how that could pull me away from the focus of my goal. As many people who have experienced the wave of viral fame have noticed, you spend more time running from press meeting to press meeting, scheduling podcasts and other meetups, than you do focusing on your business when you’re probably getting more interest than ever before. You can really lose track of how important it is to just help your new clients, instead of being worried about how much work can be created by keeping on top of the “viral wave” Focus on being in the business of helping clients, not the business of being viral or popular. The popularity that grows from that will be better than any other.

CHALLENGE: What are you in the business of? are you staying true to that as you build your online marketing plan? how has online marketing changed your focus? how can you use online marketing to bring that ideal back instead of losing track of it?

PREDICTIONS: The NeXt computer will be a flop, in spite of all its hype.  New Coke will be a flop.

Law 21: The Law of Acceleration: “Successful programs are not built on fads, they’re built on trends”

Beanie Babies. Slap Bracelets. POGS. So many products and ideas have been held hostage by their fads and the resulting media attention the receive. It never helps. This chapter explains how a massive amount of coverage for a product, especially in the early stages of its development as a brand, will inevitably spell its doom. As people receive this product into their minds, they inevitably create a space for it as a novelty, as opposed to a space for it as something that will be permanent. the prospect’s mind gets cluttered up with the idea of how popular the product or service is now, and doesn’t get any time to associate it with something in their mind. it simply becomes “that fad” instead of a product or service that offers a solution.

This might be important for my business one day, but not currently. I have no type of fad type thing happening. However, the trend of online marketing becoming the place to advertise for small business is here to stay. The internet is the “first screen” for almost everyone now, and its where they go for information, products, and services. As such, helping business owners navigate this new frontier is a great trend to be a part of.

CHALLENGE: How will you deal with a fad that can come across your business? what types of marketing will you do to foster a trend in your business instead of fast viral growth?

PREDICTIONS: Mentioned in the beginning of the paragraph.

Law 22: The Law Of Resources: “Without adequate funding, your idea will not get off the ground”

This was obviously thrown in as a great supplement to the rest of the book. Its a simple enough idea: It doesn’t matter how good your idea is, it doesn’t matter how awesome your “word” for your marketing is. It doesn’t matter how you plan to create your trend, how you’ll apply the 21 laws or anything like that. All that matters after you’ve gone through the previous 21 laws is that you allocate money to the marketing effort, so that you actually build business. More businesses in the history of the world has simply stopped spending money on marketing, thinking that their sales team, word of mouth, or some other magical actor will help the business grow. This almost never happens. You need to spend money to make money, and businesses need to spend a lot on marketing to make any back.

for me, I have always spent at least 25% of all revenue on marketing. At least. I will continue to also spend a large amount of time on my own marketing as well. I go to events to talk about my business. I donate marketing efforts and website builds to groups in the loa area and abroad. I do volunteer work around the area as well. Its really just a more refined way of saying “get yourself out there!” because that’s what it’s all about.  Get your story together, understand how you will help your clients, and then get out there and tell your story. Spend money telling it, spend lots of time telling it, and clients will come because they’ll feel your passion.

CHALLENGE:  How will you “get yourself out there”  this week? How much revenue will you dedicate to marketing? how will you spend it? Why will this be the most effective method? what are other, less effective methods you decided against?

Predictions: none.

I hope this was a good resource to help you organize your own marketing for your business. Click HERE and you’ll get access to a “22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing Worksheet” which will give you the ability to write down action steps based on each of the 22 laws.

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