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Rant: Why does most marketing fail to produce an ROI? Why do some businesses struggle to survive while others thrive?

Good marketing produces an ROI

Most marketers start out with good intentions for their clients and ask the right questions. Where they fall short is in their ability to execute. If the person that ‘sold’ you on marketing is not the person doing the work i.e. just a commissioned salesman who doesn’t know what is actually possible, then chances are you may be in for a disappointing surprise down the road that may leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Even for business owners who are tech savvy, there simply isn’t enough time in a day to get things done on their own.

Finding a marketer who actually knows how to grow a business online can be challenging. The experienced marketers are usually focusing on building their own multi-million dollar businesses. I personally couldn’t see a savvy marketer taking an inhouse job working for someone 160 hours a month just to make a few thousand dollars. If you want to build a successful online campaign you need to be doing a little bit of everything and that requires a team. There are more economical ways of getting all of these things done through outsourcing.

All companies can benefit from having an outsourced team to assist their inhouse staff with duties that don’t make sense to pay such a high hourly rate for. If you can get something done for $500 instead of $5000 or even get 10x done then why wouldn’t you? That is how large companies have been doing it for many years. Now that same access is available to all businesses.

It’s also tough finding an inhouse employee that you can hire for an hourly wage because their knowledge and practical experience is probably very limited and often based on less than 100 hours of training, perhaps a book or two, and throw in some videos. If you can train them on how to outsource effectively and manage and overseas team then that is another story and something I recommend exploring. When you hire a low salaried employee, you have to factor in the time that you need to spend training them. This can add to the costs not just in your own time but in missed opportunity costs where time spent training the employee took you away from your areas of expertise.

Don’t be afraid to hire someone who is better than you at online marketing because that is what you need in order to get to the next level. If you can’t afford their services then as mentioned you will want to learn how to do those things yourself. Most business owners say they are busy but if you ask them for their daily agenda most won’t have one and if they did it would only show a few hours of time actually spent working. Sitting around worrying doesn’t count as working.

Two of the most common options for the business owner is to pay someone to teach you what you don’t know that you are supposed to know. From there you will have an idea of how to outsource the tasks yourself to an overseas marketing company (almost always more affordable and with better results). Another common options is to hire a local marketing expert who will handle things for you so that you can then spend more of your time creating and furthering the vision of the company.

Spend most of your time on your areas of strengths, not weaknesses. Starting a business is not about wearing 20 hats for 10 years. While you may have to be everywhere in the early stages you should have plans to take a step back and have the business running itself. When you are afraid to get outside help it becomes difficult to grow and you essentially become a slave to your business. If you are sick and miss work, the business can go under. That is not a healthy business model to have for anyone looking to do bigger things. Learn how to leverage other people’s time and create opportunities to deliver greater value to a greater number of people. Your future self will thank you for it.

So what is the difference? Why are some companies able to do so well time and time again while others fail over and over?

If things still aren’t going anywhere it is probably because you haven’t fired yourself. I n order to finally make changes, you need to give up control and let someone else handle the things that you are not good at. If your goal is to make a business that just produces a comfortable $20k a month income then that is your goal. You don’t need outside help to do that. If you want to do bigger things then there are a few key skills to acquire. Having strong leadership, sales, and negotiation abilities are among the top qualities of most successful businesspeople – at least in my opinion.

Business owners are often known for having big egos and wanting to be in control. When you are unable to give control e.g. train and trust that others can do a better job at something than you, then you can never build a massively successful company. Microsoft has over 120,000 employees. Bill Gates isn’t programming apps, assembling computers, mopping floors, and servicing customers. He build a system and business that grows without him. If you want more freedom then you need to build businesses that you can eventually work on – NOT in 24/7.

There are a lot of people who are willing to lend a hand and give valuable advice that can transform your business if you look in the right places. It does take some failure to learn what works and what doesn’t work but you can shortcut your path to success by finding the right people who already have the answers and are constantly learning.

I strongly believe that 80% of how most business owners should spend their time is on sales and marketing.

When you have a full pipeline of leads and sales and increasing demand then it may be time to look at creating a more lean process to eliminate unnecessary overhead (firing useless employees) and looking to expand your empire.  As a sidenote: if you have any bad employees you should fire them right away before they infect the good ones. 90% of training happens in the hiring process so hire the right team of people to build around. It takes a good leader to recognize other good leaders which is why I mentioned leadership as a top quality to have.

Awareness is key in business. When you are not aware of what is going on it or don’t want to be then you are really just leaving things up to chance. Chance is NOT a business plan.

I had a lot of help and mentorship along the way that has been very helpful to me and that I am eternally grateful for. I like giving back wherever I can by helping others understand online marketing.

So back to the question of why most marketing efforts fail… It is because most people who claim to be marketers lack the additional skills outside of technical marketing know-how. They lack a strong work ethic and have an employee mindset. Would you want someone with a short-sighted small minded mentality running your marketing? Of course not, but that is what most companies end up doing. If you try to save money you miss out on opportunity costs that you may have gained working with someone good. On top of a strong work ethic, you want to find someone that is transparent with you.

Of course you don’t want to trust the growth of a company based on their work ethic alone either. If you are going to trust your business to someone that specializes in marketing then that person better be really good at what they do; or at least be better than the competitors and savvy enough to get a better end result.

People that work both hard and smart are the ones you want working for your company or having as business partners.

One of my mentors once told me that people who say ‘don’t work so hard,’ say it because it makes them feel bad about themselves not working hard. In all honesty very few people are actually hard working and razor focused at all times. One of the biggest keys to achieving your goals is to always be doing (at any given moment) the thing that you probably should be doing. This means not watching TV and instead getting those tasks done that you were procrastinating on. If you want to have what most people don’t have then you should do what most people are not willing to do. Turn your wants into musts and start working your butt off.


Getting More Done: When you are at capacity

f you are a business owner then chances are you’ve been getting anonymous emails from people claiming to put your website on the top of Google. You probably also get phone calls from telemarketers posing as Google.

Personally I’ve never hired anyone like that. If I hire 10 people that meet my criteria, I will give them microtasks. From there I will usually keep 1 and drop 9 of them and repeat the process. Now we have over 70 qualified members of our team.


I would recommend working with an agency if you have a bigger marketing budget but if you can find an expert freelance digital marketing consultant it is worth exploring. Freelance consultants don’t have high overheads and can usually get a lot more accomplished for the same budget if they know how to outsource effectively.

If you have a budget of $10,000/mo the difference between an agency and a freelancer is 100 hours of work vs 2000 hours of work or more (if the VA’s are salaried it might even be 3-4k hours. That is several thousand hours more each week!!!

The concept of growth hacking usually does not apply to agencies. From my previous experience dealing with agencies, most seem to focus on selling clients and not delivering anything special in terms of results. In many cases the business owners would have been better off trying to do things themselves. There are some agencies that do an amazing job because they embrace outsourcing while some continue to try and do everything themselves. It doesn’t make sense to pay $200/hr to an agency to get data entry work done that can be done for $3/hr to a VA.

Here are example sites where you can find freelancers from around the world willing to do remote tasks: (formerly and also merged with

Monthly:, – These are the two I use most often however there are a few more that most people don’t know about.

Craigslist: Post ads on Craigslist in other countries.

It is easy to get scammed but I’ve never had any issues myself. Never do business with people who you don’t trust or don’t have any background or reputation online. It is easy enough for them to scam you and disappear.

One of the reasons why it is safer to work with someone with a reputation or their own website is because if they scam you, you could post negative feedback about them that would ensure they don’t scam others in the future.

  • Takeaway: When outsourcing, if the person doesn’t own their own website, takes long to get back to you, or has poor communication skills then find someone else.
  • We hire and train our VA’s to execute tasks that makes getting things done on budget actually possible. Small businesses will still get an ROI working with a big agency but it will take longer.

Keep in mind that even if you find the best graphic designer, if you don’t know how to explain what you need, they won’t deliver what you want. Recruiting and communication skills are necessary to make it work.

Business is business.


Our rates are about the same or more than what it would cost to hire an employee. However, the results are almost always better when it comes to getting more things accomplished as we are able to put in more hours – a lot more hours.

As long as you find a provider who can produce a quicker ROI, you should continue to invest and grow. Doing nothing is not a solution and nothing is worse for a business than wasted time.