Why You Should Ignore 90% of All “Proven” Marketing Advice

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Why You Should Ignore 90% of All “Proven” Marketing Advice

Who do you trust with your marketing?

You probably get a dozen approaches from marketers every month.

Frankly, there are a LOT of sharks; a LOT of cowboys; and a LOT of people who THINK they know about marketing because they’ve seen a lot of ads, and took an online course in marketing.

Of course, there are good, smart, effective marketers too.

Perhaps you’ve even tried a few marketers for a month or two.

Perhaps you were disappointed with the results.

The truth is…

Only 10-15% of Marketing Strategies Work

We listen to marketing gurus tell us about the power of branding, long-form sales letters, webinars, or specific strategies for email marketing, Adwords, Facebook, SEO and more.

But just because the strategies have worked for others – it doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily work for you.

This is why good marketers test, test, test.

Let me give you an example from my business…

In my “codex” – my research and reference journal – I keep a collection of case studies of tiny tweaks that I’ve made to websites that have led to 3% to 416.67%(!!!) increases in sales.

It’s a HUGE strategy swipe-file that I can refer to – packed with proven ideas to increase sales.

(It’s the culmination of nearly 20 years of online marketing experience – and it’s generated $100,000,000’s in online sales, making it perhaps the most valuable asset in my business.)

BUT… Even though I might have seen a strategy succeed DOZENS of times – it doesn’t mean it will succeed for you.

In fact, the 30-day success rate of MANY of the strategies in the Codex is around 10-15%.

After 30 days:

  • Some strategies are clear (and statistically proven) winners;
  • Some are inconclusive winners – and can’t be proven statistically;
  • Some are on-the-fence, and could go either way;
  • Some are clear losers.

Failure Doesn’t Mean Loss

A strategy that is good in theory can FAIL to deliver a good result.

But failure is HUGELY valuable.

In fact, you get MORE insight about a business from what fails than what succeeds.


Recently, I tested a series of headlines for a client who sells home furnishings online. The original header read:

“Measuring’s A Breeze”

I tested three headlines against this – one straightforward, one “how-to”, and one success focussed – all based on similar successful tweaks from my Codex.

“Measure Your Room”
“How To Measure-Up”
“Getting The Perfect Fit”

They all failed to beat the “Measuring’s A Breeze” headline – dismally.

But within this failure, there were two HUGELY valuable pieces of information:

  1. This headline area DOES have a big impact on sales…
  2. And simplicity is the most valuable appeal that customers respond to in this sales process.

We can use this to adjust our strategy in the next round of testing for this client to maximise sales.

For example, we will refocus our messaging towards “simplicity” (in buttons, testimonials, and more), we’ll make the process of purchasing simpler, and we’ll cut down (or reduce the prominence of) technical information on the site.

Why Bother If You Fail 85-90% Of The Time?


Because the 10-15% of wins MORE THAN make up for the 85-90% of losses.

At the same time as the three headlines above were failing, one other change pointed to a MASSIVE increase in sales.

A change to the style of a button used on the homepage led to more than twice as many people who saw that button buying!

(In total, a 115% increase in sales!)

This is why I’m constantly testing 8-10 different tweaks or changes to client websites… Because while 4-5 are giving me insight to improve the strategy I’m using to increase sales, 1-2 are delivering huge results.

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