The Secret the Marketing Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

~by Pete Monfre

If you are reading this, it’s probably because you’ve flushed a crap load of money down the drain but somehow you know if you can just get marketing right it will pay-off.

Before we get to the good stuff, let me answer the foremost question on your mind right now: “Who the hell am I?”

I’ve been self-employed my entire adult life as a marketer. I’ve owned and operated several multi-million dollar marketing consulting agencies helping small and large companies grow. (Click for case-studies here) (Click for client list here)

  “I see through bullshit like a hot knife through butter” ~ my mom

I might not know much about anything else, but after twenty nine years, I know lead generation and the agency business. To quote my mom, “I see through bullshit like a hot knife through butter.”

Let me first say there are many good, ethical agencies and consultants out there. But there are a lot more self proclaimed marketing gurus leaving a trail of expensive rubble – and if you don’t understand the discipline of marketing strategy – it’s almost impossible to sort them out.

They say it takes two to tango. A little background.

But at least one person should know how to tango. (Of course, that’s why you hired the marketing firm, right?) The truth is, in many cases the client just has two left feet. From my research about 30% of the time, client’s themselves were the main cause of failure.

The 70% in the cases studied are because the “marketing” people weren’t actually marketing people. They had no background in in the field. But that was only part of the picture.

Why has it become a total crap shoot to find a company that delivers on their promises?

One factor is that everybody calls what they do “marketing”. I feel bad for clients who are trying to figure out who actually does marketing.

The term “marketing” gets tossed around in our industry so much, nobody knows what it is.  Everybody is a “marketing” expert. Except they aren’t. As a potential client – the entire reason you are looking for help is because marketing isn’t your core expertise. It’s the blind leading the blind.

  • Web development firm? They say they are a marketing company.
  • Tele-sales? – marketing.
  • Printing? – you guessed it.
  • PPC/SEO – marketing.
  • Guy who lost his job as a journalist? –  Instant marketing guru.

Adding the word “marketing” makes them sound more important. Yet in almost all cases, the failed firms didn’t do marketing at all. They created the stuff of marketing e.g., “tactics”. Tactics are a part of the process, but marketing is all about strategy. Buying marketing stuff is literally putting the cart before the horse. Strategy always come before determining tactics – everybody knows this, but they still get it backwards.


Most self-proclaimed “marketing” companies have no background in the discipline. (pro-tip – check out the founders on LinkedIn and note their educational and job history.)

They have a big hammer and every problem is a nail. They don’t care about solving the actual problem that led you there in the first place. They are churning and burning clients leaving the aforementioned trail of expensive rubble.

Think about it. If selling web sites is how they make money, by gosh, they will take your money every time. You didn’t just decide to spend money on the web site for fun – you were trying to solve a problem. Somewhere along the line, you decided a new website will fix the problem.

But what if the web site is not the problem? Or only part of the problem? Without a strategy, you are essentially gambling. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it.) See my related video blog. Personally I like less risk when it comes to business.

And here is the secret no marketing agency, web development company, PPC/SEO or consultant will tell you.

Too many purveyors of marketing tactics and services will promise the moon to get your money. And by the time you discover things aren’t working, they’ve already replaced you with another sucker. (one tip off is that they promise almost instant results or have a proposal with a lot of tactics before the have done discovery.) They’ve got a hammer and every problem looks like a nail.

(Drum roll please..) The secret is – they don’t care about solving your problem. They don’t care about solving your problem. They just want your money.

Allow me to illustrate the problem as a script in a low budget film script and illustration:


This is the silent script that goes on in the head of most sales people when selling to a potential client.

  • {Sales Person}: Well Mr. Client, thanks for meeting with us. You say you need a web site. GREAT! We can help!
  • {Angel}: You know that’s total bullshit right?
  • {Devil}: Take the money. We have a quota, you idiot.
  • {Angel}: But a web-site isn’t going to help them at all. We both know it.
  • {Devil}: What are you Mother Theresa? Take the money!
  • {Angel}: The client will be disappointed…and we won’t keep them. Walk away.
  • {Devil}: TAKE THE MONEY! Dumb-ass!
  • {Sales Person}: A new web site is exactly what you need! It will solve all your problems and usher in a new day for your company. We’d be thrilled to take your money!

And that’s how it goes. Over and over again. Clients pay for web sites and studies, Pay per Click and trade-show booths, advertising and more in an uncoordinated, out of tune symphony of stand-alone tactics. And writing check after check.

You know what they call doing the same thing and expecting a different result, right?

If this has happened to you, tell your story in the comment section or click here to schedule a call with me. I’d love to learn more. Most of you will learn something from this call that will improve your results you can implement immediately.

Get more wisdom and tips on how to save money and avoid getting ripped off on my blog. Tons of video and articles that lay bare the black box of marketing. It’s not that difficult.

And for all you know, we could be full of it. I don’t blame you for being suspicious. My industry has certainly earned it.

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