Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on marketing and how to turn your business around with Phillip Stutts

  • The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?
  • They want to show people they’re authentic. I get that. I’m okay with that, but is it in alignment with their customers?
  • One of the lies I talk about in my book is that so many marketing agencies are out there demanding that businesses sign long-term contracts. That is the worst thing a business can ever do.
  • If you become a commodity in the eyes of your customers, or consumers, or clients, then you’re vulnerable and replaceable.
  • How are you building personal relationships with your customers, your clients?
  • I just saw 99.9% of marketing firms taking advantage of businesses, and so I just said, “I’ve got to get this story out.” 

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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Doug: Well, welcome back, listeners, to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast today, and we’re going to take quite literally the fast part of the real marketing. In the studio today, I’ve got joining me Phillip Stutts, and I think you’re going to love this interview. We’re going to talk about how to not be a commodity, how to use your personal brand and build a personal relationship with people, and that will help you win big in the marketplace and not become a commodity. Now, Phillip is the author of a book called Fire Them Now. He’s also one of the masterminds behind the curtain in the political marketing space. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the political marketing, and his work with multiple Fortune 200 companies and has a couple decades of experience working on campaigns that contributed billions of dollars into political ad spend and over 1,000 election victories. He founded a media company called Go BIG Media in 2015, and he’s won more than 30 prestigious awards for the work with U.S. senators, governors, and presidential candidates.

He has been interviewed and more than 200 times and national appearances on various networks, such as Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and he’s been lauded as one of the marketing geniuses by Fox Business and a political guru by ESPN. Looking at his background, I see that he’s also been interviewed by Gary Vee, who I’m a fan of, and Jay Abraham, which is a marketing legend. I would suggest, sit back, tune in, take some notes, and at the end of the show, Phillip has also provided a couple of very generous offers for our listeners. Well, super excited to have you in a studio this morning, Phillip, and you’ve got such an awesome background. I think you can offer so much to our audience, so I just wanted to ask you, in addition to your bio in terms of the works that you’ve done politically and the book that you’ve published, is there anything else that you want to share with our audience?

Phillip Stutts: No. I’m just honored to be here today. This is a great podcast, and you provide value to your audience, and I hope I can deliver the exact same.

Doug: Well, one of the things that I know that you speak on is marketing agencies, and for a lot of our listeners, they, lots of times, they begin doing some work in-house, and then as their company grows, they need to outsource it, so what advice would you give people when they’re starting to look outside and bring somebody else into their marketing mix to be part of the team?

Phillip Stutts: Yeah, it’s a great question, and actually, this is a question I don’t get much, so I love answering this. I really think two things. One, the company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game? This is what I write about in the book about how businesses can take back control of that process, and so they become the winners in the marketing game because we are in such a crazy place right now in our society with all the disruption that’s going on in the economy. The most disruptive moment in human history is where we are right now, Doug, and so this is one of those things that business owners have stuck their head in the sand, and I know those because I’ve been there and I’ve done it.

You’ve got to get your head out of the sand, and you got to say, “If we’re going to win the game of marketing for this company, one, we need to know the rules, and we don’t have to know how the game is played.” Like my company, we’re in the offices of Facebook and Google every single month. Right? Every single month, we’re meeting with them and figuring out how they change the rules. I’m not telling business owners they need to understand all those things, but they have to build a trusted relationship with their marketing agency, and the marketing agency has to serve them first. That’s number one.

Number two, and this is the biggest problem I have with any business that I work with, is, they come to me, and they say, obviously, typically, they come to me and they say, “We’ve already fired a marketing agency. We know that you do things differently. We need an SEO strategy. We need,” or, “We’ve been running Facebook Ads, but our Facebook strategy is wrong.” I go, “Hold on. Those are tactics.”

Stop talking about tactics. I want to know what the outcome is and what the strategy is to reach those outcomes, and then we’ll talk about all these tactics that [inaudible 00:04:09] that filter into your strategy, but too many businesses owners because they don’t understand the digital marketplace … Look, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, you could put up a TV ad or run a mail, a direct mail program, advertising program, and get this unbelievable, almost guaranteed, ROI. Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: Now, that’s not happening, so these companies are like, “All right. Well, we can’t run as much TV as we used to, and mail isn’t as effective, so we got to go in the digital marketplace,” and boom, they put all this money out there, and the ROI isn’t the same. Then they go, “Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. What is going on?” Then the marketing agency collects all the money, and they’re happy, and the business isn’t. My point is, it’s, listen, you’ve got to figure out the strategy, and the first step in your strategy, more than anything else, is, you have to know what your audience thinks about your product or service. Not what you think. Not what you are telling them, but what they think.

I get this, because in politics, everything we think about, from our strategy to our outcome, is understanding the voter and communicating them where they are. Right? It’s about authenticity, and it’s about coming in and having some sort of alignment with that customer. Right? There’s a great, if you know this, you probably know right now there’s a very controversial ad campaign with Nike running with Colin Kaepernick.

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: I’m kind of drawn to this story because I believe the consumer, the economy, will decide whether this ad campaign is effective or not. Right? But where I differ is not, I don’t care what Nike’s politics are, but Nike is acting in an authentic manner. That is who they are. They want to be that way. They want to show people they’re that way. I get that. I’m okay with that, but is it in alignment with their customers? Right? In politics, we may have a politician that has 10 specific issues that they’re very passionate about, but if four of them resonate with voters, and six of them are off the rails, and the voters would be turned off by it, then we’re only going to talk about the four where there’s alignment. This is the way I talk to when we work with businesses. We do the same thing. You must understand your audience. I’ll give you a great example of where we’ve done this.

We work, we have partnered with the largest, one of the largest data companies in America, and we try to produce customer profiles for businesses so that they understand the customer, what they think and feel. Not what they’re doing on their site. Not what they’re clicking on. Those are, again, all tactics. What they feel, what they think, what motivates them to make decisions, and we can do this in this report. This $20 million business came to us recently, and they said, “We built this company to 20 million on a marketing program. Then, and the strategy was discounted, and it built us to $20 million,” but in the last two years, they had spent $1.6 million on marketing, and their sales had gone flat.

Doug: Wow.

Phillip Stutts: Right, and they said, “We don’t know what’s wrong.” I said, “Well, what about … ” “Well, our customers love our discounts.” I go, “Do you really know that?” They go, “Well, my God, we built the company to $20 million on that.” I said, “Well, let’s go in and actually do a consumer research program, we call it the audience insight report, and find out what they think and feel and what’s motivating their decisions.” Well, guess what? In the last two years, their customer demographic changed the way they were thinking, and they didn’t respond. In fact, they wasted $1.6 million. What we found was, their demographic was highly educated. Their demographic is making a lot of money. They’re mostly married, and they weren’t interested anymore in discounts. The economy had gotten better. Discounts-

Doug: Sure.

Phillip Stutts: … weren’t as important to them. What they found was that they wanted better service. They wanted a higher standard, and when you’re out there marketing on discounts, that means some, in the consumer’s mind, that maybe you have a low standard, because you’re not willing to charge enough. Then we found out, well, how can, if people love this discount, well, we found out in the data that most of their customers are bundlers, whether that be in apps, TV, cable, whatever it is. They’re bundling their services, so instead of saying, “Discount. Discount. Discount,” our marketing programs are about how we bundle services to save them money. Now, they see that as a higher quality. They also, the customer really wanted to buy into a story, and this company was a family-owned business, and they had never told that story.

It’s such low-hanging fruit, but business owners think, “I have this great product or service. I want to go out there and put it out there,” and they don’t think first, “What does the customer think?”

Doug: That’s so interesting. I mean, I reflect back on a book I had just read called Hunger in Paradise, and the author is speaking about companies. The analogy that he used was Nokia versus Apple, and Nokia basically dismissed the iPhone, because they said, “If you drop it, it breaks, and we’ve dropped ours from buildings, and it works. Our battery lasts for two weeks. The iPhone only lasts for a day, and it’s super expensive. Nobody’s going to want it.”

Phillip Stutts: Yeah. That’s 100% it. Right?

Doug: You look forward, you go, “Well, where’s Nokia today?” Oh, well, Microsoft bought what was left of them.

Phillip Stutts: Why, if Nokia had just gone out, and they’re of course like, “Listen. Be scared or use this to your advantage, but there is so much data … ” I mean, I can literally take a company’s customer data, and we can run it through millions and millions of customer, or, sorry, we can generate reports based on millions of points of data. Then we can ascertain what they think, what they feel, and what motivates their decisions. That’s the starting point. Nothing else is. If you come to me if you’re a business owner and you say, “We need help with our SEO,” I literally will hang up the phone on you, or I won’t answer your email. It’s stupid, and I’m not in a business to make money in the short term. I’m here to build, I want to … Here’s the thing. I will succeed as a marketer if the companies we represent grow their businesses. That’s the-

Doug: Yeah. Absolutely.

Phillip Stutts: … the only way, I think. One of the lies in my book, so the subtitle is “The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell,” is the fact that so many marketing agencies are out there demanding that businesses sign long-term contracts. That is the worst thing a business can ever do. In politics, Doug, I have never had a contract that didn’t go month to month. Every contract I had done in over 20 years is month to month. I can get fired anytime, so if that’s the case, what is my mindset? Is my mindset to constantly innovate and grow my candidates or my companies that I’m working with, or is it, “Hey, let’s make a short-term sale. It may not help the business that we’re working with, but we’re going to make money”? Well, I’m out of a job if that happens, so-

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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Doug: Yeah. Absolutely.

Phillip Stutts: … I don’t think that way. It’s a whole different mindset shift.

Doug: Well, that’s really interesting. In terms of the data point, I mean, I like data, so I tell people, “Yeah, I’m creative, but I really like the analytics, the backend, and to look at that,” but again, as you said, that’s tactics. What sort of insight are people going to get, and so from a timing point of view, so if you’re onboarding and working with someone, how long is it going to take you before you get enough data to say, “Okay? Here’s maybe a different strategy you should take”?

Phillip Stutts: Yes. Such a good question. Look, we typically spend three to four weeks analyzing the data of the customers or the clients that a company works with, and then we reproduce this unbelievable 40 to 60-page report that will tell them everything that these, what motivates them, what really doesn’t motivate them, what the highest-ranked motivating factors to the lowest-ranked motivating factors. All the things. Where what platforms they consume. A great example, we just did this for a company, and this company had built to a $2 million company, and again, another stall-out. Right? We did this audience insight report for them. Well, they had built the company on advertising on Facebook. Their main customers were between 20 and 30 years old. Those customers aren’t on Facebook anymore.

Doug: No.

Phillip Stutts: They shifted to Instagram and Snap, and so this guy is still running all Facebook Ads, so we went to him, and we went, “Look. Look. First of all, these people want to, these 20 to 30-year-olds, one, they want to be made to feel significant. That was the key motivating factor. They wanted to be significant,” so you’re advertising. You’re marketing. The way you do things, and by the way, this isn’t just paid. We help companies in non-paid ways. We want to grow the company, so we come to companies, and we say, “Here’s the motivating factor. Here are the platforms. Here’s the data that backs it up. Here’s what you can do internally that doesn’t cost you a dime. Here’s how you change the way you talk to your customers and your clients. Here are the fun things you can do to get them bought into you,” because think about this. Okay? If you become a commodity in the eyes of your customers, or consumers, or clients, then you’re vulnerable and replaceable

Doug: Sure you are.

Phillip Stutts: … so we-

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: … try to figure out how to help them market from within and from sort of the paid outside efforts. When you combine those two factors, you have explosive growth as a company.

Doug: Well, and I’d heard it said, we were listening to this speaker at one point and talking about growing companies, and he said something that kind of set me back. He said, “It’s more difficult to take a successful company and keep it growing,” as you’ve said, these guys stalled out, “than it is to get your company to seven figures or to eight figures.” He said, “That’s an easier process than it is keeping it there, because of complacency.”

Phillip Stutts: Well, I mean, if you’re not constantly innovating, it’s the Drucker quote. Right? It’s, “All business is marketing and innovation.” That’s literally what you’re just saying. People get … Most people want certainty. That’s what they want in their life. They want to know that they can do the same thing over and over and over and get the same results. Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: What worked for them in the past, they want … They don’t want to have to reinvest dollars into certain things, but that … Listen, that is the nature of the business. You’re either growing, or you’re going to be stale, and the bottom line is, we are in the most disruptive moment in human history.

Doug: I totally agree.

Phillip Stutts: People don’t realize this.

Doug: Yeah. I saw your interview with Gary Vee, and I listened. I like some of the stuff he’s doing. I saw him when he came into town. We went and did a dinner thing, and it was really cool. I just like his approach, and like you’re saying, it’s about innovating and working hard. I love your example of Facebook because I just read the same data that 40% of the millennials have opted out of Facebook on their mobile phone.

Phillip Stutts: Millennials are on Facebook for one reason, or really, it’s not even millennials. It’s part millennial, but it’s part Gen Z. Right? The Gen Z generation now is around 23, 24, and it’s like 13, it’s a 10-year period, but here’s why they are on Facebook. To keep up with their parents.

Doug: Now, you’re making me feel really old.

Phillip Stutts: Well, I’m 45, so I get it. I’m on Facebook, but my kid, my five-year-old, she probably won’t, and the only reason she’d get on it is to see what Dad’s doing and make sure I’m not embarrassing her, but if you’re marketing to that generation and you’re going … By the way, the problem is that Facebook is the greatest targeting mechanism, a platform that has ever existed. I mean, the fact is, you can literally take 10 million data points that Facebook will allow you on each user, and you can target very precisely. The problem is, are those people on there, and are they consuming the content that you’re going to serve up? You have to think about that.

Doug: Yeah … That comes back to your point earlier with the example of your company is, you taught them how to tell their story, and what I’m seeing, and I’m, be interested in your feedback, is, people are more interested in your story in the social platform like a Facebook now via video than they are on seeing you run hard-sell ads.

Phillip Stutts: I’m going to say something that goes against everything I do. I own two marketing agencies. I own a political marketing agency and separately own a corporate marketing agency. Right? You would think that I go to clients and I say, “You need … Here’s your marketing, your paid marketing plan,” and I don’t. Everyone is, the tip of the spear for any marketing program for any company is, “How are you building personal relationships with your customers, your clients? How are you building a personal relationship?” Now, you want to figure out a way that does that, like this is all … I’m telling you, it is, if businesses just understood that like the first thing they’ve got to do is, again, not be a commodity in the eyes of that customer, or that client, and if they build an authentic and aligned personal relationship, you use your marketing to reinforce that relationship, not to create the relationship.

There are very few companies … There are so many ads on all the platforms right now. The only way to distinguish yourself is the fact that the customer says, “Oh, I know that company. I like the way they do this,” and then they see the ad, and they want to watch it and consume it, and they want to keep coming back to you. Right? The greatest example ever of this is Zappos. Right? Tony Hsieh created Zappos-

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: … that sold for a billion dollars to Amazon and part of that negotiation with Amazon was, they couldn’t touch the foundation and the culture of the company. The culture is built and the business was built on one thing, building personal relationships. An example of that is their call centers. Their call centers and the operators that work there, that … I mean, a typical call center for any business out there today has a 150% turnover rate. The call centers that Zappos have a 9% turnover rate.

The typical customer that comes into Zappos’ call center is, there is a 75% repurchase rate through their call center. Why? Because the way Tony Hsieh has trained his team, it is to not make a sale. I’m serious. It’s not to make a sale, and it is not to get someone off the phone in less than two minutes, and it is not to have you be transferred 17 times to make it more efficient, and it’s not to have an operator overseas. I can give you a great example, something, a frustrating point I had on that the other day, but my point is, his whole thing is to have the operator build a personal relationship with you. Not sell shoes. Build a personal relationship with you.

That is why they are a billion-dollar business. This is what I sit down with every company and say, “First, we’re going to do is, how do we figure out how to tell your story that builds a relationship, and what does the data say, and how do people receive that information? Then let’s start putting that together, and then let’s use our marketing to reinforce all of that story.” That’s what we try to do. Business owners want to take the magic pill. Right?

Doug: Sure.

Phillip Stutts: They want to swallow the pill and grow their business by $10 million. It doesn’t work like that in the world today, in the marketing world. There are too many platforms. There are too many places. Everybody has a phone in front of their eyeballs right now, so do the opposite. Be an outlier. Go build personal relationships, because no one’s doing that. You can have massive growth. If that’s your strategy, and if you looked at your business today versus two years from now, that was your strategy, you would have massive growth in your business.

Doug: Well, I’m laughing, because I hear the same thing because you get somebody’s VP of marketing’s down at a DMA event. They hear a speaker, and the speaker talks about fill-in-the-blank for the tactic. They come back and say, “We need to do that,” they say, “Well, how does that fit into your strategy?” It’s like, “Well, this is the newest thing,” so you’re right. That’s really, that’s amazing, and you’re right. I wrote an article. I wrote social media, why social media doesn’t work, and it’s because people are taking social, and they’re not building relationships. They’re all about the numbers and metrics. “How many new followers can I get, and how many comments can I get, and how many likes can I get?” There’s no interaction. There’s no conversation. There’s no relationship-building. It’s now just become a broadcast platform for brands that don’t know how to use it.

Phillip Stutts: Oh, and let me tell you, you probably know this, too, Doug, but like on LinkedIn right now, right, so I get at least one LinkedIn request a day, and that person, right, will come into LinkedIn, and they’ll say, “Hey, so glad we connected. Let me tell you about how I can help your business.” I’m like, “I don’t know you. Stop that stuff.” I’ve had, there was a guy recently who came in, requested on LinkedIn, and he wrote back, “Hey, I’d like to buy 50 of your books.” Who do you think I respond to first?

Doug: Absolutely. Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: That guy, I said, “Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah. What do you need?” Then we worked out the deal, got him 50 books he wanted to give to friends because he liked the book. He read it and said, “I want to help, I want to send this to my friends.” Now, that guy and I have all of a sudden connected, and he checks in once a month, and I respond back to him. I don’t … He’s never asked me for anything, and he’s a great guy, and now I’m talking to him about some business ideas. You know what? I’m open to the message that he wants to come, but he did not provide value to start with. My point is, how do you provide the value to your customers that they go, “Oh, this person isn’t trying to just make a transaction. They’re trying to build a relationship”?

It goes back to everything we do, and by the way, I’m not perfect. I’ve screwed this up a million times. I’ve wanted to make a connection with somebody, and I emailed them, and probably over, went over my skis a little bit on it, and then I went, “That’s not the way I am. I got to treat this like it’s anybody, and I also need to provide value to that person in order for them to build on, a relationship with.”

Doug: Well, I mean, that’s a really good point, just all on its own, for our listeners today, so if you’re listening in, stop connecting with people on LinkedIn and the social platforms if you’re just going to send a sales message. I had a guy that I connected with, or he connected with me. One of my VAs handles all my incoming requests to connect, and he wanted to get on the phone and talk about how to market a bank. I said, “You’ve read my profile. You realize that I’m not a bank.” He’s going, “Well, but do you want to get in a call?” I say, “No, you don’t understand. Look at my profile. I’m not in the banking industry. I don’t work for a bank. I don’t own a bank. I don’t need help in marketing my bank. I have a podcast. I’m an author,” but people clearly are missing the mark. I think they’re wasting time, and they’re fooling themselves, because they’re lying to themselves saying, “Hey, look at the marketing I’m doing.” It’s just annoying everybody, and they’re not getting any results.

Phillip Stutts: I see it every day. I’m trying to help businesses do the outlier strategy, which, by the way, is the way the world used to work. I’m not telling people they need like the world is changing. You have to have a digital marketing strategy. You need to have a traditional marketing strategy. What if I told you that the data that I look at to help businesses is screen-agnostic? It tells me where they are. Right?

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: If someone is like we were doing a, we were working with a retirement investment company recently, well, that market is on TV, and their own radio. Right? I’m screen-agnostic. I go where the data tells me to go, and then I try to build an authentic relationship in those platforms, whether it’s in the digital space, traditional space, whatever it is, but I also try to … My point is, is that, look, we get this in politics. Our politicians, Doug, they walk in parades. They meet voters face to face. They do town halls. They do press conferences. They’re always in front of the public. The reason they win, the candidates that want to guarantee a victory are the candidates that walk door to door and knock on doors and talk to voters because that is a personal connection.

It’s like, oh, man, the stuff we do in politics is so perfect for where the world is going right now because everybody’s trying to have non … They’re trying to have non-personal relationships. Right? “Just throw an ad up on Facebook, and hopefully, you’ll get a 1% connector a conversion.” It’s like, “Why are you settling for this? This is ridiculous. Do it differently. Do it right.”

Doug: Well, and to your point, that’s why politicians lose. I’m up in Canada. I’ve been involved in a bunch of political campaigns, and obviously, we’re in the free enterprise market, and those are the guys we support. I said, “You really need to talk to your voters more than every four years. It’s nice that you talk to them just before the election and ask for a donation or ask for volunteering, but if you really want to build your following and make these guys evangelists, we need to talk to them over the four years, not just when we need money or just we need volunteers.”

Phillip Stutts: There is a great study out of Yale University that said, you … It takes, on average, with a good message, if you approach an undecided voter, a candidate can, in a marketing campaign, can convert that undecided voter in about around seven contacts. Tony Robbins, the great Tony Robbins, always talks about this statistic of, in today’s day and age in the digital world, for businesses that are marketing and advertising, there is an average of 16 contacts to convert a sale. In my mind, Doug, it’s much harder, much, much harder, to convert an undecided or to convert a voter to vote for an unknown or an unsavory candidate than it is to get someone to buy a tube of toothpaste. The point is, why? Why do we do it in twice the time or twice the contacts? It’s because we market to emotion, and that is where we come in on everything we do. Marketing to emotion is building relationships and then marketing to reinforce that relationship.

Doug: It sounds like you guys work all tactics, and I agree. I’ve had the conversation recently with people about direct mail, and people go like, “Direct mail’s dead. Email’s dead,” and on and on they go, but to your point, it’s, where’s your audience? If your audience isn’t on the newest iPhone or the newest Android, and they’re still watching TV, listening to a radio, reading newspapers, and opening their mail, then that’s where you need to be.

Phillip Stutts: 100%, but again, listen, just … It’s kind of like we talked about. Right? The platforms are changing constantly, where people are going. Eyeballs are moving in different directions. They’re, even older, we are seeing older consumers are now on the apps, on whether it’s Netflix, whether it’s Amazon Prime, whether it’s Hulu, they’re going to those mechanisms to watch their TV. Right? They’re still in traditional TV, but they’re going into the app, and they’re going into the bundled services, and they’re going into apps for music. Right? You’ve got to be able to understand that even the older generation is shifting the platforms that they’re consuming media, and so if you’ve built the relationship, you have to constantly monitor where they’re going.

The same places that you may be advertising right now could be completely different in six months, or there could be a gradual shift, and over a two-year period, they go, but every time we run our audience insight data reports for these clients of ours, we typically see they are not honing in on the right platforms or the right audience.

Doug: Well, and I think the other thing that we hadn’t touched on right now is, there is a lot of sensitivity around content and advertising, and you look at some sectors, like the CBD space, and like the medical marijuana space, and like the cryptocurrency and Bitcoins, and all those areas where your audience may be in a certain platform, but now the platforms are saying you can’t advertise. Google, and Yahoo, and Twitter saying, “No. No ads for these.”

I recently saw they’re now banning ads for people that run addiction recovery programs until they can be vetted and approved by the advertiser that their programs are certified and that they have some sort of success, so everyone’s afraid of being sued, so now we’ve got a new thing into the mix that if you’re like, to your point, if you’re advertising on Facebook, not only is some of your audience may have left, but you may no longer be allowed to advertise your industry on that platform.

Phillip Stutts: Doug, I think my company has to deal with this more than anybody, and that’s the political marketing business we have because of the Russian hacks through Facebook in 2016 in a presidential election. Facebook has totally changed the way we work and the way we advertise, and the way that we get to sort of the transaction of this. You used to be able to pull all the data and run your ad. Now, there are so many hoops, and they are changing their policies on a daily basis. This has not … What you’re telling me is what I told audiences when I was speaking months ago like we’re seeing this now on the political side, and it’s all in place.

I mean, Facebook is requiring us to validate who we are through fax and through snail mail. That’s how bureaucratic it is getting, and what now we’re seeing is, I knew it. I knew this would be filtered into the commercial side, and what you’re telling me now is, “Oh, it’s already started.” We’re already now seeing that they’re going to do this on the same thing to try to root out the bad actors, they are going to change every, even … 99% of people are good actors in this space, but they’re going to punish everybody to root out the 1%, and that’s what’s happening.

Doug: Yeah, and it’s happened. We’ve got clients going, “What do we do? We used to run everything on pay per click with Google, and we can’t run ads anymore.” It’s like, they think we have to change our approach.

Phillip Stutts: Which is why, if you had built personal relationships, whatever you’re doing, and think of a recovery center or even in the crypto world, if you have dynamic leaders that are out there, meeting with the top investors and getting them on board, and building relationships, and having them build relationships, then you can change platforms and nothing changes, but because people have a loyalty to that company or that crypto or whatever it is that they have, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: But if you don’t do that, and the platforms change the rules, and you’re left hanging the bag, that’s what’s going to happen, and business owners that stick their head in the sand and say, “I don’t want to deal with this. Let’s just throw money at it,” are the ones that won’t be around very much longer.

Doug: Yeah. Absolutely, and we’re seeing that over and over. I mean, you mentioned the digital space and how things change, and all you have to do is look back at Blockbusters and Netflix coming and eating their lunch. I mean, Netflix started delivering DVDs by mail, so they got into the same competitive business, and obviously, they were smart enough to innovate and say, “Why don’t we … We’re in the entertainment business. Let’s deliver our stuff digitally instead of by mail.” I think I had read a quote by the CEO of Blockbusters after they went bankrupt, and they said, “Do you think Netflix,” or, “Do you think Netflix contributed to the demise of your company?” He said, “Why do you ask me that?” Still in denial, after they were gone.

Phillip Stutts: There is a podcast right now called Business Wars, and for any business owner out there, go look it up and download it. There’s an eight … It’s 30-minute episodes. There’s an eight-part series on Netflix versus Blockbuster. It is amazing. They have another one that’s like eBay versus PayPal. They have a Chevy versus Ford. They have a Coke versus Pepsi, and it’s these episodes of these competing companies and the history and the story behind them. It is amazing, so for anybody that’s interested in learning more on the long-form narrative of these stories, then go to, I think it’s Business Wars podcast. It’s really good.

Doug: Okay. I’ll look it up. I mean, it makes sense, because we can learn from looking at companies like that that are, like you said, are big, huge brands, and where they’re winning, where they’re losing, and take that back to our enterprise and to our C-level guys and say, “Look, we need to innovate, or this is where we’re going to end up.”

Phillip Stutts: Totally.

Doug: What are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months?

Phillip Stutts: I’m excited to change the dynamic. I mean, I think … This is not to hype with the book I wrote, but the fact is, is that when I came up with a concept, I just saw 99.9% of marketing firms taking advantage of businesses, and so I just said, “I’ve got to get this story out,” because I wanted to help businesses win the game of marketing. What’s been really cool is to see that resonate, and for our business to grow, because we’re only in the business of … Like I always say this to every business owner. “I’ll make lots of money, and I’ll meet every outcome personally that I want from my business if you grow your business. I can only do that if we work for a long time together, so let’s go do that and let’s make sure you win, and then I’m going to win.”

I’m just constantly trying to feel and think about that. I’m excited to see like where we’re going on the disruptive side. I’m excited to see what disruption is coming next that’ll really displace the market. I’m just, I’m kind of … There are a lot of things that are a little bit scary out there with all the disruption that’s going on, but I’m pretty bullish on it right now.

Doug: Well, I’m excited because I find a lot of people just put their head in the sand. They look like the ostriches. All you see is their butt in the air, and they’re hoping that things will be okay.

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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Phillip Stutts: Yeah. I mean, again, it all goes back to the fact that they just, people just want to, they want certainty. They want to be able to wake up, have their coffee, do their work, go home, and you can’t do that. I mean, every couple of years, I reinvest up to six figures. I mean, I’m doing this every year, but if I’m, accumulate it, it’s six figures in the reinvestment of technology, of the fact … Like this data program that we work with now. I mean, all of these things have been massive investments, because I have to get ahead of the marketplace. I have to be a better servant to my clients, and I have to beat my competition, and so the only way I do that is to constantly innovate. Right? Therein lies the difference.

A lot of these marketing agencies are literally telling businesses, “You have a bad SEO strategy,” and they think that that’s going to just solve all their problems. Then they tell them, “Look, all we need is a couple thousand dollars,” and they think that’s going to solve all their problems. The marketing agency makes some money. There may be some result. There may be not. Usually, when you run all tactical, you have, you can have an uptick in either sales or whatever, a client or whatever, and it works for a few months, and then the truth is exposed and nothing happens, and nothing changes. This is where I see so many business owners get frustrated.

Doug: A great example of that is, if, in your free time, because I’m sure you have lots with all the companies that you’re running and looking after your family, is the turnaround with SAP.

Phillip Stutts: Yeah.

Doug: They’re thinking, even though they had the uptick, where the numbers were coming from. I want to respect your time today, so I had a couple more questions, and I’ll let you get back-

Phillip Stutts: Sure.

Doug: … to what you were doing.

Phillip Stutts: Absolutely.

Doug: Who’s one guest you think I absolutely have to have on the podcast?

Phillip Stutts: Oh, Peter Thiel.

Doug: Okay.

Phillip Stutts: I mean, that guy’s so fascinating.

Doug: Excellent.

Phillip Stutts: Because he’s a contrarian. Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Phillip Stutts: He’s an outlier. The reason he’s been successful is that he takes … He says, “Look at where everybody’s going, and I’m going to try,” and you can already tell this is how I model a lot of what I do, but he looks at where everybody’s going, and then he tries to find a different path, a different way. The reason that he continues… He’s worth billions upon billions of dollars, is, he looks for the outlier strategy that can give businesses or there, his investments, explosive growth, but no one else is doing it. That’s my motto, I think, so he’s a big influence for me.

Doug: Yeah. I mean, Blue Ocean Strategy, there’s been a few like that, but you’re right. I don’t know why people have this herd mentality. Everybody’s over here. It’s like, “Why don’t you go where the line is shorter? Why don’t you change customers? Why don’t you go where there’s, you can land larger clients? Why go to the $10 guy when there’s the $100,000 guy? The line’s shorter because everyone’s over at the $10 line.”

Phillip Stutts: Totally.

Doug: That’s super cool. Where is the best place people can reach you?

Phillip Stutts: You can, phillipstutts.com, and then our marketing agencies are Win BIG Media and Go BIG Media.

Doug: Love the name of the company. Win bigger, go big, and then the rest of your competitors are, “Go home.”

Phillip Stutts: There you go. Oh, I like that. I’m writing that down.

Doug: Do you want to tell us a bit about the book you’ve just released?

Phillip Stutts: Yeah. I mean, it’s called Fire Them Now: The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell And the Truth about Political Strategies that Help Businesses Win. We’ve gone through all this today. I wanted to disrupt the marketing marketplace because I kept seeing fraud in that marketplace. I interviewed over 100 CEOs, from Fortune 500 CEOs to small business CEOs, and every one of them came back with the exact same frustration, and I compiled a sort of the top lies that marketers are selling businesses, and I sort of reverse-engineer that to show businesses how they can win the game of marketing. Then really, I lay out all the things we do in politics and how we, businesses have translated those same principles into a ton, a ton of success and money. It’s unbelievably fun book to read. I mean, to write, and it’s been a blast. Really, it’s just, I want to win. I want businesses to win the game of marketing, and with so much disruption right now, there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of paralysis by business owners, and I’m trying to shake that tree loose.

Doug: Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, I think you, right, you need to get back to your core business, figure out who you are, who your audience is, and then, as you said, go back and make sure you have the right team on board and then look at tactics last.

Phillip Stutts: Yep. That’s right.

Doug: Well, awesome. Well, I appreciate you sharing with us today, sharing with our audience, there’s a ton of information there. I love your approach and your energy, and it’s looking at what you guys are doing in both the political space, which has obviously been a super hot topic this last, last few years I’ve been cheering you guys on. I’m not going to get super political other than I like the direction that you’re going, and I’ll make sure that all of the information’s up there so you can find Phillip, his company, what he’s doing politically, as well as business. I’ll put a link to his book. Is there anything you wanted to add before we sign off for the day?

Phillip Stutts: Yeah. I mean, in the spirit of what we’ve talked about, I want to provide value to people that are listening to this. If you’re a business owner and you want to take another step, there are two ways you can do it. One is, we have, on my website, phillipstutts.com/offer, you can download my article, which is the 3 Secrets You Need to Know Before You Hire or Fire a Marketing Agency, or if you want to take an even bigger step, we’ve created sort of a five-minute free marketing audit. It’s a performance marketing audit. You fill it out, phillipstutts.com/audit and my team will, it takes five minutes. Right? You fill it out, and my team will take the publicly available digital footprint that you fill out. They’ll assess everything you’re doing, and then within two business days, we’ll produce a report that says, “Here are the things you’re doing really well, and here are the things you can improve.” We’ll do a free consultation call with the delivery of that report.

Doug: That’s amazing, so there you go. Some value, I heard Frank Kern say it best. If you’re going to run ads, he says, “Why don’t you give people some value and teach them something in your ad so they can believe and get some value and then maybe they’ll hire you?” I mean, you’re doing that in spades by saying, “Hey, we’ll help you look at what you’re doing, give you some recommendations, and then if there’s an opportunity to move forward, there’s an opportunity.”

Phillip Stutts: Yeah, absolutely.

Doug: Well, thanks again for taking the time. Really appreciate your time. I know, I want to let you get back to your schedule, and so thanks, listeners, for tuning into another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. We had Phillip Stutts giving you a ton of information and value. I’d encourage you to go to the podcast, go to the blog. We’ll transcribe the show notes and take advantage of the offers to have them look at your company and provide an audit. Thanks again. Look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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The company needs to determine, are they going to win the marketing game, or is the marketing agency going to win the marketing game?

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

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