A Tribute to Marketing Legend Dan Kennedy
I’ve had several business teachers
in my life but only one major marketing mentor. He is in his final days in
hospice as you read this. His name is Dan Kennedy.
I studied marketing at
university. I read a lot of books and case studies. After graduation I got a
job as a marketing consultant at a renowned German company. Later on I
transitioned into sales and marketing working for one of America’s Top 5
corporations at that time.
I thought I knew all that is
to know about marketing. Fortunately, when I decided to move ‘planets’ and join
the entrepreneurial world, I realized how little I knew about this amazingly
I will never forget the day
I bumped into one of Dan’s recordings on YouTube where he talked about knowing
your avatar so intimately well that he / she literally can’t escape buying your
product or service when your marketing message hits him/ her. Furthermore, he
emphasized the importance of getting your 3M’s (message, market, media) right
in order to run successful direct marketing campaigns.
This might sound pretty
shallow and theoretical but that was just the opposite for me. The messages I
was exposed to over the years were plain vanilla, targeting everybody and
reaching almost nobody. Companies I worked for were afraid to deploy the 3Ms in
such a way that would allow them to nail down the right audience by
specifically excluding the wrong clients. To this day, most big players are
afraid to do that.
Dan Kennedy was never afraid
of that. He taught me to focus on the audience that is a perfect fit for my
business and at the same time to thoroughly exclude the clients I don’t want to
work with. Everything else would be a waste of time. A lesson that I immediately
took to heart.
After watching a few YouTube
videos I joined Dan’s emailing list, which allowed me to gain access to some
exclusive materials. I purchased his books on Amazon, I attended his webinars
and I went to his GKIC SuperConference.
From day one I was impressed
with Dan Kennedy’s depth of marketing wisdom and knowledge, his overall
approach to copywriting and the fact that everything he taught was
unconventional. I learned from him the exact opposite of what I’ve been taught
at university. I was hooked forever.
People who know that I’m a
student of Dan Kennedy often ask me which one of his books or programs
influenced me the most.
I dissected a lot of his
material but I must admit that it’s his high-caliber Mind-Hijacking Advanced program that impacted me the most. So, if
your goal is to be a high-performing marketing pro, you need to grab his
Mind-Hijacking materials immediately. It’s a must-have for every single pro
5 Impactful Marketing Lessons I
Learned from Dan Kennedy
1. The most important question you should ask when
advertising is, “What’s the most that you can/ will spend to acquire a new
As I’m a huge proponent of
advertising, this lesson from Dan was definitely a game changer for me. You
see, I was taught like most of you to ask a different question, “What’s the least amount you can spend to
acquire a customer?”
And with that perspective my
friends, you’re doomed to fail. The greatest product / service or the greatest
marketing can’t make up for insufficient capital.
The business that can spend
the most to acquire a customer wins.
The capital you’re willing
to invest dictates your marketing
plan; it determines which media
channels you can activate and how much you can spend on marketing tools. You
need to think beyond making a profit on the initial sale only. You need to have
a strong strategy in place that will enable you to maximize your customer’s
value on the back-end. You must be willing to outspend your competitors.
2. WHO is buying matters more than anything!
Who is buying the 8-ounce
platinum filet mignon for 240 USD matters a lot more than the filet. Do you
really think that a slice of beef costs proportionately more in cost of goods
and overhead for the fancy restaurant than is costs Outback to put that steak
on the oven? No, it doesn’t. It costs more but not proportionately more.
Therefore the relevant question to ask here is who is going to Outback and who
is going to that fancy restaurant more than the thing that’s been delivered in
both of these environments. The big chain cutter is the WHO.
The ‘who’ matters more than
the ‘thing’ that they’re buying and therefore you need to de-link the ‘what’ from
the ‘who’. You delink it in the mind first of all and than in your offer. A lot
of people use some kind of mathematical formula to determine the price (e.g.
cost of good, overhead, hours it takes to create the good or service). It’s the
wrong approach. You need to focus on the ‘who’ first and foremost.
3. Your prosperity begins with your price strategy.
You have to be bolder, more
creative, inventive and effective in using price to your extreme advantage.
Don’t compete on price if
you can’t be THE cheapest. Understand that there are people who buy at
different price levels. You’ll find a Wal-Mart customer in almost every
category but there’s also a Nieman-Marcus customer in every category. Also
remember that offering discounts is a form of selling on price. When you do
that, you’re directing the focus on your price instead of keeping it on the
value you provide.
Most business owners pay too
much attention to industry norms. They look at what competitors are charging
and end up pricing their products somewhere in the middle.
Another component that
impacts your price strategy massively is fear. This leads among other things to
underpricing and ignoring opportunities to sell premium priced versions of your
products and services.
Price has very little to do
with objectively measured intrinsic values.
4. The most important word in marketing is NEXT.
What’s your next move?
What’s your next offer?
Marketing is not a one-time
event. It’s not a 1-step process. Marketing is a strategy-based multi-step,
multi-media process. A successful marketing campaign never ends.
I’ve written extensively
about the importance of having proven systems and marketing
specifically on how to incorporate these complex structures into your business
and leverage their power to gain competitive advantage while setting yourself
apart from the crowd.
5. Referrals are the best type of customers you can
referrals and recommendations
trump every other source available.
Referred people are
generally less price and sales resistant. As they trust the person they got the
recommendation from, they are more willing to transfer their trust to your
business and brand.
According to Dan’s life-long
experience, referred customers “spend
more both in the short and long run and are more loyal than the normal
The Value of Having a Great Mentor
I can’t emphasize enough how
different my trajectory in business and life would have been, had I not met Dan
Dan helped me evolve into a
professional direct response marketer and have a better understanding of the
human psyche, an invaluable asset for everyone in the business of marketing and
sales. And that’s everybody.
I picked these five
marketing lessons because if I had to enumerate everything I learned from Dan,
I’d need to write several books about his teachings. Dan defies the odds of
conventional wisdom and provides you with wisdom that you can draw from for
many decades to come.
Apart from being an absolutely
brilliant marketer, I will always keep Dan in my mind as a kind and
warm-hearted mentor who deeply cared about his students. When I talked to him
and told him about the successes I had due to implementing his teachings he
always smiled and encouraged me to keep going, to never be afraid to be
different and continue to work on improving my copywriting skills.
News of his sudden
deterioration in health a few days ago was a shock to me.
For more information, please visit: https://dankennedytribute.com/
Dan Kennedy had a massive
positive impact on me. He will always be my marketing mentor, a legend and true
Thank you for everything Sir Dan Kennedy!