What Is Compound Marketing?

In the last few months I was inspired to write a new book. It’s called Compound Marketing and like my other books, it will be out exclusively on Amazon soon. In this post I’ll introduce the concept of Compound Marketing and go through some thoughts on the upcoming book.

I don’t have a lot of spare time these days to write personal blog posts and books, but this one came together pretty easily. I’m now in my 15th year as an entrepreneur and over those years my ideas around what an entrepreneur is, and how to build a business, have changed a lot.

My university lessons in Marketing didn’t really serve me too well, but even as a business owner for many years, I continued this habit of looking for someone to give me the answer. Seeking permission.

It didn’t work, but what did work was spending years piecing together a new way of marketing through trial, error and some chance encounters with generous people.

In writing Compound Marketing, I looked at the things I value as an entrepreneur and marketer in 2020 and how much those things have changed since I started out. And in doing so, I realised that none of my previous books really captured the whole picture of what is important, to anyone who wants to use this new way of marketing to build a decent business from scratch.

The 7 Day Startup is about launching and executing quickly, but it doesn’t really show people what to do after the first bit of traction.

Content Machine is about backing yourself and taking the Content Marketing leap of faith, creating a lot of value and gaining access to a rich stream of free attention. But I’ve come to learn that creating a lot of content isn’t really enough. To build a decent size, long term business, it needs to be integrated into a great understanding of your audience and an amazing brand. In the end, it’s brands that people care about.

Create or Hate is about fighting against the forces that stop you from making things and continuing to create. I still believe making things is the best thing you can do, but you can also make a lot of things and achieve no success at all. That’s part of the deal, but if we can figure out why, it’s worth digging into.

This is the Answer provided some contrarian and hopefully useful philosophical views on business, but it didn’t provide a framework for marketing one or building one.

Operation Brewery was about beer, which is awesome.

Compound Marketing aims to provide a framework for thinking about how to market a solid long term business without short term strategies. It looks at the 4 most important things that I think entrepreneurs can do if they want to take an approach to marketing that will give them ongoing compounding growth as opposed to quick wins.

What is Compound Marketing?

Compound Marking is the way I have built all of my businesses, with a far below average spend on marketing and advertising. Most businesses spend 7-10% of their revenue on marketing, but there are plenty of modern great businesses who spend 0-1%. And I think there are going to be a lot more going forward. This is where all of my businesses have been, and I think if you can do it, it gives you a pretty decent advantage.

Historically most marketing is about spending money to run campaigns to find leads and convert them to customers. This has never gelled with me and I’ve always hoped and believed that there was another way. And there is.

Like compounding interest, there are things you can do that we can call marketing that build assets over time, as opposed to generating leads right now.

Like compounding interest, they are unlikely to result in quick wins. In fact you might have to believe it despite no evidence of it really working for a long time. But with the right approach, if you can find yourself with a 7.5% advantage on your competition, I think it’s worth a look.

By way of a simple definition:

Compound Marketing is putting marketing effort into things that go up in value.

It was a long and sometimes painful process for me to learn that there were marketing strategies that didn’t involve short term transactions, and they could be the most powerful ones of all.

But over those lessons I learned the power of brand, the necessity of story, the criticality of content and the purpose of community. These were the 4 strategies. Me spending time obsessing over the design philosophy of Steve Jobs, finding myself in the middle of a story, finding a group of entrepreneurs who cared and my relentless publishing of content. This was what compounded. This was the strategy (even though I didn’t really know it at the time). These are the things that have delivered long term compounding growth as opposed to short term transactional return:

  1. Brand
  2. Storytelling
  3. Content
  4. Community

Or if you think about it sequentially. Build a brand, tell a story, to a community using content.

The 4 Platforms of Compound Marketing

The details of these platforms are the things I dig into in the book, specifically:

  1. How to build a brand, how to focus on design, how to care about it and get good at it, how to work with designers, how to prioritise it.
  2. How to build storytelling into your business, how to chase stories, different types of business stories for entrepreneurs and how and where to tell your story.
  3. How to identify groups of communities to engage with and what strategies to use to build a strong community around your brand.
  4. How to think about Content Marketing within this new framework and with the many changes that have happened in the online and social media landscape in the last 5 years.

In this book I want to put a name to what I think is a new approach for entrepreneurs to take in building and marketing their businesses, Compound Marketing.

If you want more updates on the book, feel free to jump on my email list here. Otherwise keep an eye out for it on Amazon soon.

Keep creating.

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