SFR 288: The Two Worlds Of Marketing – Stephen Larsen

SFR 288: The Two Worlds Of Marketing

Nov 26th, 2019 anchorwave

Spending money on branding alone is DUMB, RECKLESS, and UNTRACEABLE… Here’s why…

The general advertising community believes in writing poetic and cute ads.

“You know they’re wrong. You know it to a dollar” – David Ogilvy

So… you’ve heard me talk about the two worlds of entrepreneurship

But did you know that there are two worlds in marketing as well?.

Marketing and entrepreneurship are NOT the same things – they have very different roles in a company and a business.

  • I am a marketer.
  • I’m an entrepreneur.

…but as an entrepreneur, I’m also a marketer – which is why my stuff works so well.

Steve Larsen how marketing works

I love being a marketer, but not just any kind of marketer!

Here’s an interesting #fact you probably don’t know that about me…

One of the things that I used to do at college, was to create these HUGE focus groups.

Here’s what we did…


Steve Larsen how to market your business

After extensive research, we found that people love food… 😉

So we’d put ads up that said, “Come get free pizza and fill out our questionnaire.”

But it was really a focus group.

So we’d…

  • Do the research
  • Put everything together
  • Create a focus group

Then…Steve Larsen business marketing 101

We’d go use that data to try and find patterns to make business decisions on.

  • “Looks like everyone said that they would pay for this amount for a product.”
  • “Looks like they like the red over the blue.”

…or whatever.

And then we’d use that data make business decisions.



There was *ONE PROBLEM* (…can you guess what it was???)

Yep, you got it…

Steve Larsen the two worlds of marketing

We weren’t talking to buyers.

A lot of times, traditional focus groups as taught in ‘general’ marketing,
do NOT talk to buyers.


We’d collect all this data, but it wasn’t that actionable.

If you’re like, “Well, Stephen, you could have just gone and talked to buyers.”

Yeah, I get it.

But if you’re starting a NEW company, you don’t have any buyers yet.


Let me tell you a story…

How to market your business

I was sitting in a marketing class… and I’m not gonna lie, I was a little bored.

I’d just written an e-book and I was trying feverishly to connect stripe to WordPress – meticulously studying the support doc…

I was on my first rounds of this, so it was taking me a while to figure this out.

OfferMind Geeks


All of a sudden, in the middle of class, I get this tap on my shoulder and it’s Ben Wilson.

Ben looks at me and goes, “I see you’re trying to connect Stripe… maybe I could help you do that?”

And that’s how we met.

Well, later on in that exact same class, we creating focus groups. We were supposed to go talk to ‘X’ number of people to collect data…

Ben looked at me and I looked at him, and I was like…

“I don’t wanna do it. I don’t wanna do focus groups anymore. I’m tired of collecting data this way. I’m so tired of focus groups.”

And so, we decided that we would outsmart the system!

Outsmart how marketing works

Here’s how we did it…

We added the same questions we were supposed to ask in the focus group to a Google Form and drove Facebook ads to it …

We got more responses and better data than the entire class combined.

… because we targeted our dream person.

I was like, “Whoa, this is cool.”

That started teaching me about the power of distribution and that my results should be measurable.

Then a funny thing happened…


How to market your business and spread awareness

Paul Mitchell Salons came onto the scene and asked, “Hey, do you know anybody that could help us…? We want MORE people coming into our salons.”

The professors knew what we’d done and said, “We don’t know what these two kids are doing, but you guys can go hire them.”

That’s how we got hired by Paul Mitchell.

Learn business marketing 101

So we’re driving tons of paid traffic to their page and they’re like, “This is amazing. Oh my gosh, I love it. It’s so cool.”

And we thought, “Wow, this is truly incredible!”

Then, one day, we get this scary phone call which kinda went like…

“Hey, you’re sending so much traffic to us, it’s so cool, but guys, we haven’t had a single walk-in to the actual salon.

We don’t know if we wanna keep doing this if we can’t measure the people were driving to our stores against the dollars we’re spending.”

We were like, “Oh, it’ll happen.”

( …and I can’t believe this is about to come out of my mouth.)

“Don’t worry, half of it’s about building awareness around who you guys are.”

The two worlds of marketing by Steve Larsen

Now, if you know me, you’ll know that…

I think awareness campaigns are stupid – they’re dumb.


At that stage…

  • I didn’t know WHAT a funnel was
  • I didn’t know WHO Russell Brunson was.
  • I had no idea about this second world of marketing.

… but this experience is what got me into it.

When we got off the phone call, Ben and I sat back and looked at each other and we’re like:

“Crap, this is gonna be short-lived. Really cool client, but it won’t go anywhere.”

And we got REALLY nervous.

So we started trying to figure out ways we could track results.

This was exactly the time that I ran into a course called Dot Com Secrets X…

DotCom Secrets X was a 90-day course (they don’t sell it anymore)…

I stayed up really freakishly late and did ALL 90 days 😂

Learn how marketing works

  • I was in the army
  • I was in ROTC
  • I’d just gotten back from basic training
  • I was married
  • I had kids
  • I was in full-time school.

Life was really, really busy.

And I said to myself, “I’m willing to sleep only a few hours every night for the next three months and to feel the effects thereof… I’m willing to suffer.”

And so that’s what I did.

I stayed up EVERY single night until [spp-timestamp time="2:00"] or [spp-timestamp time="3:00"] AM. I had classes at [spp-timestamp time="7:45"] AM, so I’d only sleep for 4 hours.

Discovering the two worlds of marketing

I was like, “I could survive off of that for three months, that’s fine.”

And it was…

But I’m not gonna lie, it was freaking hard.

It’s one of the MOST challenging experiences I’ve ever had, but because of that, the learning was really, really deep.

I was willing to suffer; I was willing to feel a little bit of pain and discomfort in my life in order to get where I was trying to go.

… and that’s when I discovered the Two Worlds of Marketing

My marketing classes in school taught general marketing, but, during the night, Russell was teaching me this thing called Direct Marketing.


At OfferMind, I talk about the two worlds of marketing and why you really need to learn only *ONE* of them.

Pick one of the two worlds of marketing

The other side looks sexy, but it actually brings you NO RESULTS.

I also found a crazy awesome clip from David Ogilvy who speaks about the two worlds of marketing back in the 1970s…

I cleaned it up and cut it down in order to share it with you, (you’ll see it below highlighted in yellow)…


In school, I learned the REALLY bad new world style of marketing.

David Ogilvy marketing

I’m NOT throwing rocks at college; they did the best they could. I learned a lot from college…

I wouldn’t be who I am without college, I’m thankful for it.

But there’s a ‘general marketing world’ that’s got deep pockets and reckless spending habits – they’re doing dumb ad things and they’re all over the places.

The other world is a world called direct marketing, which is what I do, (…and it doesn’t take that long to get good at).


  • Deep Pockets
  • Reckless
  • Dumb Marketing

Here’s a good illustration of what general marketing is…

My dad, my brothers and I, we went over to an Arizona Suns game when I had this epiphany…

How marketing works epiphany

(I’d been working for Russell for a little while by that time…)

I was sitting looking at all the ads around the outside of the arena.


… and I started wondering, “How do they track results from those ads?

A: 😂They don’t.

That’s ‘general’ Dumb Marketing.

Here’s another example…

When you walk through the airports, Zoom is touting, “We’re so excited, we got our seventh round of funding.”

Seventh-round? Are you serious? 😂

How to market your business without funding

Russell and I were walking through DIA just two weeks ago coming back from the and event and Russell goes:

“Dude, oh my gosh, I got the greatest idea for our next marketing campaign…”

(I didn’t know what he was talking about for a moment…)

“We’re gonna take a huge banner and we’re gonna put ClickFunnels right on it, nothing else. And we’re gonna hang it in an airport.”

I looked up, and I was like, “Oh, good idea. Let’s go get some funding.” 😂

… that’s *STUPID* marketing.

Stupid business marketing 101

I can say the ‘stupid’ word, right?

That’s dumb marketing.


  • Real
  • Human
  • Principle-based Marketing

Real marketing = direct marketing = measures results.

Learn how to market your business

… its measurability is the reason Direct Response works so well.

It’s the reason why I’m one of three employees in my business, and I have 18 monthly contractors.

I have…

  • Two funnel teams
  • Two content teams
  • An admin team.

It’s quite an operation we have now – there’s an actual business that runs my revenue. I built the business underneath my funnel structures…

But I can track it ALL.

It’s NOT freaky, and I don’t have to go get funding (like college taught) because of Direct Marketing.

Direct Marketing is a very different style of marketing; most people don’t know it, most people won’t know it.


David Ogilvy the father of advertising

David Ogilvy has been coined as one of the ‘Fathers of Advertising.’

Can you imagine having that title?

Ogilvy was this amazing crazy ads tycoon guy who attributed his success to meticulous research on human behavior.

All the success his based on that.

He died in 1999, (he lived forever ago) – he was born over 100 years ago…

I found a video hiding away on YouTube – I couldn’t believe it!

I was like, “What! Oh, my gosh! Why has no one seen this?”

So here’s what David Ogilvy had to say about the :

  1. Two worlds of marketing.
  2. Our present-day opportunities with Direct Response

This is SUPER juicy…


David Ogilvy

In the advertising community today, there are two worlds; your world of Direct Response Advertising, and that other world, a world of general advertising.

These two worlds are on a collision course.

You Direct Response people know what kind of advertising works and what doesn’t work. You know it to a dollar.

David Ogilvy YouTube

The general advertising people don’t know.

You know that the headlines and copy about the product and its benefits sell more than cute headlines and poetic copy. You know it to a dollar.

The general advertisers and their agencies know almost nothing for sure because they cannot measure the results of advertising.

In print advertising, they opine that short commercials sell more than a long copy. You know they’re wrong.

They indulge in entertainment. You know they’re wrong.

You know to a dollar, they don’t. You inhabit a different world.

The chasm between Direct Response advertising and general advertising is wide.

  • On your side of the chasm, I see knowledge and reality.
  • On the other side of the chasm, I see ignorance.David Ogilvy marketing video

You are the professionals. This must NOT go on.

I predict that the practitioners of ‘general advertising’ are going to start learning from your experience, they’re going to start picking your brains.

I see no reason WHY the Direct Response divisions and agencies should be separate from the main agencies.David Ogilvy video

Some of you may remember when television people and agencies were kept separate. Wasn’t that idiotic?

I expect to see the Direct Response people become an integral part of all agencies. You have more to teach them than they have to teach you.

Direct Response is my first love and later it became my secret weapon.

Whenever I look at an advertisement in a magazine or a newspaper, I can tell at a glance whether the writer has had any Direct Response experience.Nobody should be allowed to create general advertising until he has served his apprenticeship in Direct Response.

That experience will keep his feet on the ground for the rest of his life.

You know, the trouble with many copywriters and general agencies is that…

  • They don’t really think in terms of selling
  • They’ve never written Direct Response
  • They’ve never tasted blood.

Until recently, Direct Response was the Cinderella of the advertising world, then came the computer and the credit card, and direct marketing exploded.

You guys are coming to your own. Your opportunities are colossal.

David Ogilvy direct response marketing

Insist that all your people…

  • Creative
  • Media
  • Account Executives

… that they’re all trained in your Direct Response division.

And make it a rule in your agency, that no copy is EVER presented to clients before it has been vetted by a Direct Response expert.

The father of marketing David Ogilvy

Ladies and gentlemen, I envy you. Your timing is perfect. You’ve come into the Direct Response business at the right moment in history. You’re onto a good thing.

For 40 years, I’ve been a voice crying in the wilderness, trying to get my fellow advertising practitioners to take Direct Response seriously.David Ogilvy marketing future

Today, my first love is coming to its own. You face a golden future.


Ogilvy made that video talking about our marketing world today.

The credit card and the computer had just been introduced, and Ogilvy could what we had the ability to create.

…and was like, Holy cow! Look what you guys have.


Q: Do you know how hard it was for marketers to push their message out to people once they had it?

*I can do it with the push of a button*

Q: How many of you guys Instagrams today?

Right? Boosh! Right? All over the place.

… and because of distribution is sooo EASY it’s actually become a bit of a crutch and we forget what actually causes Direct Response Marketing skill sets.

That’s what OfferMInd is about. Oh, baby!

… it’s about actual Direct Marketing itself.

Direct Response or what I call ‘real marketing’ measures advertising dollars.

  • We study human behaviors, not design.
  • It knows that awareness campaigns are stupid.

OfferMind direct marketing

One of the biggest things I was taught in college was…

  • “How are you gonna bring awareness?”
  • “ What’s your awareness campaign?”

Like, “What? I’m gonna do that while I’m selling it.

Let me bring you awareness while you’re buying from me. “Are you aware of your credit card coming out of your pocket?”

You know what I mean?

  • It believes in building a brand while you sell! Not before.

“How are you gonna build the brand?”

“Umm… on the dollars that people are spending behind it.”

Way better. That’s why it’s worked so well.

Better business marketing 101

  • It believes in making a profit. Make a profit.

How many of you guys have money in your pockets right now?

Anyone dying to get rid of it somewhere? I’m just kidding.

But the only reason you have money in your pocket is that somewhere, someone was a marketer. That’s it.

Or if you work for someone else it’s because someone in your company who you work for was a marketer.

Direct Response Marketing #RealMarketing is the entrepreneur’s marketing.

There are different kinds, and this is the *ONE* that causes you to actually have success.

If you take what we teach about offers and funnels, but use general advertising principles, the funnel fails.

It’s that big of a deal.

How marketing works

It’s one of the reasons people’s funnels fail.

  • It’s NOT because the funnel wasn’t good enough
  • It’s NOT because the offer wasn’t good enough
  • It’s not because the message wasn’t good enough.

… there’s a whole other world before the funnel that fuels the funnel that most people have no idea about.

… and that’s why I created OfferMind.

Hey, just real quick:

A few months ago Russell asked me to write a chapter for a secret project he was doing. I had to write a chapter for a book, this was the letter I got from him.

He said:

“Hey Stephen, let me ask you a quick question…

You suddenly lose all your money, along with your name and your reputation, and only have your marketing know-how left.

You have bills piled high and people harassing you for money over the phone.

You have a guaranteed roof over your head, a phone line, an internet connection, and a ClickFunnels account for only one month.

You no longer have your big guru name, your following, your JV partners. Other than your vast marketing experience, you’re an unknown newbie…

What would you do from Day #1 to Day #30 to save yourself?

Russell Brunson

Hey, if you want to see my answer and a bunch of other marketers who also answered that in this amazing book and summit, just go to

Steve Larsen One Funnel Away Challenge

You can see the entire summit, you can see the book, you can see what we wrote in there and each of our detailed plans. Just go to


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