Marketing is simple.

Too often I see business owners making it way more complex than it really needs to be.

The fact of the matter is, it boils down to three specific things:

The first thing is getting attention.



How do you get attention? Well, there are a ton of free and paid ways to get people’s attention.

There’s content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, affiliate marketing, direct marketing, email marketing. There’s mobile marketing, pay-per-click marketing, there’s point-of-sale marketing, referral marketing, SEO marketing, street marketing… Man, the list goes on and on.

The point is there are a LOT of ways to get people’s attention.

Let’s take content marketing as an example. What’s the whole point of creating content?

Well, we want to create high value content so that it grabs people’s attention and gives them value up front, in the hope that they’re going to want to continue to hear from us. Maybe they connect with us on social or join our email list, and if we provide them with high value content on a consistent basis creates a tremendous amount of trust.

It’s all about getting attention in the beginning because once we’ve got the attention, we can earn the trust.

If we look at email marketing, it’s the same thing. What are we trying to do when we email our prospects? We’re trying to get their attention with a catchy subject line and then hook them with the opening line. It’s all engineered to get attention.

What about in an actual store? As soon as you walk in you are bombarded with signage and marketing displays, and even as you check out your attention is being fought for by point of sale displays.

So just remember, the very first objective of our marketing is to capture people’s attention.

After capturing someone’s attention, we want to convert that attention.



This could mean turning a prospect into an email subscriber or social follower, or perhaps even a customer if you are making a direct sale.

How do we go about converting attention?

First, you need to have a great offer that people actually want. This ensures that they have a reason to convert.

Second, you need to make use of sales triggers such as scarcity and urgency. This ensures that they have a reason to convert right NOW.

Like capturing attention, there are many methods you can use to convert attention. On the web, we typically make use of landing/sales pages that are simple and direct visitors to a clear call to action. It’s on these pages that we make focused use of hooks and triggers, using copy, creative and layout to make it ultra appealing for the visitor to convert (and making it easy to do so).

Webinars are a popular method of converting attention because they allow us to share immense value with the prospect and compel them to buy all within the same presentation.

Then, of course, there’s traditional salesmanship via the phone or in person, where we use conversation to make our pitch.

Regardless, once we’ve captured someone’s attention, we need to deliver the goods in order to convert that attention.

The third part and final element of marketing is keeping that attention.



Again, this is really, really simple. It’s all about loving on your tribe.

It’s about continuously over-delivering and maintaining that high level of trust. It’s replying to comments and emails. It’s delivering unexpected bonuses. It’s finding out what your audience is trying to accomplish and helping them get those results.

Regardless of how you do it, always think about how you can continue to be of service to your customers/audience.

As business owners, we are problem seekers. We want to be aware of the problems our market is experiencing and create solutions for them. If we continue to create solutions, people are never going to want to go anywhere else.

As long as we continue to identify problems and provide solutions, people are going to want to continue to buy from us.

Here’s the final thing I want you to think about, though. Think about the experience your customers have when the buy from you and consume your product.

Because the marketing process doesn’t end once someone buys. It’s really like the pre-launch to whatever you plan to sell next.

So you want to engineer that whole buying experience to be a ‘WOW’ experience. You want people to be raving about the experience of buying from you, because that’s what’s going to set up the long-term relationship and repeat sales.

And it’s going to allow your business to continue to thrive because your customers are going to come back and buy from you again and again and again.

So that’s it. Marketing is really simple. It’s all about 1) getting attention, 2) converting that attention, and 3) keeping that attention.


Your turn: What are you doing to simplify your marketing? 



  • Keeping the Attention! This is fantastic. You do a great job with overall experience Stu! I follow you because you are an excellent example of how to weave generosity and contribution into everything. Would love to hear more of your techniques on how to over deliver… thank you!

    • Thanks so much Cheryl. I think the main thing with overdelivering is to intentionally plan for it while staying open for opportunities. The key is to always keep your ears listening for problems. Every problem is an opportunity to over deliver.

  • Nicky Price

    Keeping it simple – love it!

  • Ryan Laughlin

    Stu, I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂 That’s the message I communicate to my clients in almost every meeting with them… that their marketing is too complex and they need to keep it simple. (Don’t get me started on SEO.) It took me awhile to figure it out, mainly by listening to people who actually know how to run a business and market well like you. Someone wise once said that people like you & me are “scientartists” of sorts and that while marketing is part art & science, the secret is keeping it simple. 😉 Thanks for sharing simple insights!

    • Appreciate this Ryan! And yes, you know I love being a Scientartist 🙂

  • Thank you— I like simplified concepts. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the “content” I’m consuming, so this is refreshing.

    • Thanks Julie. Keeping it simple makes it easier for you to create momentum. That’s what we all want right?

  • Very effective and impactful post Stu. Essentialism at its finest. This is very helpful as I still struggle with putting all the pieces together. Thank you for simplifying the process for us.

    • My pleasure. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complex if you don’t let it.

  • Somehow, Stu, you have impeccable timing in my life with your wisdom. I’m helping a client reach a market (licensed nurses and social workers) with which I have no experience. We have an awesome product (self-study course) that has been created. I’ve been inspired to look at “grabbing attention,” “sales triggers” and “keeping attention.” You’re the best, Stu!

  • Adihash83

    Woow… My respond to problems is always the same, “simplify it, get back to basics”, sometimes you lose a business or a cause because you made to complicated. Short but essential article! Thx from Brazil!!! Abraço..

    • People crave clarity. The easiest way to provide that is to keep it simple.

  • Abigail Jackson

    lol, my marketing is really simple right now…cause I’m not doing it. :_( I have the most problems with getting attention. I hate attracting attention in real life. How can I become more comfortable with it in virtual life?

  • Thanks Stu. I hope to make my first $1000 one day from an online business