Category Archives: Market Research

Outsourcing Disasters and Duplicating Failure

I’d like to make a brief, but obvious point today, because there’s something I see over and over again across dozens of students and hundreds of customers…

“Outsourcing Disasters and Duplicating Failure”

The desire to duplicate oneself and offload work is only human nature. In fact, it’s one of the strongest elements I’ve observed in the entrepreneurial mindset.

So it’s only natural that people want to COPY other sales systems, and OUTSOURCE all the work involved in building their own.

The problem comes when people don’t take the time to ensure they’re copying SUCCESS, and when they try to OUTSOURCE something they don’t really fully understand or know how to supervise.

Because here’s the secret…

The success of a sales system doesn’t lie entirely in the words on the sales page, or even necessarily in the system as a whole.    It relies much more on the understanding the writer has of the market. And since copycats can’t legally plagiarize the whole system, absent this understanding, they wind up copying an empty shell.

Moreover, it’s rare that a WHOLE system is successful. Lacking an exhaustive understanding of the market in which the system operates, people are prone to copy the failing elements just as easily as the successful ones.

In other words, many competitors are succeeding in spite of bad marketing, because just a few elements are right on target.  Without thorough research and market intelligence, how do you know you’re not duplicating their failure?

There’s also a lot of talk these days of just outsourcing your marketing, or your market research, Glenn-Style.

Now, I’m totally in favor of getting help to scale up your operations. In fact, I’ve been working through John Jonas’ materials, and they’ve helped me to hire no less than 8 people in the Phillipines now.    (You can watch the Outsourcing Webinar Replay through my affiliate link here.  John has a lot of very useful advice for hiring full timers at $300/mo, and provides some training to get them started.  I have a LOT of good experience with his hiring advice and resources, but can’t really say one way or the other about the training he provides for the outsourcers — I’d prefer you used them to do things you already do very well and just want to offload from your plate)

There’s a LOT you CAN outsource. You CAN outsource all the grunt work of setting up your automatic intelligence machine, doing some of the initial scanning of social media conversations, installing and managing your websites, installing wordpress blogs and plug ins, doing routine backups, setting up your surveys, programming scripts and databases, running through the first set of codes for your survey analysis, transcription, audio editing, video editing, article distribution, social bookmarking, data entry, a very, very rough first draft of your copywriting, and so on)

But in my opinion, you can’t outsource the STRATEGIC THINKING AND MARKET IMMERSION necessary to succeed in a project, especially in today’s competitive adwords auctions.

Somewhere along the way, if you want to build a REAL business, you’re going to have to spend a few hundred hours immersed in the market yourself.

Because no one’s really going to care about it like you do.

And because without doing this, you’re NOT going to pick up the subtleties which allow you to connect with the market above and beyond  your competitors.

You simply won’t know what your customers “smell like”, and they’ll sense your templated, outsourced approach.

Because prospects in any market can “smell” honesty, integrity, and passion when it’s poured into a project.

In my experience, the people who try to outsource strategic thinking and market immersion wind up with MORE work, not less, in the long run, because their systems simply don’t perform.   (You CAN partner with someone to champion a market for you, but only if they’re tested and proven in their entrepreneurial and strategic thinking abilities… and if they’ve got enough upside potential and skin in the game to make it worth their while)

A long time ago, I heard Brian Tracy say “if you want to make a mark in your market, make 100 phone calls to prospects and I promise you you’ll never look back”

At the time, I was starting a psychology practice in the midst of the collapse of  indemnity insurance (doctors could no longer get so easily reimbursed for their high session fees as the big companies cut off the gravy train).   My colleagues were all terrified, complaining, and going broke.

What did I do?

I made a few hundred phone calls to every psychologist, psychiatrist, counseling center, etc. I could find on Long Island.  I asked them if they had any patients they were having trouble working with.  I asked how I could help them.  I asked if I could volunteer to see clients for free at their clinic for a day.   I asked if I could work for them in any capacity whatsoever.

I also set up focus groups and individual interviews with people considering seeing a psychologist or counselor.

18 months later I had a private practice with 65 patients. (By the way, for any psychologists considering advertising, one of the critical insights was that no one looked for psychologists, only for counselors, ’cause “you’ve gotta be sick in the head” to see a shrink, “but everyone needs a little counseling sometimes” )

Why?    I knew what the market wanted cold.  I had more connections than any of my peers.   I WENT THROUGH THE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE.

I’ve got several coaching students now who are really getting the value of this.

One of them spent the bulk of this year doing low-end consulting with literally hundreds of people looking for help with a particular software program.   He’s now set up a lucrative PPC lead funnel in this VERY competitive space, and I’ll be utterly shocked if he doesn’t have a million dollar business in 18 months or less.

Another one got so psyched about immersion, he decided to make 1,000 phone calls to prospects in his market.  ONE THOUSAND.   Then he developed a training system based on his experience.  (I can’t imagine anyone else’s training system in that very, very competitive market could possibly be any better.  I can’t imagine any prospect not instantly sensing this after just a little exposure to his materials)

Moreover, both of these gentlemen are NOW in the ultimate position to leverage themselves and outsource their work.   NOW they can replace themselves, and begin building multi-million dollar enterprises.

I guess what I’m saying is,  we’re all in such a hurry to get away from the market, most of us never get into it deep enough to truly succeed.

And so we look for the short cuts…

And wind up copying failure, or outsourcing things we don’t really understand.

I’m not invulnerable to this…  I’m human too, and always fighting a tendency to get lazy.  (Plus, when you get a little money and can easily afford the help, it’s easy to think “I’m above this now”)

But when I look back at my successes, the #1 thing they all had in common were a passionate immersion period in the market, right there in the trenches with the customers and competitors.

Have YOU really immersed yourself in your market?

Something to think about,

G 🙂

Get in the Club Already, Huh? |  Get Step by Step Hand Holding and Motivation to Do It |  Blueprint for Beginners

Siberian Marketing Advice – Pay Per Click

I’ve got a good friend from Siberia. (I’m going somewhere with this, stay with me please)

Seriously… he was my full time programmer 10 years ago, then he came to visit, then I helped him immigrate to the USA.  Now he lives a few minutes away from me.

When he and his wife (then his fiance’) first came to visit us here in New Hampshire in November, they were constantly shivering and complaining about how cold it was.   (It was about 35 degrees that week, which is relatively warm for New Hampshire in the fall)

Very surprised, I said to him “Alex, you’re from fricking Siberia, where it’s maybe minus 10 on a warm day, what gives?”

He looked at me with a funny Russian smile and said, in the thickest of Russian accents:

“Glenn, man from Siberia NOT warm man, man from Siberia man with lots of clothes!”

In other words, I had assumed the Siberian weather had toughened him up, and that he could go anywhere on the planet without batting an eye.  I had visions of him taking showers outside in the snow in his bathing trunks, like the Ant Arctic expedition workers I had read about  in the Guiness Book of World Records as a child.

I figured he lived in an igloo or something, chewed on ice all day long for water, and spat out icicles with glee.

But I was wrong.

I made assumptions about the man, when what I should have been looking at was his adaptive tools and materials (his warm clothing).

He was wrong too.  He came to New Hampshire without these tools.

It’s a funny story without too serious a consequence, but if you transfer it to the marketing arena it can be deadly.

Because here’s a story I hear all too often…

Guy does his research, goes into a competitive market, builds up a series of products and services, writes a g’zillion follow ups, and tests and tweaks his way into strong profitability.

THEN, he starts to feel like a SuperMan.   He forgets how he got where he was.

He goes into a new market without doing the research, without plans for a full product line, without the expectation of a long period of testing and tweaking his conversion, without the same zeal for writing follow ups, without the same break even cash flow planning, without the willingness to thoroughly and passionately immerse himself in the market by talking to the customers and finding out what they smell like.

He just trots off to a totally foreign country, attributing his success to his personal marketing genius, rather than all the tools, methods, resources, and techniques which put him where he was.

He forgets to bring his warm clothes.

If he’s lucky, he only shivers a little until a kind stranger or friend gives him shelter.

More often, he almost freezes to death and catches the next plane back home.

You see, we can be ruined by our own success.

We’re constantly tempted to attribute it too much to our own abilities, and our sheer marketing genius, which, naturally, means we can go into any market or take on any competitor without the exhaustive, and sometimes quite tedious research and planning required to get there.

Which is why I strive to be one dumb-ass marketer, with lots of checklists, cheat sheets, and methodical plans for everything I do.

Not that I’m always perfect… just like everyone else I’ve made my mistakes by thinking too much of myself too.

But a simple checklist goes a long way towards knocking my ego back down where it needs to be. (Read “The Checklist Manifesto” at your leisure by the way, it’s surprisingly insightful and will change the way you run your business in a weekend)

“PPC Marketer from Siberia Not AdWords Genius, Marketer from Siberia Man with Lots of Checklists!”

For what it’s worth,

Dr. G 🙂

Get in the Club Already, Huh? |  Get Step by Step Hand Holding and Motivation to Do It |  Blueprint for Beginners

Getting Paid to Talk to Yourself

Here’s something VERY strange which occurred to me today…

I’ve got the weirdest job in the world.

It’s true!

Because, you see, I get paid gobs of money to talk to myself.   I spend a LOT of time alone in my room, staring at the computer, recording Camtasia videos, MP3s, etc.   Of course, I’ve also got REAL businesses, and of course, I’m not really talking to myself, I’m talking to thousands of people.

But still, if a Martian were to land and observe what I was doing, he’d see a great big hairy guy sitting in his room and talking to himself.

Which couldn’t be farther from what I set out to do as a psychologist… (I really thought I’d be spending my days in a room listening to other people talk to themselves)

Anyway… sometimes it makes me a little “loopy”

(The Rocket Clicks team is great, and always interested in talking to me… but they’re in Milwaukee and, truth be told, Rob Sieracki is such an amazing Chief Operating Officer and partner that Jeff and I really don’t have to do that much anymore)

So I suppose this is a part of the reason I’m pushing the coaching program more seriously now.   (Get on the priority notification list at the bottom of this page if you’re interested … a limited number of slots will open tomorrow and, from experience, will go very quickly) I find that the people who’re willing to work my systems seriously via the coaching structure I’ve set up are some of the nicest, most interesting, (and most respectful of my time and boundaries)  people I’ve met in my years as an internet marketer.

Plus,  sometimes it’s just plain nice to worry about someone else’s business instead of your own.

I dunno.

Maybe I really am nuts.

I really should be DOING more than teaching, if money was my primary goal.

But I’m gonna do this anyway, at least for a while.

Hope you’ll take me up on it before I change my mind 🙂

Ryan, one of my most successful students, is also offering to coach a limited number of people through my systems for a little more than HALF my personal rates.   (Get on the priority notification list at the bottom of this page if you’re interested … a limited number of slots will open tomorrow and, from experience, will go very quickly)

Here’s a VERY SHORT MP3 (13 minutes) where Sharon and I discuss my personal neuroses, and how they can benefit you.

Enjoy 🙂

Cheat Sheet Collection (PPC and Beyond)

Glenn, I don’t have time, could you make more cheat sheets?”

OK, OK … so here’s 21 of my absolute best quick and dirty money making cheat sheets (right click and download the ZIP file) including:

– How to corner your market
– How to master the conversion optimizer
– 7 uncommon reasons internet businesses fail
– My 10 most important business insights of the decade
– How to Taguchi test in adwords
– How to profit from  word of mouth URLs today
– The content network curse
– Getting more content network impressions
– Working with display advertising on the content network
– Domain name testing in Adwords after 2009
–  Automatic Broad Match
– The Livingston Broad Match Magic approach to competitive market entry…
– Hyperresponsive Surveys…
– Mining for negative keywords…
– PPC XRay..
– Multivariate email testing…
– Self esteem and purchase behavior…
– Adwords mysteries…

And more!

Don’t say I never gave you anything 🙂

Like this stuff?  Then get your ass into my hyper-responsive marketing club so you can REALLY put it to use before I raise the price forever (on Friday).

G 🙂

I Am Ugly, Oh So Very, Very Ugly

It’s confession time, and I’m finally ready to admit it… I’m ugly.  Oh so very very ugly.

I’ve tried for 4 years now to make what I do seem sexy, but it’s not.

That’s why you don’t see any beauty contests for marketing researchers.  No bikini babes lined up with surveys and statistics.  No hunky t-shirts of 45 year old men showing their market segmentation tables and graphs.   No endless, seemingly irrelevant display ads stalking you across the internet which say “click here for some hot market research action”.

And nobody really wants to talk about market research at parties.

Because market research isn’t a “bottom line function”, it’s just not that attractive.

Most marketers would rather jump into the market and try to make money right away, slogging it out on the battle field, licking their wounds as they go along.  But I’d rather sweat in training than bleed in battle.

So I’m constantly imploring people to avail themselves of the literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of FREE information available today online.  To slow down, digest and organize it all, choose their targets carefully, and plan their attack methodically.

Which somehow makes me the bad guy in their minds.  Because I’m not as sexy as the newest traffic technique, or the quickest way to make money this week.

Oh well, I guess I’m destined for an ugly life, having a (comparatively) small but rabid group of followers who make more money doing rather than teaching.

A group of Ugly Tortoises with X-Ray Vision and steadily growing businesses, not flash in the pan booms and busts.

I guess people don’t really want to see that at the beach.

But  I honestly can’t see any other way.

And you know who DOES think market research is sexy?

Fortune 100 companies who can afford it. I’m NOT talking about the DUMB brand managers who go without research and just consult their wife for an opinion on which poodle to show in the ad. I’m talking about the smart companies who research the hell out of their markets before they spend $20,000,000 on an advertising campaign.

To them, $100,000 for a research project is a drop in the bucket, they do those day in and day out. I ought to know, I’ve done plenty of them.

But what if I told you that you could get MORE information about your market for $77 than than these companies are getting for $100,000? What if I reminded you that I used to conduct those projects, and have translated these research principles into practical, easy to implement, step by step procedures and illustrated them all in over my shoulder videos and cheat sheets?

Would you still hesitate to join before my final price increase?

Because I’m going to jump the price from $77 to $97 on Friday morning. And because I NEVER increase the price on existing members, this is your last chance to LOCK IN YOUR RATE to learn this ugly, ugly form of marketing, tested and proven in over a dozen markets, and honed over a lifetime of an ugly researcher’s career.

So? How about a little kiss? Yes?

PS – My stuff USED TO be difficult. It USED TO make people’s brain’s hurt. Not any more… now it’s EASY, just not sexy. (Kind of like this lady above). But I know you’ll be happier with the results! Price jumps to $97 on Friday

“So Little Time, So Many Liars” (Recorded Consult with Glenn)

Know the biggest problem we face as internet marketers?


A Darwinian economy creates ruthless temptation to lie, exaggerate,  distort, and mislead.  And the PPC auction puts that on steroids.

Every time you look at the results of a split test you’re faced with a moral dilemma.   Because the majority of the time, strengthening your claim beyond what you can actually deliver raises your click through and conversion.   And sadly, outright lying raises it stratospherically.

Of course, the smart marketer knows that lying creates only trial, not repeat. (It can also lead to being married to a big smelly guy named Bubba, and spending a lot of time lifting weights in the yard)

So what’s an ethical marketer to do?

I’ve known Chuck Batson for years, have had dinner with him, and in my judgment he’s one of the most ethical marketers around.  Chuck  operates in a market you’d think is more traditionally known for honesty and compassion… the vegetarian/vegan/raw-food world. (Which means, you know… he refuses to eat fried kittens and stuff, no matter how good they taste)

But he’s up against LIARS too.

Thankfully, he used my old How To Double Your Business course (predecessor to the hyper-responsive club) and found an honest way into the market, but he’s only making a few bucks and because he works full time as a programmer, he can’t seem to find the time to expand.

I really like Chuck, respect his values, and appreciate what a dedicated customer he’s been for almost 4 years.

Listen carefully and you’ll learn a few things about dealing with the Liars in your market too!

Dr. G 🙂

PS – Chuck asked a few very valuable questions towards the end about the difference between free and paid content.  It’s definitely worth listening to the answer if you’re following my model.

Glenn Club |   Coaching |  A to Z Product for Newbies |  Advanced Adwords Seminar

The Faster, Easier Way to Profits

There’s a VERY important insight which pervades and ties together everything I’ve done. It took me a long time to really “get it” myself.

I’ve had hundreds of students come to me with some variation of the following “You’re obviously the guy to work with for building a solid foundation for a long term, profitable, growing business. But who do you recommend to make money NOW? I NEED money NOW!”

For the answer, please listen to the free mp3 below.





My 10 Most Important Business Insights This Decade

As the decade draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting upon what I’ve done and learned in the last 10 years of my life. I thought it might be helpful to share my most important insights, year by year.  Just right click this link to download Glenn Livingston’s 10 Most Important Business Insights This Decade

Now, while I have your attention, I thought you might like to know I’ve invented a new marketing weapon…  the SINGING TESTIMONIAL.  Listen to Tom Mcllelan below please for an example.  Tom’s a personal coaching student and an excellent marketer and consultant in his own right (anyone thinking of working with him, please know I endorse this, you can reach him at

How much more powerful is something like this as compared to a plain old transcript of what he said?  (Below is sung to the tune of “Oh Danny Boy”):

“Oh Dr. Glenn my ads my ads are selling

From low to high

You saved my landing page

The survey’s done

And now the leads are buying

‘Tis you ‘tis you

To thank and I obey

And you came back

To help me in my surveys

And used the data

And showed me how to sell

Now I’ve escaped my cubicle forever

Oh Dr. Glenn, Oh Dr. Glenn

I thank you so!

Happy Birthday Glenn. Its Tom McLellan in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

THANK YOU so much for everything you’ve done to help me along. If only my singing was on par with the results you’ve helped me achieve, then we wouldn’t have to subject the audience to that dying moose you just heard.

Thanks again.

Bye now.”

I’ll post an article in the next week or two as I learn more about how to leverage this new weapon.  (Of course, I’ll post more of the singing testimonials too!)

Enjoy, and be sure to download my 10 Most Important Business Insights This Decade