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An irl example of tactics vs principles

In the world of marketing, you can either focus more on tactics or principles.

Tactics include things like…

* Running sales with a hard deadline (then “reopening” the sale after the deadline ends because you didn’t make enough sales)

* Signing up for the trendiest piece of software (like TikTok or quiz funnels) because you heard it brings in leads like clockwork

* Switching email marketing platforms every other week because the new software has cooler features

So on and so forth.

Now, I’m not saying that tactics don’t work. They do. But they pale in comparison to principles.

Principles include things like…

* Understanding the psychology of your customers’ problems and how your product/service fixes their products

* Creating an email marketing strategy where you consistently send out entertaining, informative, and persuasive emails

* Piggybacking off the great direct response copywriters, like Euguene Schwartz, who said “The ugly thing in a world of beauty stands out.”

So on and so forth.

Principles are the lifeline of your business. Tactics can help support your principles, but they can’t replace your principles.

Anyway, here’s why I bring up such a nuanced piece of discussion:

Peanut and I recently discovered an irl business who focused more on tactics than principles.

Here’s the story:

There’s a new brewery in town, attached to our local mall.

It’s an awesome brewery. They have hundreds of different craft beers. Great cocktail selections. Good food. 12 (give or take) pinball machines. 2 billiards table. An indoor bocce court. And they even have a decent sized stage for live music.

Despite all these “features,” my girl and I had a terrible time.

Here’s why:

This place has a tablet system to take your orders instead of using the tried-and-true waitress system. You sit down at a table, browse through the tablet on your table, and order your food.

Well, here’s the problem:

It’s impossible to tell if you added food or drinks to your cart or just clicked on an item to see the full description.

To make matters worse…

The waitresses serving these tablets brought out the wrong food multiple times.

We had to ask our waitress (who didn’t come around as much as she would’ve because of, well, you know, the tablet sitting on our table) multiple times if we placed an order or not.

And it got to the point where we resorted to just ordering our food and drinks through our waitress instead of the tablet.

(Which made for an ironic situation when the owner came around instead of our waitress, and he told us to order through the tablet instead of through our waitress — even though we tried that for the first 30 minutes without success.)

Now, look, I’m no computer scientist, but I do make what the kids call “wifi money,” which means I spend all day tapping away at a computer.

So I’m pretty confident the tablet system failed us versus us failing the tablet system.

Which brings me to the rub:

This is a prime example of tactics over principles.

In theory, the tablet system makes sense.

In practice, the tablet system ruined our experience.

And you know what?

I bet there’s a certain feature in your business that you adore, but your customers hate.

My advice?

Ruthlessly cut out these features that are running your customers’ general experience.

Because your customers’ general experience is the single most important factor to your continued success.


One way to incorporate more principles into your business is by replying to this email.

I’ll help you create an email marketing strategy that could generate more revenue than your entire business did—from all its marketing channels—just a few years ago. (Yes, this is one of the results I’ve gotten for one of my clients.)


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