Ivan Seguro

Dichotomy principle in marketing

When you work in performance marketing, the hardest part is convincing potential clients of starting a project. Why?

  1. The client wants performance guarantees.
  2. The vendor wants a prepayment.
  3. Performance guarantees exist in 2 situations: when a vendor has twin-cases where you just copy-paste. Or when the vendor possesses the tools working universally under any circumstances.
  4. That is why (1) when cases can be similar, but not exactly, (2) when universal circumstances can be violated by a black swan, (3) when there is no way this can work, but a salesperson really needs a prepayment. There can be problems.

Since companies are similar within industries, but not exactly. Performance marketers have to take a risk of doing the never done before and pretend that everything is going to be OK. This is extremely stressful, because if you fail - your reputation is at stake.

Therefore, you want to avoid guaranteeing challenges you can’t actually guarantee. But the client wants guarantees. The process can be as follows:
  1. Treat the client as a collaborator on the project, not only a service purchaser. As such, you can include the client into the processes deep enough to share risks that are unknown.
  2. Clients need to be explained the iterative nature of a lead generation process. Meaning, there are always tools to make results better using new data. But there are not always tools to make the award winning results from the start.
  3. If there’s a risk of not delivering, you need to never agree on the guarantees and move discussion more to the matter of the process quality to leave no doubts it will be conducted up to the best industry standards, with all possible external help, that you understand risks clearly and will make all provisions to succeed.

This is how a good reputation is built. This is how you prfioritize projects to work on. This is the difference between a long term partner and an unreliable bigmouth.