The Digital Marketer Formula: A Magic Pill? NO.

Ryan Deiss is one of the most brilliant minds in Digital Marketing. Deiss and Frank Kern were the mentors I turn to after my extensive analysis of Dave Chaffey’s research on internet marketing.

As I described here, reading the books and research by Chaffey from a certain stage was like reading stuff by a geek that was writing without a clear understanding of what goes on in the business world.

Use Chaffey if you want to sound smart or if you are going to an academic conference. But if you want to learn digital marketing you need to move away from universities and start listening to youtube and other digital marketing mentors.

The mentor I kind of abandoned second was Frank Kern. Kern is an expert – like so many others – in creating dubious quality infoproducts, yet very very expensive; and, most importantly, galvanizing them via paid search. Pity he has no course on paid search…

But what truly excited me about Deiss was his attempt to have a grasp of digital marketing as a whole and develop a “digital marketing machine”. I have been following his website and projects almost since day 1 and I did some of his courses.

From this experience I conclude that Digital Marketer is brilliant not in the quality of the courses it provides – and the overall “digital marketing machine” it sells – but in the buyer’s psychology it majestically exposes. So let’s start there.

“The Magic Pill”: Digital Marketer’s System and Psychology

The first e-mail I got from Deiss was one where he described a magic formula that he drew in a napkin. Somehow, one day, he came up with this extraordinary interpretation of how to double, triple, quadruple your sales.

He goes on to elaborate on this formula by sending us 7 videos on how we can “double our leads, customers, profits”, “perfect product positioning” and even “invisible selling secrets” (that everybody should know to become a millionaire).

Reiss is an excellent marketer. Probably the most relevant thing about him is not what he actually sells – more on that in a moment – but what he makes you believe. The mental state he engages you with.

You see the first relevant video of this 7 video series is about “perfect product positioning” and in it Deiss describes how you should always speak to your customer’s “after”. Their desires, wants, aspirations.

Reiss did this perfectly throughout his career. With Deiss people tend to forget that most of the stuff he is selling is a system that serves his own project and business plan. He preaches and gains from what he preaches.

But most important of all he is a master in galvanizing our aspirations, our dreams and goals. He, therefore, doesn’t care if what he sells is highly contextual and therefore not the “one-size-fits-all” solution to “Double your sales”.

He is not concerned with that.

He is just happy that he is doing is job as a marketer and selling you that dream – and making you buy his stuff because you are after that dream.

Digital Marketer’s Limited Sales Funnel

Digital Marketer sells you a very limited sales funnel – and for this reason it is not applicable to most online businesses.

This sales funnel is actually based on the way they suggest you should structure your offer: what they call “trip wire” “core product” and “profit maximizers”.

There is an upsell continuum in this scheme. First you download a lead magnet, then you are offered a “trip wire”, if you don’t buy you are sent a bunch of e-mails. If you end up buying then you are immediatelly offered the core product – and again a bunch of e-mails on this “core product”. if you do not buy then you return to the segmentation stage of this e-mail marketing campaign.

Is it possible to create this sales funnel for ALL businesses? The answer is quite simple: NO. However, Deiss says over and over again that his approach can be universally applied.

It is for this reason, and for this reason only, that he needs to be considered a greater marketer – not because he is actually selling you a secret solution that will immediately double your sales but rather because he is an expert in building that expectation – and earn a lot of money along the way.

Digital Marketer’s Limited E-Mail Marketing Machine

The problem with this is that you end up having courses that have a very limited – and highly deceiving – understanding of different digital marketing tools.

Take the “Certification in E-Mail Marketing”. Well should be called “certification in Digital Marketer’s E-mail Marketing System”. Of course, what you end up getting is an explanation of how to do e-mail marketing for the sales funnel that Deiss is selling you.

But there is more.

This course is full of fluff and other deceiving information. You are sent “e-mail templates” that of course are going to make you rich. But once you go through this “magical templates” what you actually realise is that, once again, you are buying something that is only applicable to the service you are actually acquiring.

What Deiss and his team do here are two things: again galvanize the sense that you are going to achieve your “dream” and then underdeliver by applying an universal formula.

But what is even more problematic with this “certification” is that it doesn’t tell how to specifically apply their upsell system in an e-mail marketing platform. The course is therefore not only highly deceiving but also highly abstract and theoretical.

Conclusion: Towards Contextual Digital Marketing

Deiss is a digital marketing genius and achieved the status of a digital marketing “guru”. Everybody knows him – and if you don’t you should!

The problem with Deiss is that he contributes to what is wrong with the internet and digital marketing in particular. Educational and highly technical knowledge on the internet is:

  • delivered by some internet marketing university professor (which will teach you nothing about real-world problems);
  • content for content sake – where you end up with these long and sophisticated “SEO optimised guides” where you will know, among other things, 100.000 reasons google takes into consideration to rank a website/landing page
  • affiliate marketing promotions trying to sell you a product
  • or a service or “one-size-fits-all” solutions that are clearly deceiving

What we should walk towards, instead, is contextual digital marketing. Rather than talking about one-size-fits all solutions, digital marketing is highly contextual: lead gen systems are clearly different from e-commerce systems for example.

And of course, there are different lead gen systems and different e-com systems.

This type of contextualization is clearly much more difficult to achieve – but it is clearly closer to solving real-world problems and helping both digital marketers and business owners finding more specific solutions to their projects/businesses.