Minimize Marketing Work by Divide and Conquer

In these 2 chapters of my upcoming book "Get Out Of Marketing Debt", I show you how to tame the marketing monster that can seem like a huge thing to do for a solopreneur.


6 types of work, in 4 buckets
6 types of work, in 4 buckets

Let's split marketing into parts that you can handle, even when you are a very busy solopreneur.

The Four Buckets of Marketing Work

We will use a "divide and conquer" approach. It works like this:

  • Divide your marketing work into 4 buckets
  • Get 3 of those buckets out of the way within the next few weeks
  • Bucket no. 4 is what you'll need to do forever

See what I do? I turn your permanent chronic pain ("shit, I'm not doing enough marketing") into acute pain ("okay, marketing sucks but 75% of this shit will soon be over"). Cool, huh?

There is more good news about the remaining fourth bucket: I'll show you how to turn the work from that bucket into a habit. The human brain needs less energy for a task when the task is so well-known and well-trained that it becomes a habit, i.e. something the brain can do almost automatically. Your current pain with marketing will be so much reduced that marketing becomes totally doable for you.

Now, you will want to know what those 4 magic buckets are that will help you so well. Here they are:

The 4 buckets of Marketing Work
The 4 buckets of marketing work
  1. The "Do it once" bucket : It contains marketing work that you'll need to do only once, upfront. Okay, maybe once again with some slight course corrections every 6 or 12 months, but no big deal.

  2. The "You're already doing it" bucket : You won't believe it but in a way you're already doing some work that qualifies as marketing, you just didn't know it does! We'll uncover that work, and you'll see it's already manageable for you because you enjoy it -- promised!

  3. The "Automate it" bucket : Some parts of marketing can be automated. You can manage this, too, because you only need to set up the robots once, then only oversee what they are doing. Also quite doable for you.

  4. The "Make it a Habit" bucket : This bucket contains the work that only you can do because it requires your knowledge, your understanding, your expertise. Here is where you can shine and totally impress the world. This is doable because the world rewards you for it. It's like running. The first mile hurts, then your brain switches gear.

You won't believe me yet, I know that! So hang on, you will now see what kind of marketing work belongs into which bucket.

The Six Types Of Marketing Work

Now that you know those 4 buckets, let's begin to sort your marketing work into them. First, we look at the goal of all marketing, then we'll easily recognize the list of things you need to do to achieve that goal.

What's the goal of all marketing? You want to help people with your product. You want to help them so much and so well that they totally trust you. You want them to flock around you in droves, eager to buy.

You can almost see what you need to do now, right? Here is the list. Don't panic, it's just an overview. We'll get to talk about each part later in the book (I reference the other parts of the book in each step of the overview).


In the beginning, there is no product yet, but there is a world full of people who have problems. Problems they want to have solved, jobs they want to get done. In the beginning, you don't know those people and their problems. So the first type of marketing work is to Identify a Hungry Audience. You need to find the people you want to help, listen to them, learn about their problems, and finally solve their problems with your product.

The first time you do this work, you do it manually because you learn a lot. This work goes into bucket 1. Later, you automate the process, so it goes into bucket 3. By the way, the marketers have their own term for this work, they call it "customer research".


Once you found out how to help them, think about what is so great about your product or your offer. You will need to do this so that you know what to say about your product, later. If you don't know why they should care, how will they know? Now it's time to Embrace Your Product's Awesomeness.

Marketers call this type of work "positioning". You do it once in the beginning and revisit only when there is a change to your product or business model, so it goes into bucket 1.


Once you've positioned your product, you know what's so great about it. This solved a big problem for you: You become confident and can begin to tell stories.

Make your customer the hero of a story that goes from pain to pleasure, from the point before they use your product to the pleasure they get when they use it. Forge a Persuasive Narrative about Your Value.

Marketing experts call this type of work "messaging". In part you are already doing it, that part goes into bucket 2. Other parts of your messaging will need to be done regularly, that parts go into bucket 4.


When you crafted some good stories, it does not mean that customers will understand them and trust you just yet. It is important to test your stories: Confront Customers with Your Message. Then see what happens and keep a record of your customers' reactions.

Marketers call this type of work "experimentation". Experiments need to be planned and executed regularly. In part you might already be doing it, that part goes into bucket 2. Other experiments will need to be done regularly, that work goes into bucket 4.

Success Tracking

When you run an experiment, you publish a message on a so-called marketing channel, that means, a blog, or on social media, in a community forum, or somewhere else. You will then learn from what people say about your message: Does it resonate with them? Do they comment? Do they trust you? Are they compelled to buy from you? I talk about this in Garner Insights from Wins and Losses.

You could call this type of work "Success Tracking". Most of it can be automated, using analytics and data visualization tools. So this work goes into bucket 3.

Strategy Building

By now, after all these steps, you will have learned a lot. You are ready to put your learnings into a strategy. A strategy gives you a guiding light for all marketing work that follows. I recommend to do it now, not directly at the beginning: Transform Insights into more Marketing Gold.

Marketers call this type of work "Strategy Building". You do it once in the beginning and revisit only when there is a big change, so it goes into bucket 1.

It's all Sorted, So Get Started

You have seen which kind of work belongs into which bucket:

  1. Do it once
  • Listening
  • Positioning
  • Strategy Building
  1. You're already doing it
  • Messaging
  • Experimentation
  1. Automate it
  • Listening
  • Success Tracking
  1. Make it a Habit
  • Messaging
  • Experimentation

Good. To get started, don't do all of this at once, or you will likely be confused. Let's Identify a Hungry Audience first, because once you know the people you want to help with your product, marketing becomes much easier.

(to be continued in the book)

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