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Counter-Intuitive Is Great, Until It’s Not

Counter-Intuitive Is Great, Until It’s Not

June 04, 2018

I’m a bit of an addict and it gets me in trouble sometimes. I’m a counter-intuitive marketing-techniques addict.

If you’ve been around long enough, you know about my passion for Big Zigs, unique marketing angles that makes you dramatically stand out from your competition.

I’m the guy who created and trademarked Lumpy Mail whose entire premise was based on being different and counter-intuitive. We mailed watermelons, trash cans, messages in a bottle, you name it.

Zigging while everyone else is zagging is a bit of a mantra for me.

To me, the wackier and more interesting, the better.

Now this love for “different” doesn’t come out of nowhere. We’re surrounded by successes in the business world that seem to have been based on counter-intuitive concepts. It’s trendy to break conventional marketing systems. Unsubscribe-invite emails can receive the highest engagement, simple websites are now the rage, and good old direct mail is making a come back in the digital era.

But there’s a catch, and it’s one I have to admit really hits home for me.

Counter-intuitive is great, until it’s not.

You may have the most creative, ingenious idea that will undoubtedly shake up the marketplace.

But it doesn’t matter...unless your customers agree.

“If you’re on a path and there’s no one around, you might not be trailblazing. You might just be lost.”

I hate to admit it but there is a reason that logical, intuitive ideas are well intuitive.

I get it. If you’re a creative entrepreneur—like yours truly—you get excited about a new idea. It’s easy to get carried away and invest a ton of time, energy and money into developing it. This counter-intuitive spirit is a powerful trait that can be harnessed, but it can also get you in trouble if you forget this one simple step…


Why do flops happen? Aside from missing a focused One Page Marketing Plan, it’s usually because we forget to test. We think we know what will work and what won’t, we forget to ask our customers.

In a case study on 101 business that failed, one of the most common denominators was that the businesses were out of touch with their target group either in their marketing strategy, or with their product to begin with.

They weren’t getting real-time feedback. They thought they knew. They didn’t ask.

The reality is that testing is more than another “to-do” to check off before your next big roll-out. It’s a mindset.

Instead of aiming towards massive launches of a new product, service, or marketing campaign, break it down and think in terms of iterations.

Go ahead, roll out a 1.0. Test it out and collect real time feedback from your customers.

Tweak, improve, then roll out 2.0.


Don’t get caught up in what you think is going to work. You’re not developing products and services to satisfy your appetite. As bizarre as that sounds, that’s what you’re doing when you trying to roll out perfection without taking in feedback.

Now, here’s the deeper secret of why most businesses get stuck: They don’t make it to the 2.0.

They try it once, see it doesn’t work, then they give up.

They forget that testing is all about learning and improving for the next roll-out.

They don’t take the time to ask themselves what didn’t work, why, and what can we do better?

Maybe it was the wrong timing.

Maybe it was the wrong audience.

Maybe the product needs a new facelift.

Maybe the messaging wasn’t compelling enough.

Don’t test once then stop there. That’s dangerous.

Be persistent enough to learn and improve.

Put these words on post-it notes around your office as a constant reminder for you and your team to see: CANI - Constant And Never-Ending Improvement.

That’s what you’re shooting for.

So, go ahead, keep on zigging while everyone’s zagging and getting creative in your products and marketing campaigns. Just get comfortable with testing the heck out of everything.

Here’s direct access to our One Page Marketing Plan and Worksheet. My gift to you. No opt-in required.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

P.S. Testing to receive feedback and launch in iterations are not just about marketing. This concept is just as crucial to managing your team and internal operations. More on this coming up, stay tuned…