How Long Should You Spend on Marketing Before You Give Up? | Ep. #577

In episode #577, Eric and Neil talk about when you should give up on marketing. Tune in to hear if, how, and when you need to call it quits.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: How Long Should You Spend on Marketing Before You Give Up?
  • [00:41] Neil gives up on tactics, instead of marketing as a whole.
  • [01:00] He’ll try out five to ten tactics and keep whatever works.
  • [01:20] In many cases, if you don’t experiment, you will just spin your wheels.
  • [01:50] Eric was hanging out with the Zapier CEO and they agreed it is difficult to hand off marketing.
  • [02:45] There are constantly new tactics, so you need to incorporate those into your workload.
  • [03:15] Keep trying to improve all the time and integrate new techniques into your workflow.
  • [03:35] You won’t see traction with SEO within the first six months.
  • [04:00] Ahrefs will help you track your impressions and any traction you’re getting.
  • [04:40] Be patient when working with long-term solutions.
  • [04:45] With paid advertising, you need to make it work right away, because you will lose a lot of money otherwise.
  • [05:48] You should look to grow your organic keywords by 10% month by month; for SEO, you should look to grow your top three keywords by 10% month by month.
  • [06:07] That’s all for today!
  • [06:11] Go to for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post How Long Should You Spend on Marketing Before You Give Up? | Ep. #577 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today, we are going to talk about how long should you spend on marketing before you give up. So this is something that is really near and dear to our heart. Neil, I'm keen to get your framework on how you do this.

Neil Patel: I, myself am addicted to marketing. I don't really give up on quote, unquote "marketing" as a whole, but I will give up on tactics. Whenever I'm doing marketing for a business, I believe in the spaghetti concept, in which you just throw spaghetti on the wall and whatever sticks, sticks. It's the same with marketing for me. I'll try out five or ten different tactics, and whatever sticks is what I focus on, and I'll keep pushing it as hard as possible until I cap out or grow, and then I do the same thing over and over again, which I take the remaining tactics, throw them against the wall, and see what works.
When you go with the route just trying what you want to do versus doing [inaudible 00:01:19], you'll find that in many cases, you'll just keep turning your wheels and you won't get any results. And if that's the case and you continually pivot and experiment each and every single week, after a few months, you should probably move off to a different marketing tactic, and that's why I prefer the approach of just taking spaghetti, in other words five, ten different marketing experiments in different channels, throwing them against the wall, and whatever has some traction, that's what I focus on. That way, I'm not wasting too much time.

Eric Siu: Yeah, I think this is interesting, because I was hanging out with the CEO of Zapier the other day, and we were just talking about ... Because his background's in marketing. It's very difficult as the CEO, even though Zapier is completely crushing it right now, it's difficult for him to hand off the marketing role, and we were just talking about that. And it's the same thing, I think, for Neil too, myself, we just love marketing. Marketing is kind of built into us, so Neil's right. I mean, the way I see it, we talked about how you can get better at marketing, whether it's listening to daily podcasts like this, or videos, or reading, we're always trying to get better at it.
The thing is, there's all this information coming in and we're trying to figure out the signal from the noise, and then, from there, constantly adding this new stuff, maybe integrate it into what we're doing already, and, sure, yeah, we'll try it for a couple months or so, it's not like we're going to break the bank, but we are going to try it to see if the numbers are getting better, and we're going to see if it makes sense, and, typically, after a little while, you're going to start to see it work, or if it doesn't work, you just [inaudible 00:02:43] it off, because we have all these new ideas constantly coming in that we're constantly filling into our marketing strategy, so the thing is, look, we're doing all this content right now, it's like, "Okay, well, what can we do more with it?" And we're considering doing video next time, because there's videos right in front of us too.
So it kind of builds on top of each other, right? And when I look at the first podcast I did, without the first podcast, Neil and I would not be doing the second podcast, because the data wouldn't have, well, compelled us to move forward in this direction. So keep that in mind. I mean, just keep trying to get better all the time, and then integrate things into your workflow that make sense in the context of your business, and then, from there, you can decide if it would make sense to give up or not. Because a lot of things ... Neil and I have tried so many things. I mean, probably 80, 90% of the time, we're going to fail, but its those 10-20% times that really drives most of the good results.

Neil Patel: Yeah. Also, look at the channel too. Things like SEO, you're not going to see traction in the first six months. Yes, you see something, but you really see results within the first year, and then the second year, that's when things really explode, but know what channels you're getting into, and even if the channels you're going after take a long time before you really get results, you can use the tools out there to see if you're on the right track. For example, Ahrefs will show you how many more backlinks you're getting each and every single week, or month if you're doing SEO, or Google Search Console shows you how many impressions and clicks you're generating. If you get way more quote, unquote "clicks" or way more impressions, over time, your clicks will naturally go up, and that's how you know SEO is starting to work, because your impression count goes up first, and as you climb towards the top, your click count goes up as well.
So be patient when it comes to some of these longer terms marketing channels. With the shorter ones like paid ads, if you can't be cash flow positive from day one, you have to keep testing and tweaking and work with small budgets until you can get it to work out, and then scale it up. But if it's a long term solution, you have to be patient and give it the appropriate timeline before you give up. With the shorter term ones, such as paid advertising, you have to figure out how to make it work right away, because the last thing you want to be doing is burning $100,000 a month, then be like, "Oh, yeah, we generated only a dollar in revenue."
I had a buddy who was spending 400 and something thousand dollars a month on paid ads, and he wasn't even generating 10 grand a month. I'm like, "Err, this isn't working out. You should give up." And they did that for roughly year. I'm like, "Why would spend all that money for roughly a hundred grand in revenue, right?" That's over four million dollars spent, 4.8 roughly, for 120 grand in revenue, that's a terrible deal.

Eric Siu: Yeah. So the key thing is to make sure that when you're measuring ... You're constantly measuring, obviously, I think that goes without saying, but as long as the numbers are getting better, and at an acceptable rate, that's what you're looking for. So with paid advertising, the feedback loop is really quick, but with SU for example, I actually learned this from Eric, this guy named Eric [Rivera 00:05:36] and this guy named [T Madden 00:05:37], they run a couple websites together, and they have their SU team. They use Ahrefs, which is So they use Ahrefs, and they go to the organic search section, and they're looking at growing their organic keywords by 10% month over month, so that's the metric for the [inaudible 00:05:54] person, and then for the SU person, they're looking at growing their top three keywords 10% month over month.
So I'm not saying that's a end all, be all, catch all solution for everyone, I just thought that's interesting. Hopefully that gives you some ideas. So, Neil?

Neil Patel: That's it for this week's episode, or today's episode more so. If you want your daily marketing giveaway, check out, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of, and don't forget to rate and review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here at Marketing School.

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