To Focus or Not to Focus, The Marketer’s Dilemma | Ep. #625

In episode #625, Eric and Neil discuss where and how to focus your energy. Tune in to hear what you should actually be focusing on!


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: To Focus or Not to Focus, The Marketer’s Dilemma
  • [00:50] People have different concepts of how marketing works.
  • [01:02] Your tactics all depend on what your business is, what its status is, etc.
  • [01:37] Pick a tactic that is working the best for you and focus all your energy on that.
  • [01:55] Once that tactic is operating to its best abilities, add in other tactics.
  • [02:24] Eric worked at a company that tried a bunch of different tactics and found video marketing worked the best, then focused all their energy on that.
  • [03:14] Neil met the Legal Zoom/Shoedazzle CEO; he told Neil to have laser focus.
  • [04:10] Steve Jobs said that he is better at saying “no” than other people.
  • [04:40] If your growth rate is accelerating, hit the gas. If it’s decelerating, think about what you can improve.
  • [04:55] That’s all for today!
  • [05:02] Go to for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post To Focus or Not to Focus, The Marketer’s Dilemma | Ep. #625 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Voice: 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 if ... Well, the title is To Focus or Not to Focus: The Marketer's Dilemma. So Neil, you and I have worked on a lot of different projects in the past. We've gone through a lot of burns. So what are your thoughts around this? What have you learned, and this is not even just for us two, it is just for entrepreneurs across the board, even the best in the world.

Neil Patel: Yeah, people have different concepts. In marketing, if you want to grow, everyone's like, "Oh, you should focus on one strategy, one tactic, do it all and then just grow from there." Some people say, "No, if you really want to be a big company, you need to do them all, and you need to push hard."
It all depends where you are within your business or the company you're working for. If they're a startup, and they haven't figured out marketing yet, you shouldn't focus on one tactic. You should go do five or six or 10 or whatever it may be. Figure out what works, right?
Think of it like spaghetti. You're throwing it against the wall. Whatever sticks is what works. Once you do that and you run your experiments, hopefully, you have one or two channels that's working. Spend your time on both of those channels or three of those channels, whatever ends up working the best. And whatever one, or whichever one out of those is scaling and growing the fastest, then that's when you focus all of your energy on that one marketing channel until you're growing faster.
Once your growth has capped out or leveled out from that one channel or it's on autopilot, that's when you go back and you add the rest into the mix that we're already working, and you keep running that process in which you focus on one marketing tactic at a time. Once it's automated or up and running or self-sufficient, then you keep adding more and more.
But at the beginning, you should never focus on one strategy. You have to figure out what channels could potentially work, so you've got to go test five or 10 of them to figure out, "Hey, this is what we should be spending our time on."

Eric Siu: Yeah, so you start off, throw spaghetti against the wall, and actually, this is an example that ... I'll give you a real life example. We tried a bunch of different things at this online education startup I was at, and nothing ... Well, we were trying SEO. We were trying email marketing. And we were trying all these new offers. We were trying video marketing as well.
So what we did find was that video marketing, more specifically YouTube advertising, worked out really well. We basically bet all our chips on YouTube advertising. That was my directive, and we were able to just focus on that, and that catapulted the company.
That doesn't mean we weren't doing other stuff, but we've really focused on in YouTube, and this is the same thing as businesses. What you think about how Apple started. It started with a computer first, and then, they branched out into ... I'm looking at the products right here. Here's an iPad in front of me. Here is a phone in front of me. Here's a MacBook in front of me.
A lot of different things, but you start. So you can try these different things, but then, you've got to focus in like a business, and then you can, again, go branch out again.

Neil Patel: Yeah, marketing is very similar to business. I did a dinner one time with a guy named Brian Lee. This was years and years ago, and it was a group dinner. He probably doesn't remember me. Brian co-founded Legalzoom, ShoeDazzle and The Honest Company. He always creates a company that partners with a celebrity. Legalzoom was legal-related.
He partnered with Robert Shapiro. The shoe company, he was partnered with Kim Kardashian. Honest Company is Jessica Alba, and Brian told me something very important that I took to my heart, and I'm always going to do as an entrepreneur. He told me, "Neil, have laser focus. The moment your growth rate starts slowing down and declining, that's when you should consider expanding."
Everything I do now, when it comes to marketing, super laser focused, heck, even entrepreneurship, one thing at a time, get it done, grow, don't care about anything else. Once things start plateauing, that's when I look for other channels or ways to expand. Until then, I just have laser focus.

Eric Siu: Yeah, and then, the final thing I can add, just to sharing another example, is Steve Jobs, and the thing that he said was he's just good. He's better at saying, "No," than other people. I think with entrepreneurs and even marketers too, it's very easy to try the newest tactic because you listen to this podcast, we're talking about new things all the time, new tools all the time. It's very easy to ADD, and I'm very guilty of that too.
The same thing with business too. There's all these opportunities coming all the time. "Oh, my God, AI. Oh, my God, I want to put my life on blockchain." There's just all these different things that you can do, but it's really important to ... And like Neil, actually Neil really hit the nail on the head with that one line where if your growth rate is continuing to accelerate, well, just put more gas on it.
But if you're starting to see it decelerate, then it's time to focus on or start to think about what other strategies that you can, well, start to implement. And it looks like Neil doesn't have anything else to say.

Neil Patel: No.

Eric Siu: So that's it for today. Go to to get your marketing goodies, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Voice: 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 on Marketing School.

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