Slot Machine Marketing…and Other Curiosities

I enjoy casinos but not for the reason many who frequent them do.

As a marketer and entrepreneur I’m fascinated by a building designed to extract as much money out of people as possible often with the exchange of nothing in return except a chance for “riches.”

I mean isn’t it that long shot chance that people play for? I highly doubt anyone goes and puts a dollar into a slot machine hoping, wishing, praying to get a dollar and ten cents back. What about a dollar fifty back? What about two? I mean wouldn’t putting one dollar into a machine in order to get two back be great?

The problem, and why this doesn’t excite people is because they know more often than not they will put in a dollar and get nothing back.

So in order to keep betting you need the “big win” once in awhile. But when you put in a dollar and get $20 back once in a blue moon, it’s enough to keep going.

Many people treat their marketing the same way.

We put a dollar in, and pull a handle, without any real notion of what will come out. I call this slot machine marketing.

A lot of the time nothing comes out, or even if something comes out, we don’t realize it because they don’t really know how that new customer heard about us.

The problem is that often we go month after month without a “big win” so eventually, we stop marketing all together for a time.

Until…a salesperson comes along with ad space to sell; online, in print, via mail (or in my case, an ad on the magazine rack in the local gym (for $1,500 for a whole year I would have been crazy to say no right?!?)

The WORST part is, we are taught that this is the RIGHT way to do things. That we should have a marketing budget and reserve 10%, 15% maybe 20% or our hard earned revenue to put into marketing.

So we put dollars, hundreds, thousands, ten’s of thousands of dollars into the slot machine, pull the handle and hope, wish, pray something comes out. The thing is, THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

I’ve always said “hope” isn’t a strategy and I discovered long ago that instead of treating my marketing like putting money into a slot machine, it’s much more lucrative to have a marketing “cash machine”.

The nature of a cash machine is that you put your card in, and tell it how much cash you want out. No guessing, no chance, no hoping. Just a card in, dollars out…again and again and again.

And that’s what your marketing should be…your card (an ad: online, in print, mail, even a sign on a magazine rack in a gym) goes in and money comes out. And if that’s the case, would you be happy if every time you spent a dollar you got a dollar and ten cents back. Or a dollar fifty. Or two dollars?

If you could consistently get everything you invested back, PLUS more? And this happened quickly so you could turn take the extra and reinvest that again and again and see your income grow and grow?

Well just as slot machines have a blueprint, so do cash machines and you can use this blueprint to grow your business and your wealth.

As a real estate broker I put a cash machine in place in my business. One that allowed me to get so busy that I couldn’t work with all the clients I had so I started my own company and kept more than 10, then 15, then 30 other real estate agents busy. At the age of 26.

I had created an ad that attracted home sellers and buyers, that generated a predictable flow of referrals, and my favorite, that made me the “go to” broker for real estate investors (the kind who buy again and again and again.)

Every time I put a card in the machine, money came out. Predictably and reliably.

And you can put a cash machine in place in your business too. Anyone willing to do a little work (yes…some assembly is required) can have their own cash machine up and running. Spitting out dollars. Eliminating market budgets and expense and instead multiplying your hard-earned dollars.

NOTE: To discover how to stop “slot machine” marketing and instead build a “cash machine” go to



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