Old money sign

Faced with a gallery of marketing methods, tools, and tactics, figuring out which ones work best can sometimes be difficult. Here’s the one simple test I use to evaluate any marketing method:

Would I put my personal money on the line?

It’s something of a cliche, in a sense – after all, companies often state in their human resources policies on employee expenses to “treat the company’s money like your own money” but let’s be brutally honest: I’ve never met a single human being outside of the accounting department that did that.

However, the mess of marketing tools and methods becomes instantly clear the moment you pull out your personal credit card. Which methods do you truly have faith in? Which methods do you know to be so sound, so proven, that you’ll put your own dollars on the line? If you don’t have a stable of proven tools, which vendor has convinced you so thoroughly that you’d put your own money on the table?

When I started promoting Marketing Red Belt, I looked at all of the tools available on a paid basis, and what I ended up going with was email (via WhatCounts Publicaster, still the finest pure email marketing platform ever) and paid social media marketing via Custom Audiences on Facebook. Custom Audiences are such a rock-solid, sound idea that it seemed ludicrous to put my personal dollars anywhere else, and the payoff has been huge.

What’s even more glaring is what didn’t make the cut: everything else. With a very limited budget, I went with the surest bets I could count on to deliver results.

When it comes to marketing methods, what are your sure bets that you’d put your own money on? Make them the bedrock of all of your marketing campaigns.

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