DollarDays Blog (DDB): Please summarize your business expertise in a nutshell.
Mark Stevens: My expertise is to identify and address what it takes for a business to grow and to move from one level of profitable revenues to the next.
DDB: Your bio indicates [t]hat you did not attend business school, but that you got your business education on the streets of Queens. What did you learn there that helped you to succeed in business?
Stevens: The streets provide a far more enriching education than Harvard Business School. They teach you to learn from people who may not look “polished” enough to help you, to expect the unexpected, to act when your back is against the wall, to be prepared for random acts of opportunity and challenge.
DDB: Please explain your idea that less is more when it comes to advertising.
Stevens: Find a single key point about your business or product—for example, Walmart has chosen “low price leader” as its single key point—then push the accelerator on that. Avoid the temptation to tell everything about your business. The key messages will be lost in [the] fog!
DDB: You’ve achieved considerable success with your book, “Your Marketing Sucks.” What are some of the key takeaways from the book?
Stevens: Throw out the traditional marketing playbook. It was written by professors who have never marketed [or] sold anything. Most important[ly], measure everything you do in terms of revenue generation, and stop all initiatives that don’t produce measurable results. ROI is king!
DDB: Lots of people might think that the title of your new book [“God is a Salesman”] is pretty cheeky. How could an omnipotent being, Creator of the Universe, be a salesman?
Stevens: He is not really, and I address that right upfront. But he teaches us the power of belief and faith, which are both critical for every businessperson.
DDB: What is the single most important thing that every small-business person should do and why?
Stevens: Make the decision to be a big business person. Small-business people work for themselves. Big-business people build a team to work for them… and to build their wealth.
What do you think of Mark Stevens’ advice? Is less really more when it comes to marketing?