I laughed myself to tears when Brad told me that a Sydney bean counter should be more worried about dogs sniffing each others’ bums than his web traffic…

Let me explain….

Recently a Sydney accountant sent me this email:

“Hi Phil,Phil Polson
One of my clients has just bought a dog food treat business.
They need to do a social media campaign and I thought of you, can you do a brief dot point quote (just for or five lines) with a price per month and a list of achievables.
The client assures me that there is no need to do any website work, they have their own developer for web traffic marketing. Only social media and building fan base.”

I forwarded this along with the website link to one of my USA domiciled JV partners, and one of the world’s leading content writers, Brad Antin, for his opinion. When it comes time to Generate Website Traffic I tend to think like a sales person whilst Brad thinks like a marketer because he is one.

Brad Antin - Sales DriveNow, here is how Brad replied:
(Keep in mind that this is two old friends talking to each other man to man about How to Get Website Traffic and websites so forgive the colourful language (only slightly sanitised for public consumption).


Phil, I visited the website and I’m happy to give you my comments, but I don’t think your Sydney bean counter accountant friend will be happy to hear them.

Let me preface my remarks by saying I’ve had, and loved dogs for most of my life. I even got into breeding and showing German Shepherds for several years, so I know what dog people are like. But…

If I were a late night comedian, I’d have a field day with this.

Now maybe dogs in the land of Oz are different, but over here they smell each others’ asses to say hello. They eat their own, and other dogs’ doings and spew, so I think their menu concept and the names (and stated ingredients) are a bit moronic.

Now I know that people do personify their pets, and they’ll spend a ton of money on them. But “human grade food”? Medallions of Cashew, Beef & Sage? Lamb, Spinach, and Mint Biscuits?

If I didn’t know better, I’d think you had made that site up as a way to just mess with my head.

That said, we have major pet food companies here in the USA that do advertise “gourmet” foods on the net and attract a bunch of Free Web Traffic. Anyway, let me first say that if this was my client, I’d do a lot of web traffic marketing research first.

Maybe there is a big enough market of people willing to spend big bucks on dog treats made for humans. But I suspect there’s a much better niche, and message to be had. Again, I haven’t researched it, so I may be talking out of my you know what, but here’s what I think…

I’d go for the premium market for sure, but I’d define the market, my product, and the benefits of my product differently. I’d put my name and face on the brand (well, not MY name and face that would scare the appetite out of the poor mutts).

I would explain (and show graphically) that for years commercial pet food makers would buy the wasted scraps from various slaughterhouses and combine them with the cheapest fillers of grains and cereals they could get, add what was necessary to make it palatable for dogs and turn it into dog food.

Other companies trying to capture the high end would create and sell their foods based on human standards which really aren’t any better.

But I’ve researched the finest ingredients for a dog’s health and prepared them in a way that dogs can’t resist. (Maybe even show photos of passages in textbooks to create more credibility and authority).  After all, if you’re a dog lover like me, you want the very best for your dog, don’t you?

I would create all my web traffic marketing around these four benefits.

The healthiest possible ingredients for a dog (not a human, cat, or donkey, but a darn dog). The most irresistible taste for a dog. This is important because the more a dog likes it, the better it is for training purposes, and the more positive reaction the dog gives to the human (read love).

Something that doesn’t smell too bad to humans and maybe even contain something to freshen the dog’s breath (because if it’s around the house I don’t want it to stink, and when my dog is panting in my face, I don’t want his breath to stink).

Something that doesn’t leave a mess (either in crumbs, or stickiness) where the dog eats it. Everything in my web traffic marketing would revolve around one of the above.

I’d have more video and less copy. I’d use a combination of live action video to create the emotional heart warming feelings as well as animated screenshot graphics offering facts and figures to justify the emotional buying decision.

I think their entire look and feel sucks. And the flash presentation on the home page is an utter waste of the most valuable real estate on the site.

Well, that’s my first impression.

You’re probably sorry you asked, and I hope that your Sydney bean counter friend has a good sense of humour, but one thing you can count on from me is that I’ll always tell you the truth.


Once I stopped laughing and dried the tears from my eyes, Brad and I got on Skype and discussed the site and it’s web traffic marketing potential further.

The point he was trying to make was that here was a typical business with the kind of traffic marketing website where leads go to die rather than buy, and the client wanted to hire me to bring him another truckload of casualties – instead of showing him how to sell the traffic he’s already getting.

Last week I talked about how critical a steady flow of web traffic by laser targeted lead generation is to the success of your website. And that’s true. But, as in the case of my Sydney bean counter friend, Brad insists (and I think he’s right) that all the targeted traffic in the world won’t make you a dime if you can’t convert them to customers.

If you go back and read Brad’s email again, it’s really all about benefits. The key to a highly converting website (or any marketing, according to Brad) is presenting compelling benefits to the visitor in a clear and concise way.

And if those benefits solve some problem for the web visitor at a price he or she is willing to pay you make a sale. If not, you don’t. It really is that simple. Yes, it helps if the website is attractive and engaging. But if it doesn’t present compelling benefits, or those benefits don’t immediately jump out to the visitor, the most attractive website in the world quickly becomes a dud.

The old WII- FM (What’s in it for me?)

In the next article you’ll see how I would have responded in my more conservative web traffic approach. And you will love Brad’s reply to that.

Brad and I always have highly entertaining and spirited conversations during which we often capture the essence of some extremely powerful marketing concepts.

Stay tuned and I’ll share more in future articles.

Plus don’t just take my word for it follow my next blog and I will send you a link so you can see for yourself how dynamic Brad Antin is and also be amongst the early movers to subscribe to his brilliant 59 second marketer videos …..Enjoy and profit!


  1. Hi Brad and Phil,

    I think you are both amazing and hit the nail on the head in reference to your advice. I am a dog lover and own a big golden retriever and your messaging is exactly what I needed and wanted to hear. Love this blog, the energy and creativity makes it so informative but also entertaining at the same time. I couldn’t stop laughing! Thanks so much.

  2. Hello Brad & Phil

    Thanks for the nice and honest to the point analysis/brainstorming/suggestions. I love the style and entertainment to digest the information. Keep up the good work. Cheers. Hasnain

    • #sales
      Thanks Hasnain,

      Stay tuned for the last one of the three going up over next few days.


  3. Couldn’t agree more with the comments, you need a site that converts first and foremost before ordering up traffic. Otherwise its akin to opening a high street store and inviting ten thousand people to the launch and they walk in the store and walk straight back out because it stinks or is not compelling enough or has nothing they’d be interested in buying. So it has to be the right type of traffic first.

    You have to look at each page and deliver value to then in seconds to the visitor and then immediately use that to drive them to a Call To Action that is relevant to both them and you! It doesn’t always need to be a sale, it could be the newsletter to help you build the relationship before they start buying.

    I have a caramel brown border collie and the nutritional value of their food is the most important factor along with exercise for their long term health. Most dog food companies, especially the gourmet ones, do indeed market to the human and they must be successful at this as its definitely a growing sector.

    However, I’d suggest that marketing to the sense of love for a friend that probably wont be here in ten years (or in some cases less) and that you’d want them to be healthy for as long as possible might be a good angle.


  4. Plil, Great stuff, as always!

    And, yes, we dog owners (I’m a “recovering dog owner” actually, as currently I only have cats) – and pet owners in general – love to spoil our little “buddies” (and, yes, “personify” them :) ) and crazy as it sounds, there are tons of peeps out there who spoil their pets rotten (buying the cloth and jewelry and sh.tuff), so a gourmet food product will sell like hot patties if marketed the right way.

    Great tips in there…

    • Thanks E.G always value your opinion highly.

      We will be launching an affiliate program for Brad’s material very soon and would love to have you as part of it.



  5. Phil, Great stuff, as always!

    And, yes, we dog owners (I’m a “recovering dog owner” actually, as currently I only have cats) – and pet owners in general – love to spoil our little “buddies” (and, yes, “personify” them :) ) and crazy as it sounds, there are tons of peeps out there who spoil their pets rotten (buying the cloth and jewelry and sh.tuff), so a gourmet food product will sell like hot patties if marketed the right way.

    Great tips in there…

  6. So, why don’t we get to see the site for ourselves and make our own discussion as to the quality of the advice. Seems to me it’s a canned spam landing page if you’re unwilling to put a link to the actual website.

  7. Thanks for your comment Jon,

    The post was simply to show how different thinking like a marketer really is both off-line and on-line than thinking like an accountant.

    Both are equally important disciplines but poles apart in thinking styles. Brad Antin thinks like a marketer and he agrees that he would suck as an accountant.

    It does not nor was it ever intended to publicly embarrass my accountant friend or his client so hence no names no pack drill. The accountant has since rung me several times to chat through the changes needed.

    I am happy to send you the site url in a private email and welcome your confidential opinion on it.


    Phil Polson

  8. Hey Phil,

    Yes it’s amazing how many business owners stress about what their site looks like and have no idea how bad it really is as a business asset. I’ve seen clients spend HOURS with a graphics guy trying to get just the right background colour, but they have no idea about what they want the site to do.

    Clients drove me so crazy that eventually I stopped working with them all together and now just do my own stuff.


    • #marketing

      Good on you Rocky nice to hear from you.

      There is now so much hype around on-line marketing that it is easier than ever for us old school face to face off-line sales and marketers with just a mix of on-line to go with it.



  9. Hi Phil,

    I found your article via the LinkedIn message you sent me. 90% of the time I don’t even read stuff I get from LinkedIn, without a good, meaningful, subject line (not just the typical IM moronic ‘You gotta check this out’) I have better things to spend my time on.

    OK, I could tease the heck out of you for your ‘Could this help you too?’ subject line but since it was a direct message I opened it anyway.

    I hadn’t really read your message when, right above the fold, I spotted the link http://www.salesdrive.com.au/sydney-bean-counter-dogs-sniffing-bums-web-traffic/

    As a long time dog owner and dog foster family I couldn’t resist seeing what it was all about.

    You and Brad gave me probably my best belly-laugh of 2013. Once I’d wiped the forcibly ejected coffee from my screen I got down to really reading.

    Thanks for a terrifically timely article, I have a client who is in this market. I’ll take a copy of this to our next meeting and look forward to some lively, yet poignant, discussion.

    • #marketing

      Thanks Jeremy,

      And its not often I email to my LinkedIn connections.

      The title was good enough to get over 14.5% response on views and only 2 asked to be removed.

      There is one more to come via LinkedIn as it just too brilliant to keep to myself and I know you will enjoy it.

      That old adage about doing business without marketing is like smiling at a pretty gal in the dark…only you know what you are doing still applies.


      Phil Polson

  10. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get
    there! Many thanks

    • We have an international team of specialists so I am sure we can find some answers for you. Drop us an email and we will research it for you.


      Phil Polson


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