John Dwyer Profile



Hear from the Master of Marketing John Dwyer this week as we discuss practical tips to grow your business and improve the results you’re getting from the marketing efforts in your business.  John has a wealth of knowledge and ideas when it comes to practical direct response marketing ideas to grow your business. He shares his stories of how he persuaded comedian Jerry Seinfeld to take on the ‘Greater Building Society’ campaign as well as other practical case studies you can use to generate ideas in your business. A must listen episode for anybody wanting to grow their business. 


  • Why experience counts when using marketing experts
  • The power of direct response marketing compared to branding strategies
  • Tactics to get your customers to sample your products
  • Using competitions to drive warm leads to your business
  • The background on the Jerry Seinfeld campaign for ‘Greater Building Society’
  • The results that can happen when you are thinking outside the box
  • The power of persistence and not giving up
  • The frustrations of leaving money on the table with your existing customers
  • The difference collecting data on your customers can make
  • The power of text messages in your marketing
  • The value proposition versus discounting
  • Increasing your perceived value
  • Making it easy for customers to buy from you
  • Why discounting isn’t the answer to build revenue
  • Selling the benefits not the features
  • The power of Facebook Live video marketing



Alright everybody. G’day, it’s Jason here, and I have got my good friend JD, from the Institute of Wow, in the
house. And he’s literally in the house. G’day JD.
G’day Jason, how are you, mate?
We are actually recording here in the compound, and John’s … JD’s been kind enough to join me today to
talk to you about leaving money on the table. And JD, I’m gonna start before we get into that, I wanna talk
about … You had an amazing campaign back in late 2000s with the Greater Building Society, and do you
want to just tell us about that, and how you managed to convince Jerry Seinfeld to come to Australia?
No, I don’t wanna talk about that at all Jason, I’ve gotta go, I’ve gotta catch a bus. I always wanna do that
when you’re on these podcasts, where they’re, “would you like to expand?” No I don’t, I don’t want to
expand. Wouldn’t that be a difficult interview? Wouldn’t that be difficult? By the way, just for those who are
listening, I don’t know why I would say that because it wouldn’t be for anyone else, but where Jason refers
to me as “JD”, it’s not J-A-Y-D-E-E, and then you think I’ve got a girl’s name, it’s not that at all. It’s just that
my name is John Dwyer, so I get JD.
Jase, with regards to the Building Society back in the early 2000s, they invited me to become a consultant
for them, and they were a boring, traditional, conservative bank, if you like. Basically, their ads show the
bank manager waving to the customers as he walked into his office behind the counter, and all this rubbish.
And I said to them, “look, if you want to increase your home loans, you have to think about who you are”.
The Greater Building Society is what I would call a challenger brand. They’re not a big, big bank in Australia.
I think they’re probably the 250th biggest company in Australia. They’re $5 billion in net worth. So, they’re
not a small business, but they’re not up there with the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.
When they recognized they were a challenger brand, they realized that, just like Richard Branson does with
his challenger brands, you have to do something against the market leaders. So what we did is that we got
rid of the 1% honeymoon rate that they used to use as an acquisition tool for home loans, and we just turned
that into a free vacation, a free holiday. Therefore, if they used to give away 1% honeymoon rate on a half a
million dollar loan, for example, that was $5,000 they had to play with, we just turned that into a Happy
Meal toy. And therefore, that $5,000 went to a travel wholesaler who gave us a $7,000 or $8,000 holiday
for that.
And happy days. We just came on TV, and online, and everywhere else, and we said,”if you’re unhappy with
your bank”, and there was a million people that were, “then why don’t you swap to the Greater Building
Society where you don’t have to pay all the fees and charges, and we know your name, and instead of
treating you like a number … And guess what? You get a free vacation. To Hawaii, or Tahiti, or Fiji.”It went
nuts. We’re talking within three months they doubled their home loans, and within 18 months, they tripled
their home loans. And this, more on that you’re talking to Jason, which is me, decided that he would charge a
consultancy fee for each month, and not a percentage of the business.
There you go, there’s a good lesson in business there.
Absolute moron, I was. Therefore, that promotion ran, believe it or not, for 11 years. They were the only
bank in the world that never advertised in interest rates. It ran from about 2002 up to, near enough, 2012,
and very heavy advertising, right throughout their marketplace, and not once did they ever advertise an
interest rate or price. I put it to whoever is listening to this, how would you like to go for 11 years, and triple,
quadruple your business, but never have to drop your pants. Never have to drop price. That’s what they did.
They took the eyes off the price, and I keep on saying to everybody, that’s what McDonalds have done with
their Happy Meal toy for about 40 years.
You’ve got to definitely think outside the square. When you say “challenger brand”, what do you mean
exactly, when you say “challenger brand”?
For those who listening to this within Australia, I know you have listeners in America and England, all sort of
places, because you are a world megastar, I understand that …
That’s it!
Therefore, challenger brand example would be Richard Branson, when he came into Australia some years
ago. He decided that Qantas, in his opinion, were charging too much, so he came up with a brilliant
campaign, which was “keep the air fair”. Boy oh boy, did he steal market share. He didn’t say that Qantas
were ripping us off, but the inference of “keep the air fair”, was that we all sat back and went “hang on,
Qantas have sort of had a Monopoly on this for a while. I think they might be charging too much. Let’s have a
look at Virgin”. And of course, he does all those silly stunts, the publicity stunts and things that challenger
brands tend to do, but the leading 40 tonne gorilla brands don’t.
And a lot of 40 tonne gorilla brands, in whatever industry you’re in, you might be listening to this, have a
think about whether you are a challenger brand, which means you should challenge the status quo of the
leader, or whether you are the Coca Cola of your industry. And if you’re the Coca Cola of your industry, you
probably don’t need to be listening to this podcast any further, because you’ve already got market share,
and you’re out there sponsoring the Olympics, and you’ve got ads on the back of bus, or side of buses, and
the backs of taxis, and you’re probably pissing money up against the wall. Doing all those stupid things. But if
you are a challenger brand, you can’t afford to waste money on the side of a bus, or the back of a taxi, you
can’t afford to just sponsor the local netball team, and think that that’s going to do business. For you’ve
actually got to think outside the square. The only way to really beat the big 40 tonne gorillas in my opinion,
is through direct response marketing, which is what I know you stand for Jason, and I certainly do.
It’s interesting. So, really, anyone in small business, effectively, if they’re serious about growing, really
should be thinking about being a challenger brand. “How can I cause a disruption in my industry?” We were
having a chat just prior to recording about the aluminum fencing guy. Do you want to just explain what they
did that changed the market?
Yeah, thanks mate. Good segway into one of my show-off stories. I love these podcasts where you get to just
show-off. By the way, I won’t be bringing up any of the campaigns I’ve been involved in that failed.
Yeah, we won’t get into that.
Funny about that. They’re in the bottom of the filing cabinet.
They’ll be in the blooper section of the podcast.
Absolutely. I think it’s a good story. You wouldn’t expect me to say anything else. When I’m doing my
seminars and stuff, I must say that I probably have a few Gen Ys in the audience, who are digital marketing
experts who hate me within about half an hour because I always say to them, Jason … Well, when I say “to
them”, I always say to the audience, that might be a hundred business owners,”look, if you were going to get
heart surgery”, because that’s what they’re looking for from the likes of you and me when we’re business
coaches, they’re looking for heart surgery on their business. “If it was heart surgery on your chest, would
you like a doctor that’s my vintage? A baby boomer, that’s been around for quite some time, and has done a
thousand heart surgeries. Or would you like the medical student that just came out of university, who’s 24,
who says, You know Jason, I haven’t cut anyone’s chest open yet. This is my first time, I’m going to give it a
hell of a shot.”
Yeah, and my knife is sharp.
And my knife is sharp!
It’s never been used!
And I’m still using Proactive. I know that sounds very convenient for an old fart to bag out the Gen Y, and
just create some discontent amongst people who would be normally using them, but the fact is the social
media experts out there around the world generally are under 30. Certainly under 35. What they do is
preach to all of us business owners, you’ve got to get your name out there. If I always ask in the seminar
room, “what do you hear from the young kids when they’re looking after your social media? You got to get
your name in?” Of course everyone says in unison,”out there”. I said,”no! You got to get their name in here.
That’s what it should be all about. And these kids that are telling you to just basically put branding ads out,
and show them, of course, you’re a happy real estate team in front of the window of your real estate office,
please …
I know. That’s a..
And you get the dentists, and we got a few dentists on our program these days, and orthodontists. They’ve
taken a photo of an empty waiting room, the reception area. No one has ever been to that dentist. There’s a
girl behind this gigantic reception desk, you can just see her head over the sides of the … I mean, it’s just
crazy. I’m saying, “Why did you do that?”, and they said, “oh, the social media, or the website designer, said
that we’ve got to create the ambience”. I said,”You just created a pretty bad ambience.”
A desert.
“Your waiting room is empty”. And then the light comes on, and I always say … Look, classic example was is
that a client of mine has an aluminum fence company … Or, if you’re listening to this in America, it’s
aluminum fence company. And he’s looking for older homes that have got a paling fence, that might be 30 or
40 years old, and it’s falling over. What he was doing, courtesy of his digital marketing experts, was putting
out branding ads, and it was basically a photo as you scroll through Instagram, and you scroll through
Facebook, which was a beautiful aluminum fence. And that was it. And they said, “Would you like an
aluminum fence? It’s going to make your garden look so much prettier”. It was going nowhere. He had no
phone calls, no emails, no response at all. We changed it when I got involved, and said,”Let’s make this direct
response”. What we did is we showed a photo of these terrible, falling down back fences. We made sure that
from a look-a-like audience point of view, we just targeted older homes in his particular geographic area,
that might have been 30 or 40 years of age. And we ran the ugliest back fence in Australia contest.
All you had to do … The chance to win a $5000.00 aluminum fence makeover, which of course cost him
$1000.00, you just actually had to take a photo of your ugly, falling down, decrepit back fence, and post it up
to his Facebook page. You know what, Jase? Within three days, he had 2 years worth of leads, of people with
shit fences. He said to me, “What are we going to do? You’ve got to turn this off.” So, for a total expenditure
of around about over that first three days, I think it was $200.00 or $300.00 a day. So let’s just say he spent
$800.00 or $900.00 over three days, he had two years worth of warm leads. These are warm leads. They’ve
taken a photo of their terrible fence, and posted it with their details on Facebook.
They’ve admitted they’ve got a problem. They’re first up. There’s the evidence.
You’re not going to get much warmer than that. We just do the same thing now for kitchen renovations.
Ugliest kitchen in Australia. So all of a sudden, the kitchen renovators … Phones light up. It’s really, really
simple when you have a direct response mentality. The problem with most of the people, and I think the
other example I gave you, was the seafood shop, fish and chip shop. Instead of sponsoring the local little
netball team, and having his logo and his phone number on the back of the girls playing netball … And I’ve
never seen a parent yet with a pen and paper taking down, “Oh, we have to get some fish from that shop
tonight. Number three! Can you just stop for a minute?I want to get the phone number!”It’s just all rubbish.
That’s all stupid stuff. So is the side of a bus. Have you ever bought anything off the side of a bus, or the back
of a taxi?
Have you ever bought anything off those electronic signs that run around the sporting matches?
There’s tens of millions of dollars being pissed up against the wall by these … So I always say,”Why wouldn’t
the fish shop just have a little girl in uniform outside at lunch time and dinner time, handing out calamari
samples. And guess what? That sample tastes good, there’s a good chance you’re going to come in”. My view
is, instead of the traditional form of advertising, where, apparently, you get them to fall in love with your …
Sorry, not apparently … You get them to fall in love with your product … Sorry, you get them to fall in love
with your brand, so they’ll taste your product. My mantra is get them to taste your product, so they’ll fall in
love with your brand.
Give them that sample, and really get them in …
Which is what you’re doing now, in your podcast. I take my hat off to you. This is exactly the sort of thing
that every business should be considering doing. That is, you’re giving everyone a taste for your business
acumen and your wizardry, through holding a program like this on a regular basis, and I know you do that
with events as well. That’s what you do. You’re getting people to get a taste of what you can deliver.
That’s it. It’s so important. I think there’s an additional benefit there too. If you think about what you were
saying there with the under 30 social media expert, and I’m not saying that all social media experts are
under 30 … We’ll say they are. They’re going out there to get your brand out there, there’s a side benefit of
that competition, is that it is driving traffic to his Facebook page, which is feeding the Facebook algorithm,
which everyone’s on about at the moment, with all the Facebook changes and things like that. It is feeding
traffic to his site so the SEO value, and the Google analytics … So it’s actually creating that interest to go to
your brand, try it, and check it out there.
It’s got multiple benefits. I got off on the aluminum fence story, and I didn’t answer the first question you
gave me, which was related to Seinfeld.
Yes, sorry. We’ll go back.
Given that I’m milking the daylights out of that since I did it a few years ago.
Let’s go back to that. How did we … We got off that.
I don’t know. It’s very unusual for me not to show off about that. But I’ll make it quick because the Seinfeld
thing is nice, but it’s not really that relevant to a small business owner, except the “hang in there”, and
“chase your dreams”, and all that sort of stuff.
This Building Society, after many years of running ‘get a home loan, get a free vacation’ promotion, it was
doing very well, they said to me,”look, how do we just hype it up a bit further? We’ve probably scooped up a
lot of the low-lying fruit.” A building society’s target audience traditionally is working class. You’re going to
have a lot of plumbers, and butchers, and bakers, but you won’t have many dentists or lawyers getting their
home loan from the Building Society. They’ll get their home loan from a bank. That’s just the way it is. So I
said, “Okay, if you wanted to sort of get to …” They said, “how do we get to professionals?”I said,”Well, I’m
not David Copperfield. There’s no way a doctor, or dentist, or a lawyer will get a home loan from a credit
union or a building society. But we might be able to get up to a middle level, white collar management, you
know.” And they said, “Well, how would you do that?” And I said, “There’s mild or wild” Fortunately, they
went for the “wild”, I’m not that good at”mild”.
A mate of mine had been doing the Billy Connolly commercials for ING in Australia over the years, and I
know if you’re listening to this overseas, it won’t mean anything to you, but Billy Connolly, the famous
Scottish comedian, was doing some ads for ING insurance. It just went nuts. I said, “Why don’t we do
something like that, whereby we have a celebrity spokesperson? But would have to have someone who’s a
family person, who’s got good morals, and good standing in the community, but of course is famous.”
I annoyed Jerry Seinfeld for about six months. There was a lot more to it than that, but of course we haven’t
got the time. I annoyed him, and I annoyed him, annoyed him, and eventually he said “yes”. When I went to
New York to meet him for the first time, I said, “You’re
the square, and you would be surprised that sometimes some of these people who might be sports stars, and
celebrities, who you think are just unreachable, if the creative is right, then you’ll find that they’ll get some
level of interest just if it’s a good idea. And that sounds crazy, I know, but most of the stuff …” He knocked
back, apparently before we scored him, he knocked back from Kelloggs, I think it was, $20 million to do TV
commercials. Because he can. But they wanted him to hold a box up and promote Kelloggs. We didn’t want
him to do that, we just wanted him to be himself, and bag banks.
Bag banks.
Therefore, as it turned out, he mentioned the Greatest’s name a thousand times, because once he got into it,
he got into it. We just said, “You be yourself”. That’s a prerequisite for a lot of these big stars. They don’t
want to be seen endorsing a skin care cream.
That’s it. There’s a few … I think there’s a couple of lessons there, is perseverance as well. I guess having the
idea, and like you say, asking, and continue asking.
Yeah, and look, I … Those little flip-over calendars that we used to have on our desks, but of course that’s
been knocked over by Google calendars these days. But in the old days when you flipped over a little thing
on your desk, it had a little motivational quote at the bottom of it, you might recall?I don’t forget seeing one,
which just is so true, and that is ‘Perseverance beats intelligence’. Persistence, sorry. ‘Persistence beats
intelligence’. My wife will tell you that that’s lucky, in my case. But it’s true, isn’t it? That never give up thing.
I know we’re not going down the Anthony Robbins podcast here … But nonetheless, for anyone listening,
you’re going to go through crap, and that’s just what happens in business. Normally, the twenty-eighth time
it works, I find.
Yeah, it is. It’s so true. There are challenges every single day in business and you do have to stay persistent
and true to the goal if you want it bad enough. You have to. That’s a great … I always love that story.
I try to keep it as short as possible, because it’s not that relevant to people running a small business, doing a
few hundred thousand turnover. I understand that. But nonetheless, the couple of lessons that we just
mentioned then, you know, never giving up, and also too recognizing that if someone doesn’t need the
money, and of course he doesn’t, then it’s really important to nail,”well, what would they be interested in?”
And most of them are interested in the creative. Those guys are interested in, would it be, a creative thing to
Yeah. Now, that’s nice. Great. I want to turn to an area of business that I do know that is one of your
passions. Not so much passion, but frustrations. Is the area of businesses leaving money on the table with
their marketing? You’re very much in the direct marketing space, and that is really going out there with the
right message, and attracting the right clientele to a business … Customers to a business. One of the things
I’m increasingly finding, and I’ve just done an episode recently, is this area of untapped gold in a business,
where the business owner is basically going out there trying to chase Facebook algorithms, trying to chase
pixels, and all that sort of stuff. All the while, they’ve got customers in their business they’re not even talking
to, or don’t even know their names. Do you want to shed some light on your view on that?
And of course my view is important because I know everything.
That’s right. That’s why I’ve got you here.
If my wife was here, she’d be rolling her eyes. She’d be saying, “Jason, for goodness sake, do not pump his
tyres”. Firstly, if I could say this to you, is that most businesses that I’ve come in contact with in terms of my
direct response advice, just don’t collect data. They just don’t collect data. I have a bit of a joke when I’m
doing my seminars. I say, “Look there’s a disease sweeping Australia at the moment, indeed the world. And
it’s exclusive to business owners, and hopefully no one in this particular seminar room will be suffering from
it. But it’s called dickheaditis”. It’s a bit of a gag, and of course they realize then that I’m just being silly. But it
is … it’s just crazy how many businesses do not collect data and I dare to say that probably more than 90% of
all business owners fail to collect data.
They do.
And you only got to look at their website, and have a look at the homepage. There’s no data capture
facilities, so there’s no through report, there’s nothing like that. I keep on saying to people, “Do you think
McDonalds are a pretty good marketer?”, and they say, “Yes, of course they are”, and I say,”Yeah okay. But
if I was running McDonalds, I’d sack their marketing manager within 24 hours. And the reason being, is that
in Australia, forget what the numbers would be in the USA, but in Australia we have 1.7 million people a day
going through McDonalds, and McDonalds have no clue who they are”. And nor do Woolworths or Coles, or
any of the restaurants … Go to a restaurant, anywhere in the world tonight, spend $200.00 on a meal, and
they’ll say, “Thanks for coming”, and they won’t ask who you are. So, having said that, it lays the platform
that if you did collect data, then you should, yes, absolutely milk it.
Say for example, a restaurant in Brisbane, Cha-Cha-Cha they’re called, and the guy that was running the
restaurant knew what I did for a living, we’d been going there every fortnight, probably spending $150.00
each time, my wife and myself. So if you multiply that up by 26 fortnights, there you go, I don’t know, nearly
$3500.00 to $4000.00 a year we were spending. And he didn’t know who we were. A new restaurant
opened up across the road from him, from Sydney. This guy’s in Brisbane, new one from Sydney came up and
opened up across the road. And, Chris his name was, and he came up to me, and he said that, “JD, I know
you’re into marketing advertising. We’ve just lost half our audience across the road to this bright new shiny
restaurant. Is there any chance that you could give me a couple of tips?” I said, “Mate, absolutely free of
charge, just on one condition”. He goes,”What’s that?”I said,”What’s my name?”
And he goes, “Oh JD”, and I said, “Yeah that’s my initials, what’s my name?” And he goes,”Oh you got me”, I
say, “Well okay I’ll give you another chance. Where do I live?” And he goes,”Oh you’re on the Gold Coast”, I
said, “Come on, you can do better than that!” He goes, “I’m a dickhead aren’t I?” And I said, “Yes, you are”. I
said, “Can you imagine if you’d been collecting that data then obviously when the new guy opens up across
the road, then he’s going to have his honeymoon period, there’s not a lot you can do about that, but two or
three weeks after that, you will then send out a text message, not email, but a text message, to all of the list
that you’ve just created, and you would say ‘Oh, hi John Gail! Chef Pierre has created this incredible dessert,
and this dessert won the Belgium MasterChef Grand Final on TV. It’s Bombe Alaska with pavlova ice cream
and chocolate sauce, you name it.’ And of course you send a photo of it, and you say, “We would like to invite
you and Gail to have dinner at our restaurant anytime over the next week, and enjoy, for free, this incredible
dessert, both of you.” Guess what? You’re going to bring them all back to your restaurant. Forget whether or
not that’s the offer, or something else, but the fact, is that you’ve got a database.
My view is, that it’s nice to send an email out, but any email blasts these days to get a 15% or 20% open rate,
you dance in the rain. Why would you not send out an SMS text message, when 94% are open within 3
minutes? So it’s all about the SMS text message, in my opinion. And if you don’t collect data then you can’t
do that. Now if you have got data then of course what you need to be doing is putting on your direct
response hat, and sending out … If you’re in the information world like I am, you would send out … You’ve
heard of Gary Vaynerchuk?
Yes, Gary Vaynerchuk, yep.
I’d impersonate him but I think we’d be put off …
That’s it.
The F bomb there is like every second word.
It’s a family friendly show.
Yes well Gary has a book called “Jab Jab Jab Jab Jab Punch”.
“Jab Jab Right Hook”.
Is it? Right Hook? OK. And in my instance my version of that of course, we’re singing from the same hymn
book, it’s give, give, give, ask. And so if you’re in the information world like we are, then it’s pretty easy to
give, give, give information, and then ask would they like to join your club, or would they like to buy
something, whatever it might be. But the same thing works across all industries. It doesn’t really matter
what you’re in and the idea is, is if you’re going to send out emails or text messages where you’re asking all
the time, or making an offer, two for one or whatever, then of course it’s not going to work as well as what it
would if you actually give benefit, give benefit, give benefit, and then ask. So if you have a list, my viewpoint
is, is that you would nurture that list by giving value with regular emails, and when I say regular, we’re not
talking every day, we’re talking one maybe every seven, eight, nine, ten days. And then after you’ve sent
three or four of those out, you would, periodically, make an offer. It’s not to say you can’t send one out and
make an offer, all I’m saying is that you don’t want to do that all the time. That would be like price
discounting every day of the week, what’s it going to do to your brand?
I think that’s where a lot of businesses do get … come unstuck, is … And I’ve got some tables, I’ve got some
tables on that, I’ll actually put them in the show notes, on the true cost of discounting. A lot of people think if
you discount by 10%, then you’ve only got to get 10% more business in the door to, and you’ve made your …
You’ve covered your cost. And it’s truth be known when you use these tables, you’ll see that it’s more like
40% to 50% more business that you need to get, depending on your markup. But that aside, I think the value
proposition, that giving value up front is just so important now more than ever in business, rather than
discounting. Because when you’re giving that value, you’re bringing people into your brand like you said,
they’re getting to taste it. And I guess with that restaurant they could probably do ‘come in and taste the
Bombe Alaska etc. etc.’ and after that the ask might be ‘join our Diners Club.
You got it.
Join our regular Diners Club and get a free bottle of wine on your birthday and anniversary etc.
None of them do it by the way.
No, because they wouldn’t know when your birthday is, and they don’t know when your anniversary is. They
don’t even know your name.
No, none of them. And what freaks me out is that in a restaurant they’ve got you there for probably a couple
of hours, there’s plenty of time to put something in front of you. And Jase if you don’t mind, I’ll give one
example. Lobster Cave restaurant, it’s called ‘The Lobster Cave’ in Melbourne, it’s in Beaumaris, which is a
very upmarket suburb of Melbourne. Homes around this restaurant would be all your $2 million or $3
million dollar homes, and outside this restaurant are Mercs and BMWs. And he’s a lovely guy Bill Ferg his
name is, and he’s a bit of a knock about Aussie character, he’s a bit Crocodile Dundee. And he joins my thing.
I said to him what are you spending on advertising? You’re spending a quarter of a million dollars a year on
Melbourne radio. Melbourne radio is very expensive and he’s only really drawing from about 10 km around
… A lot of wastage. 90% of his radio ads would be wasted. And he’s spending another quarter of a million
dollars on the Melbourne newspaper, the major Metropolitan newspaper that came in these days, so again
massive wastage. He’d be better doing letterbox drops around the 10,000 homes in his area, very upmarket
letter boxes drops mind you, but letterbox drops.
Anyway I said to him, “I’m going to save you half a million dollars in the first month that you’ve got to know
me”, he goes, “Okay smart Alec, what are you going to do?” I said, “We’re going to collect data.” So we
incentivized all of his waitresses for $0.50, for every name and contact detail they got, they got $0.50.
Nobody got out of that restaurant without getting … And so what happened is that when the meal was being
paid for, someone on a table, maybe four, six people, she would hand out, just a little old world, I know, but
old little entry form, about the size of your iPhone, and it would just say ‘win a dinner for 10 at the end of the
month, you and 10 friends. Just give us your name, your email, and of course your text, phone number’.
He collected about 3800 people within the first couple of months. He’s now up to 40,000. And I went to his
restaurant and he said to me, “JD I’m going to show you how your idea works. First of all, yes we have saved
half a million dollars, but we are the only restaurant in the world that’s booked out every single night of the
year. 364 nights a year, never an empty seat”. Because all he does, and this was about three o’clock in the
afternoon, he yelled out to his long suffering secretary Cheryl. And Cheryl comes in and he … With a little
tablet in her hand. He says, “Tell me how many of our 130 seats are booked tonight, and she goes, oh 62. OK
we’ll send out text message … BS text message from JD”, because I gave him about 8 in a template, number
four. And number four text message goes out to only 500 people on his list, and it says, “Listen Jason, what
we’d like to do is invite you tonight to come to our restaurant because we have a lobster tail for two deal, for
$68.00.” No one leaves that restaurant less than $204.00 on average.
By the time they buy wine.
Very expensive. She walks back in 10 minutes later, says, “We’re completely booked out”. So he hasn’t
sponsored the local netball team, he hasn’t branded his thing on radio, he hasn’t spent all this money about
build the brand, and eventually five years down the track, they might come. He’s filled his restaurant bang,
in 10 minutes. Simple.
It’s just direct targeting isn’t it? Just caring about who they are and giving the value and direct, going out and
It is, and you know the instance where you might say, well that is price discounting. No he chooses a meal
that’s not on the menu. So he’ll say look lobster tail, normally wouldn’t be on the menu, and they’re pretty
small tails … Lobster mini tail. So lobster tail meal for $68.00, and they come in of course, a bottle of water is
$25.00, and they upsell the entree and they upsell desserts and coffees, and all the stuff that goes, wine. And
so the average person that comes in for the $68 actually walks away $204.00 minor. And you know what, if
they don’t fill all 60 seats through that one text blast, then what happens is that she comes in and says,
“We’ve got 10 seats left.” He says, “Well send out another hundred text messages.” So he just does that until
we fill the restaurant tonight, and that’s why he’s full every single night.
There you go. I think just to touch on that from a practical point of view, that discounting with the bug tails …
That’s where you gotta know your numbers, in terms of what your margins are in your products, because
what you can do there is actually promote products that you do have a large margin in, so very low cost to
the business. But high perceived value to the customer. And if you can with proper marketing increase that
perceived value then you can smash it you can, really blow it out of the water. It’s interesting to talk about
restaurants, there’s a real bit of a thing going on out there at the moment. I call them the ‘Too Cool For
School’ restaurants, and there you can’t speak to anyone. There’s one particular here on the Gold Coast, I
won’t mention their name, because I think they’ll go bad enough anyway on their own. You can’t ring to
book but you can go online if the computer lets you book, and then it says, “Just try and call in and see us
anyway”. So you get dressed up, it’s quite an expensive restaurant, it’s not like a café.
It wouldn’t happen to be a steak restaurant at Burleigh, would it? Because we’ve experienced that just
recently. It’s not? Okay.
It is at Burleigh, on the water.
We will never go there again because of this.
Yeah you get dressed up. So I say to my wife, it’s a special occasion, I’ll take you out for dinner, we’re going to
go out to dinner. You rock up, she spent an hour getting ready, and getting down there, and they look at you
like you’re an alien, as if to say, “What are you doing here?” And you go, “You’re in the service industry and
you’re treating.” This is how resilient people are, or maybe we’re just stupid. We’ve done that about five
times and we’ve actually said now no more, that’s it. You just can’t get in there.
Well it’ll backfire. The one I’m talking about happens to be a steak restaurant down that way, and it was
about a week ago. We were coming up from Currumbin and we thought we’d call in. We’d been there once
before, it was lovely. And the voicemail on the phone basically just said go to our website and go through the
booking procedure, this that and the other. My wife was sitting next to me, she was doing it on her iPhone
whilst I was driving, and because I’ve got a low tolerance, I said, “Forget it, absolutely forget it.” You could
not talk to a human at the restaurant. By the way when she used the app, she downloaded the app and then
she … And guess what? It didn’t work. Now it might have been that we were in the car frustrated, she didn’t
press the right button, but nonetheless, why should you be put through hell to give them money?
To get to your business, and it frustrates me this like a service. Anyway I digress there, and I like that idea
there with the lobster house, because it’s brilliant. Just collecting that data.
A quick one, I know you haven’t got a lot of time. So we’ll finish it up when you decide that I’m boring. Would
be nice for you to cut in now. Well thank you JD. But real quick here, hairdressers. If I’ve got a hairdresser or
two in my seminar things, I’ll go, “At the moment what do you do to attract business?” They’ll go, “We have a
10% or 20% off, whatever it might be.” I go, “Okay, can you imagine that outside your hair salon you put 10%
off, do you reckon too many women would be busting the door down going, oh wow 10% off?” In the world
that we live in, with Groupon and Scoopon then Cudo being 50% off, I mean, please. I say, “However, if you
did the McDonalds Happy Meal toy principal, whereby you said, ok well let me just ask anyone in the room,
would you be willing to give up 10% of your sale price, if we could dramatically increase your business?” Of
course everyone puts their hand up. Well I say, “Would you at the hairdressing salon?” She said, Of course.”
I said, “Okay let’s turn that 10% discount into a Happy Meal toy. And all that would happen is from now on
you would say for every $50 that you spend in my hair dressing salon, we’ll give you a movie point, as in a
cinema, picture theater movie point. And when you save six movie points, which is 6 x $50 expenditures,
that’s $300.00, we’ll give you two $15 tickets to the movies.” $30.00, percentage of 300 is? And where do
you think that lady’s going to go when she’s got four movie points? She’s only got to get two more, it’s going
to make her sticky as well. And then they get it. They understand that instead of dropping your pants, which
is the first port of call for most people when they’re thinking about a marketing idea to move stock, instead
of doing that, think about transferring whatever that was going to be in dollars, into a Happy Meal toy, into
some sort of value add.
Build value. And that’s another important point, is when people are either starting out in business or
business is slow or they’re reaching that point where they want to grow, the very first thing they come to is,
I’ve got to drop my price. And I think that’s just the worst thing, it is dropping your pants. You really want to
build value, increase value, not actually take away revenue. And that’s a critical point.
And Jase you know that if you do that, you’ll be one of 5% of businesses in the world that do the value add
direct response instead of dropping their prices. And I’m very confident to say that there would be less than
5% of all businesses in the world, that subscribe to this direct response thing, I mean obviously I put my wow
factor picture on the top of it, but essentially it’s direct response marketing, and it’s all about value-add, not
price discount. And if you continue to price discount then of course..
We have a big six star resort on the Gold Coast called the ‘Palazzo Versace’, and instead of discounting
during winter time to get people from Sydney and Melbourne to come up here, which of course affects their
brand. Effectively it takes their brand from the penthouse to the shithouse without taking the elevator. So
instead of doing that … But there’ll be a young marketing manager in there that just thinks it’s good to give
away $600.00 rooms for $300.00. What they should do is say to people from Melbourne and Sydney fly up
for the winter and you’ll be on the Gold Coast where it’s warmer, we’ll pick you up in our gold limo, because
they got one or two or three sitting outside the hotel doing nothing or Rolls Royce. And what we’ll do is give
you your own personal butler service for the weekend, and tickets to theme parks, or the Jupiter’s Casino
Package it up.
And it won’t cost anything like the discount, but it will maintain their brand.
The price doesn’t … It takes the eye off the price and I guess people can see the value.
Ask any parent Jase, ask any parent out there, if they knew what a McDonald’s Happy Meal costs, and I
guarantee that the majority of them won’t be able to tell you because they just keep the kids in the back of
the car, quiet.
Keeps the kids happy.
By giving them the free toy. The hamburger never gets eaten by the way.
And by the way you’ve got to also go back next week to get the rest of the set, get the rest of the collection.
You’ve got to get Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, and Daisy. Or the six Olympic Coca-Cola glasses.
That’s not a Happy Meal promotion, I know, but if they’re running a continuity promotion, that’s what
they’re called, continuity promotions, you’ll have to collect the six Coca-Cola Commonwealth Games
That’s to get the Coca-Cola glass stand. One of the areas that I did want to talk about just briefly before we
do wrap up, the area with this value adding … I was talking with a butcher recently and I know you’ve helped
a lot of butchers in particular. But I was talking to one recently and they were saying how the big change …
The supermarkets, they’ve taken away all their business and no one wants to buy meat from the butcher
anymore, they only want to buy meat from the supermarket. I said, “Do you know who your customers are?”
Along that same line, are you collecting their names? “No, no, not doing that.” I said, “What if you sent a
message out … You made some meals, some ready-to-go stir-fry meals? Change your mince, your half a kilo
mince for $9.99, change that into a shepherd’s pie that’s already made, ready to go, and around 2.30, 3
o’clock on the school pick-up run, you actually messaged all your customers and said, hey dinner’s ready on
us, call by, heat and eat for half an hour.”
Beautiful idea, fantastic idea.
You’ve had similar experiences with … I know you’ve helped butcher clients as well.
Yeah and unfortunately quite a number of them were suffering from severe dickheaditis.
That’s not an actual technical term.
I’m sure it is. I’m sure it is.
In a textbook somewhere.
If this direct response stuff falls over for me, I’ll just become a doctor, specialising in dickheaditis. They fall
into the category that a lot of retailers and certainly a lot of business owners do, and that is they’re actually
selling features, when they should be selling benefits. So what they do, features being T-bone steaks or
mince or sausage, or whatever it might be, because they’re all the features, is what they got in the window,
when in fact the benefits that they should be selling is exactly what you just said then, which is a brilliant
idea. As mum’s doing the school pick-up run, she wants a benefit, she wants that meal cooked, well
pre-made, so she only just has to warm it up when she gets home.
The convenience.
Happy days. I had Red Rooster as a client for a little while, and they’re a big fast food chain here in Australia,
not in the same level as McDonalds or KFC, but nonetheless Red Rooster. And we ran a couple of trial
campaigns in Newcastle and even the Gold Coast. And what it was, was targeting on radio, this was some
years ago, but you can do it via Facebook now, but targeting certainly on radio, because Mums are in the car
picking the kids up, you’re busy enough. Husband’s going to get home from work later on and you’re picking
the kids up, and the last thing you want to do is cook dinner. Just call by Red Rooster and we have a
pre-made … Something like that it was, I forget what the meal was now. But it was baked potato and peas
and whatever else. Went nuts because we went from actually, don’t get me wrong, these fast food chains
have already got their packaged meals, I’ve had meal number two, number three, but this one was actually
created especially for this campaign, it’s a family pack. And that’s a solution, that’s not a feature. Feature
would be a drumstick of a chicken. And so what you’ve suggested to him, and you know I hope he does it.
Have you had any feedback at all? Have they thought about doing it or?
Lead the horse to water.
No it’s a funny thing. Direct response, knowing your customer, knowing who your customers are, their
names, collecting their data, and we’ve got the technology now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be
able to do this stuff. Even if you’ve got an Excel spreadsheet with some columns in it, is far better than
nothing at all. And you can go and get Google Sheets, it’s free.
Google what?
Google sheets. Don’t say it too quick. But you can get it, it’s free, it’s actually better than excel in a lot of
cases. But you can record that data there, it’s just a matter of caring to actually ask and get that information.
More specifically taking the care to get to know the customer, so you know what their needs are, so that you
can then deliver your product to their needs.
It’s got to be a message to market match. You try selling footballs in the cricket season, pretty tough. I’ve got
to give you this one before we close up, I know we’re about to close-up, but this is a goodie, even if you don’t
think it is, pretend that you think it is.
I’ll do my best to pretend.
Exactly. I have to say Jason, there’s a depth to your shallowness, which I like, I can relate to. There was a guy
in Sunshine Coast, up near Noosa in Australia, which is a lovely part of Australia, and he had a locksmith
business, so therefore he would make locks for your windows and doors to keep the bad guys out. And, God
love him, he was putting out DL size brochures with pictures of Lockwood locks on them, and it basically
said … The headline was the name of his company, so many people made that mistake, right up the top.
No one cares about your name.
Exactly. And then down the bottom, turnover for details. Gigantic Lockwood locks there. You turn over and
on the back of it, it basically gave his life story. I mean he’s a lovely guy but boring as. And I said, oh dear,
how’s this going for you? And he goes not real good, I said, no well, how about we forget the letterbox
brochures, we’ll create door hangers, like a menu you would get on a hotel door, with a hole punch in the top
of it. And on one side, we had a guy with a balaclava and basically a wrench in his hand, what he’d used to
smash your windows, and this car looked pretty evil. And the headline up the top of the door hanger, just
around where the circle is that you put on the door, and these would be distributed 5000, 10000 homes
around his business in Noosa, it said, “Hi, called in but you weren’t home, don’t worry, I’ll be back tonight.”
Ah, nice.
And then when you flipped it over, it talked all about keeping the bad guys out. The graphics of the locks
were thumbnails on the back of the leaflet. It was all about when they…
Not the main feature on the front.
You got it. When they came home from work that day, and they looked at this door hanger on their door,
they got this bad guy in a balaclava, basically saying, I called in but you weren’t home, I’ll be back tonight. His
phone rang off the hook, and I’ve encouraged him to actually replicate that through Facebook, because
obviously you use the same creative, but you can laser target it through Facebook. And this guy was just a
one man band, and now he’s got something like five employees. And because now he’s selling the solution,
not the feature.
You got to match those solutions to your market, and their pain points. JD I’m conscious of time, I could talk
here for hours about all this stuff, I love this stuff. Something I like to ask is, everyone that comes on the
show, is what is working for you in business right now, in your business?
Okie dokie. I really think that the little epiphany we’ve had of the recent six months that’ve just gone past, is
how powerful video is, and how powerful Facebook live is. And I guess it shouldn’t be an epiphany for
someone in my game, I mean goodness, I’ve been making video for a long time now, but the Facebook live
execution of video really brings a new set of dynamics to it. I think Jay Leno and all those tonight shows, the
David Letterman’s and what have you, have all worked because they’re live broadcasts, and people just, for
whatever reason, I think, see that a live broadcast is much sexier than something that might be recorded. By
the way I’m not suggesting for a moment you wouldn’t have lots of recorded webinars, and all that sort of
stuff as well, but we experimented on a couple of occasions, with live Facebook live broadcasts.
We’re in Australia, our population is 7.5% that of America. And if I’m watching one of the marketing gurus or
business gurus in America on a Facebook live, and they’ve got 100 or 150 or 200 viewers, they’re doing
okay. But they’re 300 million people, we’re 24 million people. We had just on 400 people watching my
Facebook live here in Australia, which would equate if you multiply that by 10 times, in terms of population
in America, that would be like an American having 4,000 people, on a pro rata basis. As it turned out this
Facebook live broadcast that I was doing, was me rabbiting on like this doing all the usual stuff, and 2 hours
in, we still had 300 of them. When people say to you, look Facebook live is good if you’re walking along the
beach with a selfie, until people dream it and all this sort of stuff, you’ve only got the attention span of 10
minutes. No, that’s not the case, if you’ve got good content…
In my instance some really good dad jokes. They will hang in there, and I would just advise everybody, and I
know that not everyone’s comfortable in front of the camera and all that sort of stuff, so you got to get
through that, but you might like to consider, because all we did to get that big audience, is that we boosted a
few posts. Because if you put it out just through your normal Facebook feed, you know that only six or seven
of your friends are going to see it. So we boosted it, and we put some pay-per-click Facebook advertising
across as well, but in total we probably spent $300.00 or $400.00, and I’ll spend that every day of the week
if it’s going to get me 400 viewers.
Yeah it’s fantastic. I was at a course the other day, a conference at Griffith University, and they were saying
that last year, 2017, 60% of the internet traffic was video content. By 2020, 80% of the internet is going to
be video, and Facebook have come out and actually said that they are going to be a video first company, and
platform, because they’ve got competitors such as YouTube etc. And they realized people want to consume
live video content, you can do it on the go and it’s more interactive. So that’s great.
I would suggest though, just consider using someone to act on your behalf, if you’re ugly. If you’re really,
really ugly. I’m only joking. I’m only joking. But if you are a little shy and you’re not really comfortable in
front of a camera, then there may be someone within your business that could act as a spokesperson for
you. Or you may care to just simply get a presenter. In your instance Jason, and my instance, because we are
our business, then of course it would be madness for us not to be in front of the camera ourselves. But if you
don’t feel comfy in front of the camera, and a lot of people don’t, then you may have someone else that
works for you, who is a bit extroverted, they might do it for you.
One of the things that we were talking about before recording too, is actually pre-recording the video, so if
you are nervous about it and you don’t feel like it’s going to be quite right, just do a pre-recording, and test it
multiple times, before you do go live, or work out a way. There is technology that you can actually make that
go live.
And you know what Jason, probably one of my pet hates, is teleprompters. Try not to use them. I’m not
saying it’s evil to use them, but try not to because unless you’re a newsreader or a professional newsreader,
we see your eyes moving. I did some TV commercials for a senior’s holiday company that happens to be part
of our world, and I got Patty Newton in Melbourne to do it, so she’s Bert Newton’s wife, and she’s an
Australian icon in her 70s. And so she absolutely suits the seniors hosted tour business, they go on coaches
and trains and what have you.
And I was surprised, Patty said to me that even though she’s been an Australian entertainment icon for all
these years, she said, look I’ve never read a teleprompter before. We had a teleprompter there for her,
which was necessary when you’ve disciplined to a 60 second TV ad, you’ve got to be able to fit enough
words in, no one could memorize that just on the spot. And even Patty, as professional she is as an
entertainer, took a little while to get used to her eyes rolling across this teleprompter. Now, she nailed it in
the end because she’s an entertainer, so she nailed it. I just feel that when I see some of these so-called
professional speakers using a teleprompter, I think, oh look, just throw that away, you know your subject,
just talk about it. Nobody minds if you have the odd cough or um and ah, nobody cares.
And that’s the reason, if you look at the reason why video is so successful and why it is gaining so much
momentum, people want authenticity nowadays. They’re sick of the shiny facade of polish, people want real
authenticity, provided it’s not rubbish, and you’re not wasting people’s time, but they’re gonna put up with
you making a blunder here or there, and appreciate that real content as opposed to …
By the way have you seen photos of my castles in Scotland that I own, and the 24 Lamborghinis, and I’ve got
the 16 Miss World girlfriends.
That’s it, living the dream.
I just love it when I see some of these … There’s a guy, I forget his name now, but he’s in the States and he
does these …
With the Lamborghini out the front?
Not one, there’s about 5 different ones..
Which one will I take today?
And if you’re listening to this in America, I don’t know whether you use the same phrase, but he is a gigantic
wanker. In Australia, we just call him a wanker. And then he takes you for a tour through his house, I love
these people that take you through … I don’t care about … What have you got in content that could help
make my life better?
How are you going to take my pain away?
Because what they do is that they make out that if they’re super-duper successful and they’ve got all of
these wonderful things around them, then of course they must know what they’re doing, so you’ll want to
buy stuff from them. I think all that’s starting to backfire.
It is, because there’s no substance once you get in there. You’ve got to be giving value.
Whereas Jason has invited me to come to record this podcast at his premises, and my little Suzuki
motorbike is just outside. I’ve got a driver.
Fantastic JD, as always, it was great to catch up mate, and I really appreciate you taking the time to come in
and share those bites of wisdom in marketing space out there. How can more people find out about you JD?
Oh thank you mate, now I can do that shameless plug.
Yes here we go, we’ve been waiting for this.
Hurry while stocks last, you’ve got to get to the website in the next 10 minutes, otherwise the offer will
expire. The best thing for anyone to do, is just go to the website. It’s a bit wanky, there’s a whole lot of stuff
on there, where I show off about how wonderful I supposedly am. It’s called The Institute of Wow dot com.
And because we are a huge, massive, conglomerate, worldwide interplanetary, it’s only dot com, there’s no
‘au’. So it’s just The Institute. A lot of people type in “Institute”, and it screws up. So it’s , and if you wanted to email us, it’s just [email protected] . You
know what I find with all these gurus? They never do that, they go, oh it’ll be admin at, or info at, and you go,
oh please. Mine is John, it has a H, I’m not that modern so therefore it’s J-O-H-N, at
Fantastic JD, we’ll wrap it up there. Thank you and we’ll catch you all later.




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