The One Thing Your Marketing Needs

You and I have one thing in common. We both have a burning desire to succeed.

How do I know this?

Because I’ve observed you.

I read your emails and newsletters if you send them. I watch your videos, listen to your podcasts, and read your books. I visit your website.

The drive to succeed is there, plain as day.

Maybe you’ve already figured out that “one thing” to succeed.

Or maybe not…

One of my favorite films is “City Slickers.” In it, Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal), a radio advertisement executive, goes on an annual guy trip with friends Ed Furillo and Phil Berquist.

He’s stressed out and going through a mid-life crisis. To cheer him up, his friends give Mitch a birthday present: a two-week cattle drive. They don’t know anything about horses or cattle drives, but they enthusiastically embrace the adventure.

The cattle drive’s trail boss is Curly (Jack Palance), who is an authentic cowboy. During this scene, he’s giving Mitch advice about finding happiness.

One thing.

In 2013, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan released a book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. It quickly became an Amazon best-seller.

In the book, Keller shares a story about his business and how it wasn’t seen as an authority in their industry (emphasis mine):

“In 2001, I called a meeting of our key executive team. As fast as we were growing, we were still not acknowledged by the very top people in our industry. I challenged our group to brainstorm 100 ways to turn this situation around. It took us all day to come up with the list.

The next morning, we narrowed the list down to ten ideas, and from there we chose just one big idea. The one that we decided on was that I would write a book on how to become an elite performer in our industry. It worked. Eight years later that one book had not only become a national bestseller, but also had morphed into a series of books with total sales of over a million copies. In an industry of about a million people, one thing changed our image forever.”

Keller said the importance of finding that “one thing” cannot be overestimated. It changed their world.

From Keller’s book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results:

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

In 2014, she published her book about organizing, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Four years later, Netflix offered her the opportunity to work with eight couples on de-cluttering their homes. She created her own line of organizing boxes and I suspect this is only the beginning for her. She is now seen as THE expert for de-cluttering a home.

Business owners often underestimate the importance of “one thing.” So do marketers and copywriters.

Whenever you write an email, identify the “one thing” you want your reader to do.

What is the core message? Simplify it so a five-year-old could understand it.

What is the desired response? Make it easy to achieve.

What is the one emotional trigger to use with your message? One or maybe two, but no more. Emotions drive the purchase.

The bottom line is that all too often, businesses make it more difficult for their prospective buyer to buy. Either it’s confusing language, too many options, or a website that makes navigation too complicated.

Thinking of “the one thing” will help you distill your message so you can focus on creating desire and urgency for it.

Your prospective buyer is slammed with hundreds of “buy now!” messages. Make yours easy to understand so that your buyer will feel like they’ve already figured out that “one thing” that will help them succeed in life.

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Want more juicy marketing insights that will help you grab the attention of your target market and squeeze out all the delicious deals you know you want? Sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter, “The Gold Digger Marketing Letter.” We’ll see you on the other side!

About the Author

I’m Mary Rose ‘Wildfire’ Maguire, a direct response copywriter, digital marketing consultant, CMO for Mickey Maguire Photo, and brand and email marketing fangirl. Tireless advocate for finding pain points and testing response. David Ogilvy is my invisible mentor, along with John Caples and Claude C. Hopkins. You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn yakking endlessly about marketing. And especially on my website,




Direct response copywriter & crack-shot email marketer. Voracious reader. Live, eat & sleep marketing.

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Mary Rose Maguire

Mary Rose Maguire

Direct response copywriter & crack-shot email marketer. Voracious reader. Live, eat & sleep marketing.

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