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Stop getting


by modern marketing

Marketing has gotten to a critical point of confusion and overwhelm—and it’s getting worse. Snake Oil walks you through the history and current affairs of the marketing world, providing critical lessons that will break you free from marketing’s ever-tightening grip on your calendar and bank account.

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the marketing industry needs a solid

kick in the nuts.

Everywhere you look in the marketing industry, there’s another shiny object. Online courses, certifications, and software tools have begun to dominate the attention of entrepreneurs and executives.

It’s gotten ridiculous—and it’s getting worse. So let’s take a hot second to consider the fascinating question of why.

The truth is that no single tool or tactic will make or break your company. On the contrary—those tools and tactics are designed to keep you searching for a silver bullet. Sorry to break the news, but there are no silver bullets in business.

There are, however, principles. Principles are timeless. They work. They make money. If you follow the right marketing principles, for example, you make more money. You don’t have to rely on hype. You don’t have to spend countless hours trying all the new tactics and tools. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money. But you do have to learn to think in a specific way.

This book is designed to show you the principles of thinking and behaving like a real marketer. With them, you can make the right investments, hire the right people, and get on with your life.

Tactics so good, you'd swear they were stolen from politics.

Marketing wasn’t always this complicated. It’s the onslaught of new tools and tactics that makes it seem impossible to keep up. Snake Oil will give you a new lens through which you can view marketing. Armed with that, you’ll be able to clearly see how your marketing operations work to make you money.

This exact system helped generate $50 million in revenue for my clients. It’s all about knowing how each of the three parts of your marketing ecosystem is feeding the next: your Customers, your Campaigns, and your Conversions.

Split testing is only as powerful as the variable you want to change. The NeuroTactics listed inside Snake Oil will give you research-based inspiration on new improvements to your marketing assets—and it’s all backed by findings from the fields of neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology.

Struggling to come up with a fresh marketing concept? Don’t worry—it happens to the best of us. You can use my Big Idea Brainstorm exercise to adopt new perspectives on your product or service.

You’ll get the low-down on what red flags to look out for, what questions to ask in your interviews, and how to measure a marketer’s success down to the dollar.

“It’s like David Ogilvy invited his class over for a weekend whiskey bender”

I'll teach you both.


The story of Mike, a bike shop owner in dire straits who jumped into the marketing world head-first—and hit the bottom.

Learn the history of real 19th-Century snake oil (fun fact: the original stuff actually worked!) and adopt an interesting perspective on regulation within the B2B Marketing industry

Why it sucks to go to parties and say you’re in marketing, the reason con artists can get away with it in this industry, and an example case study of an e-commerce company that got cleaned out by a huckster

Explore the three types of deceptive marketers to keep an eye out for and learn how to avoid them in the future.

An explanation of the “internet marketer” and how these people came to exist

A brief history of digital marketing, app stores, SaaS products, and the marketing micro-niche

Here you’ll discover why it’s okay to stop following the gurus and signing up for all those webinars.

An introduction to the beating heart of all great marketing campaigns—your message—and why it’s so freakin’ difficult to come up with.

Real talk: great marketing is hard. Don’t like it? Tough toenails. This is your reality check and will prepare you for what’s actually involved in the craft of exceptional marketing.

"the science"

Meet a wise friend of mine who always hires great marketers, discover simple science of marketing, and understand the role of imagination in the scientific process.

The three moving parts of your marketing ecosystem: Customers, Campaigns, and Conversions. Understand them and you’ll be well on your way to mastering marketing science.

As the first part of the Marketing Operating System, Customers are the most fundamental piece of the promotion puzzle. Get to know your audience inside and out.

A simple way to understand how to get started (and where to go next) when defining your ideal customer base

Get back to basics. Learn what a marketing campaign really is and how we’ve been taught to limit our understanding of its breadth and true meaning.

Embark on the Big Idea Brainstorm to come up with a message that strikes at the heart of why people should buy from you and causes your customers’ ears to perk up and, in the best cases, hearts to melt.

This is a three-part section containing the exact steps to planning a successful, well-formed marketing campaign. Buckle up.

We’ll ease into this one. Conversions are the piece of your Marketing Operating System where the rubber meets the road. We’ll explore the math and strategy behind conversion rate optimization and discover the most important symbol in the marketing world.

Ahhh, the funnel. Here we’ll look at the overall structure of a sales funnel, including various funnel structures designed to attract people to your brand.

It won’t take long to realize that funnels aren’t enough to fully understand marketing. We’ll introduce the Funnel Grid, a nifty and simple tool to help you know what’s going on inside your marketing ecosystem—without the confusing metaphors.

The same timeless process that led to the lightbulb and medicine will help you make money through your marketing. We’re going to revisit our grade-school science class in this seven-chapter section by walking through the structure of the scientific method and its marketing twin, the split test. 

After eight years of research and testing, I’ve compiled dozens of neuromarketing-enhanced tweaks that you can use as the basis of your conversion optimization efforts for years to come. They’re even footnoted with research for the nerds like me out there!