I was scrolling through Facebook when I noticed a live stream from DigitalMarketer.

They were hosting their Traffic & Conversion Summit and their founder, Ryan Deiss, was giving his keynote speech about the future of digital marketing.

Here is the gist of that speech.

Tracking and scalability

When you work in digital marketing, everything you create revolves around two things:

  • Is it trackable?
  • Is it scalable?

Tracking allows you to do two things:

  1. See which parts of your marketing are working and which parts are not.
  2. Customize your marketing campaigns to the individual (rather than simply sending the same message to everyone)

Both of these help to make your marketing efforts more effective as well as lowering your costs.

Scalability enables you to serve more people without having to add to your company’s expenses/processes. This is done with the use of automation and the utilization of technology.

This allows for easier growth and increased profits per customer.

The future (?)

Ryan Deiss went on to say that these principles are no longer the future, and instead of obsessing over open-rates, click-through-rates, conversion percentages, etc, we should instead be focusing on conversations and aspects of marketing that do not scale. 

He then went on to give a few examples of digital marketing tactics that are not trackable or scaleable and added that you should check out the book “This Won’t Scale” for more examples.

So, here we are!

…and I have to say that, overall, I was very disappointed!

“By the Drift Marketing Team”

Interestingly, this book has been self-published by the marketing team at Drift.

This is the first time I have heard of a company self-publishing its own book as a team, but I think it’s a very clever idea which not only creates an additional income stream but helps to promote their company.

About this book…

This is a very small book. So small, in fact, that they have been unable to print the book’s title on its spine!

Needless to say, it’s a very quick read with short and to-the-point chapters. (I like this)

Alongside sharing the “41 Plays To Help Your Business Cut Through The Noise, Grow Faster Than The Competition & Thrill Your Customers” (yes, that’s one very long subtitle) the book also shares the story of Drift, using examples from the company’s history.

The “41 Plays”

I have to say that I found many of the plays somewhat weak.

I was definitely expecting more!

Also, not all of the plays revolve around scalability or trackability either, some of them are just basic marketing and personal development knowledge.

For example:

  • Play #34 is ‘write like you talk’
  • Play #18 is ‘fail fast, learn, don’t make the same mistake twice’
  • Play #19 is ‘always be learning’

Overall, I don’t agree that all of the 41 plays are relevant to the ethos of the book, which is to shift focus from scalable marketing tactics and to instead concentrate on conversations.

My thoughts on ‘conversations’

From a personal point of view, when I’m ordering something online, I prefer to simply get on with it!

In an ideal world, I want to be able to manage everything myself from an online account. I don’t want to have to talk to someone about it.

If there is an error or problem and I need to contact customer services, then I prefer that service to be instantaneous and quick. I don’t want to have small talk or jump through numerous hoops, I just want my problem fixed in as little time as possible.

So, although I understand the theory of focusing on conversations with your customers, as a customer myself, I don’t want to talk to anyone. 

But maybe this is just me! Tell me in the comments below how you feel about that.

My overall thoughts

I have to say that I was quite disappointed with the book.

The 41 Plays were weak and not fitting with the title.

However, the overall message of the book is to treat your customers as real-life human beings, rather than as statistics, email addresses, and conversion percentages. I agree with this, but I still strongly believe that tracking and scaling are needed to build solid foundations for any online or digital company.

Have you read This Won’t Scale?

This book review is my personal opinion and experience of This Won’t Scale.

If you’ve read this book, share your thoughts in the comments section, and give the book your own review in the box below. 

Roseanna x

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This Won't Scale


"This Won't Scale" tries to shift your digital marketing efforts to focus on conversations rather than conversions. Although I like the idea of the book, its content is very weak and somewhat disappointing. A basic book that I wouldn't recommend to experienced online marketers, although it could be valuable to some newbies.

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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  1. It does seem like a simple book. The book looked like it was going to information I did not know, but the review proves otherwise. Thank you for this!

    1. No problem. I was expecting more from it also.

  2. Agree with you it isn’t ground-breaking, but was also easy to read. For the small package, it packs a decent amount of content (albeit basic).

    1. Thank you very much for checking out my post and commenting. 🙂
      It wasn’t the most groundbreaking book I’ve ever read, but yes, it was definitely an easy read with a fair amount of info comparative to its small size.
      R x

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