Marketing Yourself: How to Sell Your Services Effectively

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by Al Ries and Jack Trout. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Looking for marketing exercises from The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing? How can you maximize your marketing efforts?

In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, advertising experts Al Ries and Jack Trout explain the universal laws that govern what works and what doesn’t in marketing. Based off their 22 laws of marketing, here are six exercises to help you evaluate your marketing.

Continue reading for marketing exercises based off of the 22 laws of marketing.

The 22 Laws of Marketing Exercises

Marketing seems like a simple task: Have a great product, tell people about it, and they’ll buy it. But it’s not that straightforward. In fact, the success of your business depends less on the quality of your product than on consumers’ perception of your product—and that’s where skillful marketing comes in. Advertising experts Al Ries and Jack Trout put together the 22 universal marketing laws that govern what works and what doesn’t in marketing. Ries and Trout spent more than 25 years studying the successes and failures of countless well-known and little-known brands, and they boiled their findings down to these 22 principles. 

Here are six exercises based off the 22 laws of marketing:

Exercise 1: How Can You Stand Out in Your Category?

Consider how you could leverage the laws of first entry, first in mind, and perception to improve your position in the market.

  • In your product category, which brand is the first in mind in your market?
  • How early or late did you enter your market? How are you positioning your brand as a result?
  • If you were to create a new category for your product or service, what could it be?
  • How do consumers’ perceptions of the market leader’s product compare with their perceptions of your product? 

Exercise 2: What’s Your Word?

Reflect on how effectively you’re using the laws of focus and chosen attributes in your marketing. 

  • What word have you chosen for marketing your product or service? If you don’t have a single word, what’s your main marketing message?
  • If you don’t have a single word, how could you boil your message down to a word? 
  • How does your word compare to your competitors’ words? (For example, does another brand have a similar word? Do your competitors’ words address the same aspect, such as the targeted audience or services offered?)
  • Reflect on the word you’ve chosen. How important do you think this attribute is to your customers, and why?

Exercise 3: Where Are You on Your Market Ladder?

Reflect on your position on your market ladder and how this is reflected in your marketing.  

  • Think about your market ladder. Which rung are you on?
  • How does your marketing message acknowledge your position on the ladder? 
  • If your marketing message doesn’t currently address your position, how could you change your message so that it does? 
  • How do or can you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

Exercise 4: Are You Exercising Adequate Discipline?

Evaluate whether you’re being disciplined about your offerings or if you’re trying to be everything to everyone.  

  • How many products or services do you sell under the same brand name?
  • If you sell more than one product under the same brand name, when did you launch the line extension and how has it affected your total sales? 
  • Are your sales matching your projections? Why or why not?
  • Who is your target audience for your marketing, and who is your customer base? If they are different, how do you account for the differences? 

Exercise 5: Is Your Marketing Strategy Honest, Bold, and Flexible?

Consider how effective your overall marketing strategy is and if you’re following the 22 marketing laws. 

  • What is a negative attribute that is commonly acknowledged about your product?
  • How have you or how could you turn that negative into a positive?
  • What’s the last bold marketing strike you’ve made against a competitor, and what was the outcome?
  • How could you alter your overall marketing plan to create a short-term plan that is angled in a long-term direction? 

Exercise 6: Are You Positioned for Lasting Success?

Use the previous laws to reflect on whether you’ve developed the mindset necessary for enduring success. 

  • If you haven’t launched your business yet, how much funding do you think you’ll need, and how did you come up with that number?
  • How have you or could you create a company culture that encourages people to take risks and learn from their mistakes?
  • If your product or service aligns with a trend, what are the signs that this is a lasting trend and not merely a short-lived fad? 
  • What is one policy you can implement now to safeguard your company against some of the dangers of success? 

The 22 Laws of Marketing: Book Exercises

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing summary:

  • Why the quality of your product matters less than customers' perceptions of it
  • Why trying to appeal to everyone will sink your sales
  • How Marlboro sold more cigarettes to women by marketing to cowboys

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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