The most-hated growth hack that you should (but probably won’t) implement in 2024

Let’s be honest, most marketing advice is bland. “Post twice a day” or “optimize your website for Google search” — these generic mantras do little to ignite the growth flame within us.

What if I told you there’s a hidden growth hack, the most hated one among my 100,000+ small and medium-sized business clients, that holds the key to explosive success?

Out-market everyone. Market your business far and above what others deem sane and normal. You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t that just throwing money at the wall?” Not at all. It’s about strategic intensity, not reckless spending. You can do it yourself or hire a professional, the method doesn’t matter. Just commit to marketing more than anyone else thinks is sane.

America’s Most Successful Companies Do It

If you want to be the best, I suggest learning from the best. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. He didn’t become a bodybuilding legend by lifting weights occasionally. He studied his rivals, mimicked their routines and pushed himself further than anyone thought possible. That’s the level of marketing dedication I’m talking about.

Take these big corporations and their marketing budgets — compared with their year over year growth — into consideration:

  • Tempur Sealy’s sales and marketing budget of 21% of revenue led to a 21% revenue growth
  • Salesforce’s sales and marketing budget of 46% of revenue led to a 26% revenue growth
  • HubSpot’s sales and marketing budget of 53% of revenue led to a 39% revenue growth

These bigger companies regularly publish their earnings and expenses, so it’s easy to see the correlation between aggressive marketing and exponential success.

There’s a trend here: the more you invest, the higher your bottom-line climbs. You might think you can’t afford it, and I’m not saying to empty your savings account — but I am saying it’s going to take more investment than you are probably comfortable with.

I’ve Done It — And I’m Living Proof It Works

My company, PostcardMania, started from nothing and reached $100 million in annual revenue through sheer marketing force. In the early days, I poured more into marketing than I paid myself.

I drove the same beat-up car until we hit eight-figure revenues because I knew marketing was the engine driving our growth. And it hasn’t stopped. Today, we spend $45,000 on online ads and mail 180,000 postcards each week, just to promote ourselves — all fueled by that unwavering commitment to market ourselves more than anyone considers sane.

This isn’t a call for blind spending. Track your results, relentlessly. Analyze what works, ditch what doesn’t and refine your approach like a seasoned sculptor shaping his masterpiece.

Keep At It Even If It Gets Tough

Here’s the counterintuitive truth: those who keep the marketing furnace roaring during chilly nights are the ones smiling come morning.

Take Coca-Cola, for instance. When the pandemic hit, in 2020, they clipped their marketing budget by 35%. Meanwhile, Pepsi doubled down on their marketing game. The result? A bubbling 4.78% (aka over $70 billion) revenue growth in 2020 for Pepsi.

The craziest, most strategic, thing I’ve ever done is when the 2020 shutdown hit, I did the opposite of shrinking — I held firm. Not a single person lost their job and the postcards kept flying out the door.

Sure, there was a dip. A 40% dip, to be precise. We went from averaging $1.2 million a week to $730,000 a week — a difference of over $515,000. My stomach did a backflip, but my marketing resolve didn’t budge. We kept pushing, kept telling our story and, guess what? By April 24, our weekly revenue was back to over $1 million and, for the rest of the year, we averaged $1.3 million, every week. By the time July rolled around, we set new records for highest revenue and then did it again in October.

Since the pandemic, we’ve added over 100 brand new jobs to our roster and we’ve averaged 20% growth, year over year, since — after averaging 5% growth in the decade prior.

Track your results like a hawk and look at your marketing as a constant work in progress.

Growth won’t come knocking if you whisper. Shout your brand from the rooftops, paint the town with your message and out-market your competitors. You might just surprise yourself — and everyone else — with the heights you reach.

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, keynote speaker and philanthropist. With only a phone, a computer and postcards (no funding of any kind!), Gendusa grew her company, PostcardMania, from a small startup into an industry leader that generated over $100 million in 2023 and currently employs 360 people in the Tampa Bay area.

You can request free postcard samples at or connect with Joy by emailing [email protected].

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