Ideas That Stick

John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing proves revolutionary in the world of small business marketing.

Story by Kalsey McCall

What is simple, effective, affordable and can fix almost anything? John Jantsch, the entrepreneur and marketing mastermind behind Duct Tape Marketing, knows the answer to this riddle and many more.

When Jantsch started his marketing consulting firm 28 years ago, he never dreamed that his passion for assisting small businesses would morph into a tried-and-true marketing philosophy that permeates markets throughout the country and the world.

But it wasn’t until Jantsch had a self-proclaimed “post-9/11” epiphany that his purpose in the business world became more laser-focused on the realm of small business marketing.

It was only then that he took a step back and began to work exclusively, presenting marketing as a system to small business owners who had become increasingly frustrated with ineffective marketing techniques and strategies that were presumably one-size-fits-all.

So Jantsch took matters into his own hands and began blogging before blogging was cool, promoting his unique brand of marketing concepts online and garnering attention from small businesses, marketing consultants and entrepreneurs from around the globe.

To date, Jantsch has published four books including his flagship book, “Duct Tape Marketing, The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide,” which he published in 2007—just five years after developing the Duct Tape Marketing System, which trains and licenses small business consultants.

The umbrella of Duct Tape Marketing covers a network of certified independent marketing consultants with whom Jantsch shares his philosophy and tools.

According to Jantsch, the recipe for success for these independent marketing consultants comes from the network of strategy developers that are at their disposal. For instance, Jantsch says, an independent consultant can sell their client marketing packages that include content that is completely customized to the client, but done by Duct Tape Marketing’s network of service providers. Therefore, instead of spending time producing marketing materials such as blog posts, social media blasts and Web sites, those elements are contracted out through Duct Tape marketing’s network.

“The consultants can deliver a tremendous amount of value very quickly and spend more time managing the relationship with the business owner and growing their client base,” Jantsch says. “It’s a win on everyone’s end.”

Today, Duct Tape Marketing is represented through independent consultants in 14 countries throughout the world, though it still operates from a small headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.

In addition, Jantsch frequently consults with small and mid-sized businesses, helping them create marketing plans and systems that are conducive to long-term growth.

“Typically this means focusing on two or three marketing channels that work really well for a particular business,” Jantsch says.

Jantsch believes first and foremost that the key to any success in business marketing comes from thinking about marketing as a system that flows from a well-thought-out strategy.

“From strategy, we can develop specific tactics,” Jantsch says. “We don’t pass go until we can define an ideal client for the business and identify how to set that business apart from its competition.”

That is precisely what Duct Tape Marketing has done consistently for more than a decade, making John Jantsch a sought after speaker, author and all-around small business marketing expert.

But underneath it all, he is just a Kansas City boy living his dream. Jantsch, who grew up in Kansas City, graduated from the University of Kansas and resides in the Waldo area, says his passion for small business marketing permeates every area of his life—and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“A lot of what I do for fun—reading, writing, travel— revolves around work, but that’s just a sign that I love what I do,” he says.