Recently I had the privilege of spending an evening with Basil Fawlty, Cybil and Manuel at the Edinburgh Festival. The event was the Fawlty Towers dining experience, where Basil and co. takes over a restaurant and wait on (or not) guests for the evening. It was a definite highlight of a weekend well spent at the Edinburgh fringe festival. If you visit the link at the bottom of this article, you can see a video of Basil and Manuel – I am the hippy Basil talks about, usually people refer to me as James May’s long lost twin.

The Fawlty Towers evening was flawless and speaking to our hosts (Rob Langston, Donna Gray and Terence Frisch) after the show, it transpired the show runs internationally with a team of Basils, Cybil’s and Manuel’s. Whilst Basil has been cloned and systemized, it occurred to me that whilst the show was well executed and perfectly delivered you cannot say the same for most online businesses. Did you know for example that 50% of online businesses fail? It always amazes me that many business owners and ecommerce managers make Basil Fawlty look like an absolute marketing genius compared to their own actions.

AdWords is now a very complex system and yet every day I come across companies advertising in the wrong countries, terms, setting etc – literally just throwing money down the drain. I bet even now you’re advertising in India and don’t know it? Yet when this pointed out, it’s were OK or our agency is handling the account. The usual response is we know what we’re doing – really? Well, clearly if you targeted location is the UK and yet still show in India you don’t know what you’re doing! If I enquire which agency they are using, often it’s the usual bunch of agencies naming every campaign with their initials. even more commonly the client doesn’t even realise that the account has been out sourced to India – suddenly the reasons for the poor text ads and search terms becomes obvious.

Then we hear ‘we want all our marketing managed by one person’. Are you serious? Are you living in 2008? AdWords is so complex that you have to be a specialist. You can’t be an SEO and AdWords person anymore, those days have gone – imagine seeing your GP and he says that you need an operation and then when you get to hospital you are met by the person performing your operation. What would you think if your GP came in and said he was doing the surgery too because he understands the principles of medicine? You’re not exactly going to be filled with confidence are you? You want a specialist to be the one performing your surgery. Over the years It’s happened in science, bio science and engineering but with internet for some reason anyone can be a sales expert, SEO, Social Media and AdWords expert all at the same time.

It’s as if advertisers (or you) would rather hide their heads in the sand than face and fix the problems. If you ring me today and highlight an issue that you can prove, I am interested. If you can fix it and make me money above your fee, I am really interested. Remember “everything is free if you can afford it, but it’s too expensive if you can’t”. Advice from Richard E Grant.

Maybe you’re just worn out and in your heart you know you’re out of your depth online. I’ve been there at times, but hiding or giving in isn’t the solution.

I’ve faced a real battle of my own this year. Last year was a financial battle which I won, but this year I faced a real battle that mattered. This time it was my weight and a liver problem. I’d just lived the good life for too long, had ballooned to over 16 stone (ideally I should be 11.5 stone), and drank too much. In March, fat and frankly obese I decide to lose weight. I did have a pop at my doctor for pussy footing around the fact I was fat bas*ard and he should have said as much as I’ve known him long enough. But maybe I knew the truth, but wasn’t ready to face the facts.

I dislike exercise and knew diets didn’t work, so I opted to change my life style by changing the food I ate. I’ve not gone mad, I still have curry and chips with egg fried rice on a Friday, but I’ve now lost 3 stone as of today and my liver is fine as well. My plan is to get to 12.5 stone by the 27th September. People around me have followed suit and I feel like a diet guru. My doctor, the office and my friends have been amazed at my focus, but I feel that I could have lost another stone if it hadn’t gone to a whole host of festivals for cars, real ale and comedy in August. I am toying with the idea of publishing my Super Slim Me diet. Oh, my doctor’s now seeking advice from me on AdWords as well! On reflection, I feel you can’t lose weight unless you mentally accept the need to change.

So the same can be said about AdWords. Perhaps, your AdWords account is in serious trouble – fat, overweight, under exercised and obese. The long term diagnosis is a fatal heart attack. How do I know? Well at the beginning of this blog, I told you 50% of businesses fail online. Most agencies just push paper around your account and don’t understand your business or how AdWords can work for YOU! In my experience they don’t even care. As I’ve said in a previous blog it’s rare to find good in house talent and they often know there value so don’t come cheap, so you’re unlikely to have a great AdWords account. I hope you’re mentally ready to accept you need specialist AdWords help. If so call us today.

Here’s the link to the Fawlty Tower Video.Click Here

P.S. That communication device on your desk is a phone; it’s only been around for a 100 odd years. Even Basil Fawlty knew how to use one. You can do two things with it. You could use it to call me to help you or you could at least answer it when it rings. You’d be amazed how many businesses don’t answer the phone and then seem a little low on sales – odd!
Basil and sybil

John Langley

John Langley


I am the founder of Click Convert, an Award Winning agency, here to deliver great marketing for Small and Medium Businesses. We’ve created over $1.1 billion in sales for clients. We’re one of the top digital marketing companies in America and the UK for small and medium businesses digital marketing. We’re a Google Premier Partner, a Google Top 50 agency and our work was recommended by Google’s CEO in 2020. Outside of family and Click Convert, Cars, Adventure and Pizza are my passion. Our vision is to Inform, Empower and Deliver to help both clients and readers.

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