Key Marketing Principle: Fast / Good / Cheap – You can only have 2


In a small alley of Hortaleza, the Madrid suburb where I grew up, there used to be a well-known mechanic that had a pretty famous billboard that said: ‘Rapido / Barato / Bueno – Solo puede escoger dos” which basically means: ‘Fast / Cheap / Good – You can have 2, only’

In other words, the man tried to summarize that:

  • If Fast & Cheap: He could not guarantee a good result. If not him, some junior assistant would do the job or he would it quickly and may deliver a botched job
  • IF Fast & Good: Not cheap. He used to be a good mechanic compared to other mechanics of the area, and his time had value.
  • If Good & Cheap: Not fast. He did not guarantee any timeline as he managed to cut the budget by doing the job on his free time or by delegating it on his junior assistants that he tried to monitor as much as he could.

goodfastcheap1-1This is one of these sentences I like to use with clients or peers that ask me for last-minute requests and (of course) with limited budget. As you can imagine, this principle works if you want to repair cars, motorbikes and especially with Digital Marketing Plans or websites (usually cheap and fast websites end up in big disasters as most of you may already know) but surprisingly it also works with complex bidding systems like Google Ads.

Using ‘Google Search Network’ as an example, we got the same principle by replacing ‘demand’ with ‘quality’ : usually high demanded keywords come with high volume and respond to clear needs…. in other words… are high quality keywords.


Image result for bidding icon
Google Search Network uses a ‘Bidding Systems’ to distribute traffic

More to the point, Google Search Network give us three options with our ads selection:

  1. Fast & Good: Not cheap. if I want a big volume of high demand clicks in short term I will have to pay a lot for it.
  1. Cheap & Good: Not Fast. One of the good things of Google and YouTube Ads have is that you are allowed to set up low bids for clicks and views (Search Network and YouTube Ads respective). By doing that, Google and YouTube will deliver you residual volume with low competition and usually at a much lower price… however be ready to extend your campaign for months to achieve normal volumes….
  1. Fast & Cheap: Not good. If I really want a lot of cheap clicks in short term, probably I will have to go for non-popular keywords or related to low demand businesses. This is something that can change if we spend time in finding the long-tail keywords tailored to our business. The only problem is that agencies usually cannot do it (or just do not want to spend time) very well and clients are the ones that have to spend more time doing research.

Have you ever had a similar situation where this sentence describes your services? 😉