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Why ‘best practice’
is killing marketing
A wake-up call for marketers who
know they could do better.
?
Is it just us?
Or is most
marketing
kind of...
!
well...
CRAP?
“Me too” campaigns.
Lazy stereotypes.
Content nobody reads.
Web pages full
of DEAR GOD JUST
KILL ME NOW.
Emails nobody wants.
1996
Messages that
were relevant last
year (maybe).
1996
Web pages full
of DEAR GOD JUST
KILL ME NOW.
Just about everyone thinks marketing is getting
WHY?
Two words:
1
BEST
Two words:
1
2
PRACTICEBEST
Two words:
Yes, it sounds crazy,
but bear with us.
Let’s talk about
a good marketer, right?
...keep up to date with research.
...keep up to date with research.
...take an interest in new ideas and technology.
...keep up to date with research.
...take an interest in new ideas and technology.
...listen to industry viewpoints.
(You ...
And that’s great.
But still.
If you’re anything like
us, there’s always this
nagging thought...
YOU COULD DO BETTER.(Couldn’t you?)
Think about
your best work...
A piece of marketing that makes you
Did you discover
a new market?
Learn something new
about your customers?
Find a great
angle?
Communicate
in a new way?
React
fast?
You did something, right?
You understood
your customers.
You changed
the game.
You gave your
brand an edge.
That’s
marketing. As it should be. (And we applaud you.)
So forgive
us for asking
Why isn’t all your
work like that?
Don’t worry.
It’s not just you.
It’s everyone.
Nobody starts
a career in marketing
dreaming of...
9
5
Business as usual.
9
5
Picking your battles.
9
5
Feeding processes.
9
5
Appeasing
stakeholders.
9
5
$1 $1
Justifying budgets.
9
5
$1 $1
Avoiding risks.
But everyone’s under
the same pressure
M
And that’s why most
marketing sucks.
Used any of these excuses?
“That’s just how it’s done
in our industry.”
“I don’t want to rock the boat.
People might look at me like
I’m crazy.”
“That’s just how it’s done
in our industry.”
Tran...
“That home page
image was chosen in
a top-level meeting.”
“That home page
image was chosen in
a top-level meeting.”
“We think stakeholders
are more important than
our customers.”
T...
“This is all there’s time
and budget to do.”
“I don’t know which parts
of my existing budget
are wasted.”
Translation:
“This is all there’s time
and budget to do.”
“Everyone’s doing it.”
“It’s trendy, and if we
don’t join in, we might
look stupid.”
Translation:
“Everyone’s doing it.”
“I saw this presentation
at a conference, and it
looked great.”
“This worked OK, for someone
else’s customers, a year ago.
I’m sort of hoping it still works.
Translation:
“I saw this pre...
Really, what you mean is...
“I’m under pressure. I only have so
many resources. I’m the one who’ll
get fired if it doesn’t...
And that’s...
Conventional wisdom
Industry trends
and (dare we say it)
1
BEST
And that’s...
Conventional wisdom
Industry trends
and (dare we say it)
1
2
PRACTICEBEST
And that’s...
Conventional wisdom
Industry trends
and (dare we say it)
And, you know what?
WE DON’T BLAME YOU.
In your position,
taking a big,
blind leap of faith
would be really,
really stupid.
!
Except your
comfort zone’s
none too
comfortable
!?
Conventional
wisdom’s not all
that wise
Help!
and your
low-risk policy’s
pretty risky.
Because you know
you can do better.
(And, sooner or later, one of your competitors will.)
But what if you
just changed
something small?
...and, if that
worked, change
something else?
...and monitored
the effect of that?
What if you could
test whether all your
current assumptions
are actually true?
What if it was
What if it was
QUICK,
QUICK,
What if it was
EASY
$1 $1
EASYQUICK,
What if it was
 CHEAP
$1 $1
The “I don’t need
to ask for budget
approval” kind.
(And if it didn’t work, you could put
everything back the way it...
Wouldn’t that sort of
set marketing free?
What would you
do with that sort
of freedom?
Would you...
Test out possible
responses to new
opportunities in
real time?
Answer your
customers’ real-
world problems?
Find out which
potential offer brings
more sales?
Check your
personalization, to
see how customers
actually respond?
Prove to the board
it’s time to change
your approach?
Make decisions
based on data,
not anecdotes?
Would you...
...well...
Do more marketing that makes you
Look at your website.
We bet you can think
of ten ideas right
now that just might
increase sales by 2%.
If even half of them
work that’s probably
the easiest 10% growth
you’ve ever earned.
Truth is, lots of small
improvements add up
(and they make it easier to see where the next big
improvement is coming from).
You just need to find
out which ideas work,
and which don’t.
At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make
focusing on what works best as
QUICK,
At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make
focusing on what works best as
QUICK, EASY
At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make
focusing on what works best as
$1 $1
EASYQUICK, 
as possible.
At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make
focusing on what works best as
CHEAP
But the rest is up to
It’s your call: you
can wait for the
next inspirational
case study...
Or you can write it.
Make a difference.
Read more
Share this rant
Ready to put some agility into
your marketing? Check out our
The art of the problem eBook to
find out what...
Why Best Practice is Killing Marketing | Agile Marketing Rant
Why Best Practice is Killing Marketing | Agile Marketing Rant
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Why Best Practice is Killing Marketing | Agile Marketing Rant

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Marketers have become slaves to best practice. But when your job is to make your brand stand out, isn’t it counter-intuitive to move with the pack?

Read our rant, Best Practice is Killing Marketing, and see why it’s time to:
- Start experimenting with new ideas
- Learn what customers need right now (not six months ago)
- Test things you’ve always been scared to try
- Create an agile marketing culture

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Why Best Practice is Killing Marketing | Agile Marketing Rant

  1. 1. Why ‘best practice’ is killing marketing A wake-up call for marketers who know they could do better.
  2. 2. ? Is it just us?
  3. 3. Or is most marketing kind of...
  4. 4. ! well...
  5. 5. CRAP?
  6. 6. “Me too” campaigns.
  7. 7. Lazy stereotypes.
  8. 8. Content nobody reads.
  9. 9. Web pages full of DEAR GOD JUST KILL ME NOW. Emails nobody wants.
  10. 10. 1996 Messages that were relevant last year (maybe).
  11. 11. 1996 Web pages full of DEAR GOD JUST KILL ME NOW.
  12. 12. Just about everyone thinks marketing is getting
  13. 13. WHY?
  14. 14. Two words:
  15. 15. 1 BEST Two words:
  16. 16. 1 2 PRACTICEBEST Two words:
  17. 17. Yes, it sounds crazy,
  18. 18. but bear with us.
  19. 19. Let’s talk about
  20. 20. a good marketer, right?
  21. 21. ...keep up to date with research.
  22. 22. ...keep up to date with research. ...take an interest in new ideas and technology.
  23. 23. ...keep up to date with research. ...take an interest in new ideas and technology. ...listen to industry viewpoints. (You must do. You’re reading this.)
  24. 24. And that’s great.
  25. 25. But still.
  26. 26. If you’re anything like us, there’s always this nagging thought...
  27. 27. YOU COULD DO BETTER.(Couldn’t you?)
  28. 28. Think about your best work...
  29. 29. A piece of marketing that makes you
  30. 30. Did you discover a new market?
  31. 31. Learn something new about your customers?
  32. 32. Find a great angle?
  33. 33. Communicate in a new way?
  34. 34. React fast?
  35. 35. You did something, right?
  36. 36. You understood your customers.
  37. 37. You changed the game.
  38. 38. You gave your brand an edge.
  39. 39. That’s marketing. As it should be. (And we applaud you.)
  40. 40. So forgive us for asking
  41. 41. Why isn’t all your work like that?
  42. 42. Don’t worry. It’s not just you. It’s everyone.
  43. 43. Nobody starts a career in marketing dreaming of...
  44. 44. 9 5 Business as usual.
  45. 45. 9 5 Picking your battles.
  46. 46. 9 5 Feeding processes.
  47. 47. 9 5 Appeasing stakeholders.
  48. 48. 9 5 $1 $1 Justifying budgets.
  49. 49. 9 5 $1 $1 Avoiding risks.
  50. 50. But everyone’s under the same pressure
  51. 51. M And that’s why most marketing sucks.
  52. 52. Used any of these excuses?
  53. 53. “That’s just how it’s done in our industry.”
  54. 54. “I don’t want to rock the boat. People might look at me like I’m crazy.” “That’s just how it’s done in our industry.” Translation:
  55. 55. “That home page image was chosen in a top-level meeting.”
  56. 56. “That home page image was chosen in a top-level meeting.” “We think stakeholders are more important than our customers.” Translation:
  57. 57. “This is all there’s time and budget to do.”
  58. 58. “I don’t know which parts of my existing budget are wasted.” Translation: “This is all there’s time and budget to do.”
  59. 59. “Everyone’s doing it.”
  60. 60. “It’s trendy, and if we don’t join in, we might look stupid.” Translation: “Everyone’s doing it.”
  61. 61. “I saw this presentation at a conference, and it looked great.”
  62. 62. “This worked OK, for someone else’s customers, a year ago. I’m sort of hoping it still works. Translation: “I saw this presentation at a conference, and it looked great.”
  63. 63. Really, what you mean is... “I’m under pressure. I only have so many resources. I’m the one who’ll get fired if it doesn’t work... So I’m sticking with what feels safe.”
  64. 64. And that’s... Conventional wisdom Industry trends and (dare we say it)
  65. 65. 1 BEST And that’s... Conventional wisdom Industry trends and (dare we say it)
  66. 66. 1 2 PRACTICEBEST And that’s... Conventional wisdom Industry trends and (dare we say it)
  67. 67. And, you know what?
  68. 68. WE DON’T BLAME YOU.
  69. 69. In your position, taking a big, blind leap of faith would be really, really stupid.
  70. 70. ! Except your comfort zone’s none too comfortable
  71. 71. !? Conventional wisdom’s not all that wise
  72. 72. Help! and your low-risk policy’s pretty risky.
  73. 73. Because you know you can do better. (And, sooner or later, one of your competitors will.)
  74. 74. But what if you just changed something small?
  75. 75. ...and, if that worked, change something else?
  76. 76. ...and monitored the effect of that?
  77. 77. What if you could test whether all your current assumptions are actually true?
  78. 78. What if it was
  79. 79. What if it was QUICK,
  80. 80. QUICK, What if it was EASY
  81. 81. $1 $1 EASYQUICK, What if it was CHEAP
  82. 82. $1 $1 The “I don’t need to ask for budget approval” kind. (And if it didn’t work, you could put everything back the way it was.)
  83. 83. Wouldn’t that sort of set marketing free?
  84. 84. What would you do with that sort of freedom?
  85. 85. Would you...
  86. 86. Test out possible responses to new opportunities in real time?
  87. 87. Answer your customers’ real- world problems?
  88. 88. Find out which potential offer brings more sales?
  89. 89. Check your personalization, to see how customers actually respond?
  90. 90. Prove to the board it’s time to change your approach?
  91. 91. Make decisions based on data, not anecdotes?
  92. 92. Would you...
  93. 93. ...well...
  94. 94. Do more marketing that makes you
  95. 95. Look at your website.
  96. 96. We bet you can think of ten ideas right now that just might increase sales by 2%.
  97. 97. If even half of them work that’s probably the easiest 10% growth you’ve ever earned.
  98. 98. Truth is, lots of small improvements add up (and they make it easier to see where the next big improvement is coming from).
  99. 99. You just need to find out which ideas work, and which don’t.
  100. 100. At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make focusing on what works best as
  101. 101. QUICK, At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make focusing on what works best as
  102. 102. QUICK, EASY At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make focusing on what works best as
  103. 103. $1 $1 EASYQUICK, as possible. At EPiServer, we’re aiming to make focusing on what works best as CHEAP
  104. 104. But the rest is up to
  105. 105. It’s your call: you can wait for the next inspirational case study...
  106. 106. Or you can write it.
  107. 107. Make a difference.
  108. 108. Read more
  109. 109. Share this rant Ready to put some agility into your marketing? Check out our The art of the problem eBook to find out what it’s all about and how you can do it. The art of the problem Five principles for finding and fixing marketing problems in real-time Download
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Marketers have become slaves to best practice. But when your job is to make your brand stand out, isn’t it counter-intuitive to move with the pack? Read our rant, Best Practice is Killing Marketing, and see why it’s time to: - Start experimenting with new ideas - Learn what customers need right now (not six months ago) - Test things you’ve always been scared to try - Create an agile marketing culture

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