Just Say No to Marketing Advice

All Marketing Advice Should Include a Disclaimer

Your strategy is your direction; it should never be prescriptive. The strategy you develop should be unique to your business, an outgrowth of the challenge or opportunity you are facing and the environment surrounding your target audience.

The problem is, marketing advice is prescriptive. It may sound important and be delivered with authority, but it is still prescriptive. Here are examples of marketing advice I have recently come across (or even written):

  • According to SiriusDecisions, by 2015 71% of all marketing leads will be from inbound marketing. If you are not already, you need to develop an inbound marketing program.
  • More than two-thirds of IT buyers use social media during the purchase process. Make sure your business is ready to connect with today’s social buyer.
  • Today, your content positions your company and delivers your message, and requiring registration reduces the distribution of your content by 90% to 99%. Remove registration forms and increase the reach of your content by 10x to 100x.
  • Increase you search rankings by curating content that speaks to your offerings, and organize and share that content with your audience. By curating instead of creating content, you can save 100′s of hours every year.

All of this advice is prescriptive. It might be right for your company, but it might not be. Without a clear strategy (direction), you do not have a way to consistently evaluate marketing advice. This advice should be accompanied with a disclaimer!

My (now undermined) advice

  1. First develop a clear strategy that establishes your overall direction for marketing.
  2. Evaluate all prescriptive advice or recommendations against your marketing strategy. If you are not discarding at least half of the generic advice you read or receive, you need to be more selective. It is good advice for someone but that doesn’t make it good advice for you.
  3. Build your marketing plans on your strategy. This is where relevant advice can be incorporated into your plans.

In Summary

Strategy is your direction. Advice is merely a prescription. So own your own strategy! [Tweet]

Disclaimer: this site includes marketing advice of a generic nature that may or may not be appropriate for your specific situation. Before acting on any of the advice contained on this site or on other sites linked to from this site, discuss your specific situation, strategy and plans with an experienced marketing professional.

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About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs at Babcock & Jenkins. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my B2B Digital Marketing blog.

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  • http://smartsoftwaremarketing.co.uk/ Giles Farrow

    You’re right. The best strategy is to ignore advice on strategy given for free online.

    You have to have own your strategy. Not only does it have to be specific to your situation / business, but it’s the fundamental core of your business.

    Where the internet is fantastic is picking up advice on techniques, tips, and tactics. So when you know WHAT you’re trying to do, browse through the marketing advice and learn HOW.

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Well said, thanks for commenting!