Question everything you hear, see or read.
- Everyone has a bias.
- Everyone applies their own spin.
- Everyone has something to sell.
The only thing you can rely on is your own understanding and knowledge, developed through your own investigation and experience.
In marketing, and particularly in B2B marketing where we have fewer sources of reliable information, we are all looking for new opportunities for our business. However, if you don’t question what you see, read or hear, you will fall prey to new “research” or the bevy of experts peddling “solutions” that benefit them more than you.
If new research says B2B buyers rely on social media, dig into the survey. Just how was social media defined? Did it indicate how important social media is in the buying process? Did it even indicate that they use it in the buying process, or that they just have a Facebook account? Were respondents recruited through social media or is it a representative sample?
Be aware, there are lies, damned lies and statistics spun to the advantage of the company presenting them. Question it. There is almost always more to the story.
Question Networks and Publishers
Media companies say they can target and engage your audience: how are they doing it? Do they have experience targeting your audience for similar marketers with similar goals? Are they using tactics beyond the core program to deliver the promised leads, followers or visits?
As you peel back the layers, you may find the seller doesn’t even understand what they are selling that well. How can they possibly know it is the best thing for you? They don’t. Continue asking questions until you know if it is right.
Experts often present a perfect polished solution. It delivers exactly what you are looking for. It is already proven through their experience with other, often similar, companies. But is it right for you? Does it really work as advertised when you dig below the surface?
If someone positions themselves as the expert and implies you should trust them without questioning, just walk away.
You Must Question
Your personal and business success are not the singular priority of any outside expert, partner, vendor or client. Often it isn’t even the priority of individuals in your company who have an eye on the career ahead of them.
Why are we so quick to trust our business and personal success to companies or individuals simply because they present themselves with authority?
Share your thoughts in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).
Image Credit: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net