Why Sales and Marketing Best Practices are Like a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
No, this is not a book review of Animal Farm. Although if you consider that the biggest danger of 'best practice blindness' is myopia then yes, consider this a book you should add to your business book reading list.
1. When you use them as a quick fix to try to make something happen.
Oh something will happen all right. But was it a good thing or a bad thing? Or what if nothing changes at all? What does that mean? And more importantly why? If Friday at 9am is the WORST time to publish a blog post, because someone else said so- what does that mean to your business? How does it apply to learning more about what your target customer's buying mindset is?
2. When it is an excuse for why things are not working.
Not getting leads from your traffic? Not getting customers from your leads? Still tracking your marketing ROI by number of inbound links and search engine ranking? But, this is what the 'industry best practice' is touting to do! Let's call a duck a duck, and a rabbit a rabbit. This is just LAZINESS.
3. When it is used to tout lack-luster results.
We beat the average industry click through rate! Hmm, but we didn't meet our sales goals. Which should you care more about?
4. When it is used to avoid having to chart your own path and best practices.
Continuous improvement is like earning interest on money in the bank. Test and find out what works for you. Continue to test and see what works for your customer. Develop your company's own set of best practices. Do you want to stand out, or be like everyone else?
5. When it makes you doubt the things that are working.
This is the most dangerous one, and what really made me jump onto my soap box on the mountain top. I saw a LinkedIn update that said;
"Did you know that Mondays at 9am is one of the worst possible times to send your email campaigns?"
Which was immediately followed up with;
"At ABC Company, we may be the exception to the rule ... we've found that Monday is a great day for responses to email campaigns. I better go back and check what time we're sending them."
To those whose love to say; "In God we trust, everyone else bring data..." please remember this;