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20 Things

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People make casual assumptions about marketing.

Here are 20 “marketing truths” I disagree with:blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

 

mmm1. Brands need to tell customers they’re better than competing brands.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Brands need to tell customers they’re different. Everyone claims to be better, and it’s just noise. More

 

 

 

mmm2. Visuals are just something you tack onto posts; they only have to be “good enough.”

Businessman with briefcase giving big yawn as he walks by stock photos images hanging on wallI disagree. People scroll past stock photos because they recognize them as generic filler. More

 

 

 

mmm3. Visuals are just eye candy; they don’t deliver any serious ROI.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Custom visuals grab attention, create an emotional connection, and generate more social shares. More

 

 

 

mmm4. You don’t want to upset anyone, so the best marketing strategy is to play it “safe.”

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. “Safe” marketing is risky because you blend in, and, consequently, get ignored. More

 

 

 

mmm5. Brands need to focus on being logical and acting “professional.”

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. You don’t win people over with logic and jargon. You do it by acting human and speaking their language. More

 

 

 

mmm6. Brands should steer clear of humor. It makes you look unserious and unprofessional.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Humor humanizes a brand. It also causes your audience to lower the shields we all have up against 24/7 messaging. More

 

 

 

mmm7. There are times when humor simply isn’t appropriate.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Humor is much broader than being silly. It’s being upbeat, having a light touch. It has to be appropriate for your audience. More

 

 

 

mmm8. The keys to successful marketing are analytics and efficiency.

businessman at desk in-basket full of charts graphs data analytics he's putting Z's boring output in out-basketI disagree. It’s smart to know what’s working, but data dependency can lead to playing it safe. You need to take risks to get noticed. More

 

 

mmm9. Brands need to focus on crafting their message, and how best to deliver it.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Brands need to focus on getting noticed. That means being different, being distinctive. Or being lost in the noise. More

 

 

 

mmm10. Four-letter words shock and get attention, so it makes sense for brands to use them.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Brands need to take risks, but why alienate potential customers? Worth noting: you can be mildly risqué without being vulgar. More

 

 

 

mmm11. Brands don’t need to stand for something. Having a good product or service is enough.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Sometimes it’s not enough. A brand’s “truth” will attract like-minded customers. Your brand becomes a lifestyle choice. More

 

 

 

mmm12. The more detail the better; it’s good to show off your comprehensive knowledge.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Less is more. Case in point: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. White space is crucial to design. Keep it simple. More

 

 

 

mmm13. Every business, needs an “influencer” to boost their brand.

Greek guy on pedestal influencer speaking data graph satisfied customers below giving recommendations testimonials to brand businessI disagree. It’s nice to get a shout-out from an expert, but happy customers and employees make the best brand ambassadors. More

 

 

 

mmm14. A brand can manufacture (fake) a personality and successfully market same.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. You have to embrace your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you unique— that’s the key to getting people to remember you. More

 

 

 

mmm15. Videos are always superior to still images for conveying a brand message.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Slideshows are a good option. They don’t require actors or film, and you can recycle all the images into posts. More

 

 

 

mmm16. People take a keen interest in brands, and they’re always ready to jump ship and change brands.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Most people don’t care about brands. They rationalize brand choices after the fact, which makes it stressful to change brands. More

 

 

 

mmm17. People will think long and hard about your marketing message.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. has limited value. “Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats; they can do it but they’d prefer not to.” More

 

 

 

mmm18. There are only so many ways to tell a story.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. There’s always a new way. Times change, brand stories need to be updated. A collaborator can see things with fresh eyes. More

 

 

 

mmm19. You can assume that most people will have a rough idea of what you do and how you work.

Laughing guy thinks dog just pisses on fire hydrants business card shows dog runs home security company Savage K-9, LTDI disagree. They may have no idea. They might have had a bad experience with another brand. You can’t be too clear about what you do. More

 

 

 

mmm20. Big brands have all the advantages.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Small brands are often works-in-progress, and can take more risks– which gives them better chance of getting noticed. More

 

 

 

mmm21. The best approach today is individualized marketing: targeting narrow segments on specific channels.

Woman offering a Speedo bathing suit to her terrified catI disagree. Many people buy products to project a certain image– that’s only possible if lots of other people have seen the same ad. More

 

 

 

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