Sunday, January 17, 2016

All Marketing Rules are Stupid

We love simple rules.

They make our worklives easier, by absolving us of judgement.

Simple rules, in fact, form the bedrock of business strategy.

But I've heard in my time lots of rules purporting to assure marketing success that are simply stupid. 

For example:

Latinos hate purple.

Content needs to be sincere.

Infographics are out.

Avoid pastel colors.

Product names must be literal.

Innovate or die.

Your average skeptic would insist, for simple rules like these to be effective, they'd have to be verifiable. These examples aren't.

A hardline skeptic would go farther, insisting there are no effective rules.

No course of action can be determined by a rule, because any course of action can be understood to obey that rule.

I might, for example, avoid pastels in my web pages. Great, I've obeyed that rule! 

Then another, colorblind marketer comes along and publishes web pages full of pastels.

He's also obeyed the rule.

Stupid marketing rules abound.

It's smart to be skeptical of them, especially when facts aren't handy to back them up.

HAT TIP: Greg Satell inspired much of this post. 
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