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.
Latinos hate purple.
Content needs to be sincere.
Avoid pastel colors.
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.