Be Brave & Ask Questions
November 13, 2014
A few months ago, I went out for drinks with a colleague who asked about measuring the performance of marketing efforts. He’s a numbers guy, he explained. It just so happens I’m also a fan of numbers. If I can’t speak to lead generation or conversions, or some other quantitative measurement, I’ve failed. This mindset makes me a bit a skeptical whenever I read about the latest marketing trends, especially when they fly in the face of sound reason and evidence.
Over the past two days, I attended a marketing conference focused on inbound. The event’s producers like to position it as a “community” of marketing visionaries “who love to get together and share ideas.” This may have been true once upon a time, but I left the event wondering where the new ideas were. A good chunk of the presenters rehashed what we’ve heard for years now: Content is king! Nurture your relationships! Listen to your customers! Get on board with mobile!
Unfortunately, attendees weren’t offered a choice between B2B or B2C tracks, and the content wasn’t targeted to the varying levels of attendee experience. As lunch drew near on day two, one attendee bravely asked: how is any of this relevant to my work and pain points as a B2B marketer? The question was deemed too big to discuss in that forum, but it struck me: that is exactly the kind of thing we should be discussing.
In chatting with the brave marketer, we discovered we shared many of the same concerns. We also discovered we were both given advice about our efforts without any evidence to support the recommendations. If one thing holds true – whether you’re in marketing or web development – you need to back up your assertions and counsel. If you can’t, you’re merely spouting opinion.
My takeaways from the conference have less to do with the actual content than reaffirming what a mentor told me years ago: trust your data, revise accordingly, and be brave enough to question anything that doesn’t take your challenges and goals into account.
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