I’ve always found Heresy fun.
By that I don’t mean the historical variety – the prospect of burning agonisingly at the stake is deathly serious. I’m talking about the Radio 4 talk show led by comedian David Baddiel.
The show’s premise is simple. Society holds a number of established ideas very deep to its heart and will cry “heretic” at anyone who challenges them. Many of us, it seems, don’t let limited access to facts get in the way of a strongly held opinion.
You’ll love the banter if you’ve ever secretly winced at maxims like:
- “People should be encouraged to believe they can achieve their dreams!”
- “The queen is marvellous but the other royals are a waste of space!”
- “The Beatles are the best pop band in the world ever!”
- “Obama has given the world hope!”
So, in the expanding environs of Velocity, the world’s best B2B marketing agency*, we started to think about challenging received wisdom in our own industry. Here are our highlights.
- 1. Quoting Marshall McLuhan makes you right. Wrong. His major work is almost half a century old and he’s been dead for nearly 30 years. In today’s converged world, content kicks the medium’s proverbial from TV to X-Box via the Web. And will do it again tomorrow.
- 2. You’re only as good as your last project. Only if there’s a death sentence for getting it wrong. A culture that “doesn’t tolerate failure” will be lucky to see one good idea a year.
- 3. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Yeah, right. In the same way there’s no such thing as a double positive.
- 4. Only a large agency can cope with complex corporates. Couldn’t agree more – but only if the corporate values process and admin above good ideas and creativity.
- 5. B2B marketing is very different to B2C marketing. Sadly often true. If you want a clear message and effective but simple copy then you’re much more likely to find it in B2C marketing. We continue our campaign against this.
- 6. In real terms Twitter use is low. Apparently the median number of tweets is one per user. Doesn’t sound great. But I wonder what the median number of articles published in the Wall Street Journal is for the same group of users. Passive. Active. Anyone?
- 7. I know half my marketing works but I don’t know which half. A piece of advice: employ somebody who can actually set up and manage your analytics. Then stop hosing your money, ridiculously, against the wall.
- 8. We need to be convinced about new marketing methods. This sounds, and probably is, sensible. But if your marketing’s been failing for years, do you really need a reason to try something else?
- 9. We’ll get round to that one next. We need to learn to multi-task and fast. Why do we need to continually do things one at a time? Read David Hughes’ terrific blog on why we should be doing what’s known as “the aggregation of marginal gains.”
- 10. The customer’s always right. She sure is if she’s returning a faulty watch. But please, please, please stop thinking a conversation with one customer is the equivalent of market research. It’s not. Really, it’s not. I mean it.
- 11. A good marketing list has 10 items. No it doesn’t.
Let us know if we’ve missed anything out. Or tell us that we’re a bunch of heretics.
* To suggest otherwise is, of course, heresy