Edition 13: Standardized Marketing

Are best practices actuallly - best?

This is Edition 13 of Overdraft. The infrequent newsletter I write occasionally.

Marketing is full of best practices & definitions. But are those best practices actually - best?

Today this Twitter thread caught my eye:

Peter Caputa IV@pc4media

As we survey marketers about how they determine their specific strategies, it is clear that there are not many standards everyone agrees upon. And little data to back up the strategies marketers use.

Nonetheless, marketers exhibit a lot of confidence in their strategies.

July 23, 2018

On Definitions

Marketers talk about best practices all the time. But are best practices really ‘best practices for all business of all sizes and markets?” Perhaps not.

But certain things should be defined & accepted. For instance, making sure you don’t have duplicate Google Analytics code in the site - otherwise you are sending ‘ghost’ events to GA & nullifying your bounce rate:

Carol Forden@CarolForden

Absolutely. Saw something yesterday where a client added their GA tracking code twice to their website....

"To reduce the bounce rate"

July 24, 2018
But here’s the rub - bounce rate is something defined by Google Analytics - a tool used by the entire universe of websites that exist on the internet. So are definitions only valuable when they are forced upon us by tools we use?

I think so, in most cases. If you look at the standard B2B Funnel - Lead/MQL/SQL/ there are no definitions or best practices for how to define these stages. For each business, it’s different. A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is usually defined by lead score thresholds, but its not always the case. The important thing for standards is that the team and the wider organization understands and agrees on these.

On Best Practices:

Have you been following the Search Engine Optimization world closely? There’s been a debate for ages if hosting a blog on a sub-domain is better then having it on the directory:

blog.kamilrextin.com vs kamilrextin.com/blog.

There’s passionate arguments on both sides. Google crawls both the same way but folks like Rand (Moz/Sparktoro) are in favor of having it in a folder like /blog. That’s the accepted best practice. I was having a chat with a friend of mine who works in a large telecom co. in Toronto, the team wanted a site page (for one time event registrations) on a folder structure because ‘its better for SEO’ but they did not have either a good strategy for the SEO and nor the need to ‘SEO’ the page.

But is it true? No one REALLY knows.

Certain tools/frameworks force you one way or another. If you use a tool like Hubspot, you’ll have to have the blog on a sub-domain because you need to point your DNS the Hubspot IP. You cannot do that with a folder structure. It’s a architecture limitation. On the other hand, if you built your site with WordPress you can easily create a blog within the WordPress directory on your hosting server.

Is one better then the other? For the average business - no. You need to understand if SEO is worth investing in and have a great strategy in place and not debate about domain vs directory structures.

The thing about best practices in marketing is that once it becomes widely known, everyone will use that tactic/strategy till it loses its novelty. Take plain text emails as an example, there’s folks who setup & sent plain text emails from their marketing automation systems because they perform better then ‘designed’ emails. But they don’t always. It depends on the context of the email. If everyone starts sending out plain text emails, all the time - do they still retain their 'personalized’ factor? Or email subject lines that get the most opens - and eventually every email has some variation of the same subject line.

It always comes down to understand who your customers are and what they care about. The rest falls into place.

I’ll leave with this:

Joseph Jerome@WebInbound

No surprise. Half are full of shit and when they're not making something up they're copying something based on the assumption that it worked for the other person.

July 24, 2018

Till next time,