For years, I did what most marketers do.
I studied best practices. I searched for the next hack that would instantly transform my results. I built my marketing playbook.
Of course, the trends came and went. One moment, everything was about website design and email marketing. Then it was all about pay-per-click. Then content marketing, social media, and ABM.
Meanwhile, the pressure on marketers kept building. Everything was measured. The more we were judged based on short-term metrics and KPIs, the harder we tried to outsmart uncertainty and risk.
So we turned marketing problems into math problems. Replaced creative problem solving and experimentation with formulas.
Need more leads for the sales team? Then do A. Email campaign engagement dropping? Then do B.
But just because something worked in one situation doesn’t mean it will work every time. The world simply changes too quickly. There are too many variables, too many complex forces that can affect the outcome.
After years of studying creativity and problem solving, I realized that the issue wasn’t the tips and best practices themselves. We should all learn as much as we can from each other. But ideas are just starting points. Raw material that we can use to build our own solutions.
The problem was that we let opinions and biases limit our own thinking. They stopped us from asking better questions. They kept us chasing certainty instead of tapping into our own boundless creativity.
And in a world where the rules change every day, the cost of following instead of leading is just too high.