If you come across a supplier using the term ‘best practice digital marketing’ I suggest it is time to stop listening and politely show them the door. There is no such thing as ‘best practice’.

Using the Best Practice phrase is condescending (at best). It is used to position the supplier as an expert and you as some sort of Luddite.

The issue is who defines what best practice digital marketing is (and what it is not)? A marketing process that works for one business will not necessarily work for the next. To illustrate my point let’s take a few examples.

Let’s start with Google Adwords. Now, it would be reasonable to argue what Google suggests is best practice. It is their platform after all.

That may be true, as Google provide many useful suggestions and resources. However, in 2018 Google total advertising revenue was $116 Billion. Adwords is a major chunk of that revenue. Can a supplier with that much of a vested interest be trusted to supply impartial advice? You decide.

So if not Google, who else can be relied on to deliver that mythical best practice digital marketing advice. There are many resources online. Some of them are excellent, others are awful, but that is my opinion. Who am I, or anyone else, to suggest what is best practice and what is not.

Let’s look at another example – Search Engine Optimisation. Now we are into the Wild West. Again, the search engine businesses do provide useful information. The problem is they are acutely aware that if they give away too much there are those who will try to game the system.

Many will give their view of ‘best practice’ SEO, but it is only their view. There is no professional body to refer to and no industry standards.

Of course, some digital marketing information is more credible than others. There is a book that covers many elements of SEO. At least two of the authors are well-respected figures with many years of experience. The book runs to roughly 900 pages, but I am not aware of any best practice claim. It is only an opinion based on experience and experimentation.

The latest edition of the book is 2015 and that is another issue. What works in SEO (and what does not) can change dramatically over a 12 month period. If there was such a thing as best practice digital marketing, it would need to change often.

There are many more examples across the whole spectrum of online marketing. I suggest you avoid any potential supplier using words like ‘guaranteed,’ ‘will,’ and ‘definitely’. Instead, talk to those who will take the time to understand your unique position and give an opinion on what you should do based on their long term ( relevant) experience. Don’t fall for the many marketing myths promoted by those looking for a quick sale.


To learn more about the range of marketing tactics available read our marketing tactics guide

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