As a marketer, you likely know that marketers can be annoying. We repeat the same industry jargon over and over, follow trends like a skinny polar bear after a fat seal, and live and die by the numbers every day. We also always list things in threes, which won’t make this list because it’s awesome and it works. But we all develop some of the same irritating habits, so here are a few that we can set fire to in the new year.
Stop Saying “Leverage”
If you look back a few posts, will you find that I have typed the word? Yes. Can you imagine the pain I experienced while I was doing it? No. Let’s just say it puts the “rage” in “leverage.” All I could think while putting it on the page is “WHY DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT WHEN I KNOW IT’S SO WRONG??” The bottom line is, we have a better word for that—it’s “use.”
Saying “leverage” instead of “use” doesn’t make you seem smarter, it makes everyone who isn’t in tech want to belt you with an unopened can of La Croix. I am officially putting it in our banned words list (unless of course you are “leveraging debt,” or “using a crowbar for leverage.”) Be bold. Use “use.”
Being Afraid to Guess
Every decision you make needs to be data-driven, right? And if you guess about something then you are bad marketer who should quit their job and permanently be banished to a life of selling residential real estate in a very boring part of town, right? It’s on this list, so, obviously the answer is no. Yeah, there are tons of decisions that we make based on data, and that’s a very good thing. We can see the results of nearly everything we do in some kind of analytics. But that does not mean that our instincts have been rendered irrelevant.
You likely became a marketer in part because your instincts are great and you know to what degree to trust and follow them. You have an eye for word choice, color, and design. When you say “I think people will click on that” you’re often right. Following your gut works. We don’t always have time for digging through data to make every single marketing decision. When our guts fail us, that creates its own data set of stuff that doesn’t work.
Yes, use data! But don’t stop trusting your instincts.
Trying to Go Viral
Trying to “go viral” every time you make something is so 2013. Today it’s for people who make YouTube videos for a living and need every $.00033 those views get. This is particularly silly for ABM marketers, those who sell niche consumer products, or otherwise have an audience under 6 digits and a market cap less than $1 billion. Let’s face it, 100 million people don’t need to see your crafty video about your latest marketing automation feature.
Instead, create content that you like creating, because that probably means that other people will like it too. Write useful content that will help your prospects and customers. Look at what has worked in the past and keep doing it. Write to your audience. And above all stop:
It’s the curse of enterprise B2B marketers to such a degree that you’d think B2B meant “boring, too boring.” I actually said something like this during a keynote Q&A at Invoca Summit this year, and our CEO will not stop giving me crap about it. Part because it’s not true at Invoca (I hope) and part because it’s fun to watch me squirm. Being “enterprise” does not mean turning off the fun and only talking about things that correlate directly to ROI by using your industry jargon dictionary.
Are your enterprise personas different than your SMB audience? Yes. Are they robots? No. Enterprise B2B content is like any other, in that it has to be entertaining enough that it doesn’t lull the audience to sleep before they can get to the point. The message may be different, but in the end you have to talk to all people like they’re people, no matter their title or company size.
Stop Using “As a BLANK…”
UGH, I can’t believe I did that in the first paragraph! This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Moreover, stop taking yourself so bloody seriously. Marketing is supposed to be at least kind of fun and should tap deeply into the ol’ left brain. You’re going to make mistakes, create campaigns that totally bomb (despite your great instincts and bottomless well of data) and get stuck doing tedious work sometimes.
Learning from all of the things that don’t work is what makes you great at what you do, and having a good time is what makes marketing worth doing. That, and filling the everloving hell out of the pipeline with sweet, sweet MQLs, SQLs and cold, hard cash.
Here’s to a happy and successful 2019, fellow marketers!