As a marketer, there is always a new channel to pursue, advertising trend to follow or content best practice to implement. And you need to stay up to date with it all — or risk missing out on valuable opportunities to promote your message. But how do you know what advice is worth listening to amidst all the chatter?

If you struggle to answer this question, you are not alone. According to recent research from Accenture, 90% of CEOs and CMOs foresee the role of marketers changing significantly over the next few years. And 75% of CMOs believe that what worked in the past will not be as effective as what new disruptors do to reach customers.

To be successful, you need to stay current with the marketing landscape and prepare for the future. But many teams are bogged down by marketing tactics that are misaligned, outdated, or simply not applicable to their industry. I understand how this happens. Change is constant — what was true last month may not work today. But marketing myths get repeated so often that many end up sounding perfectly reasonable on the surface.

Don't Fall For These Marketing Misconceptions

'More leads are always a good thing'

Reality: Quality always matters more than quantity. You need to make sure you are attracting qualified leads rather than random ones who are not actually interested in what your company offers. Put your attention towards attracting relevant buyers.

'If my competitors are having success in a certain channel, then I will too'

Reality: Every business is different. If you copy exactly what your competition is doing, it is harder to stand out and attract unique customers. Stop following trends and start focusing your efforts on channels that make sense for you — not for some other company.

Related Article: Where Testing Fits in Your Omnichannel Experiences

'Social media presence helps with awareness'

Reality: Social media can be a useful tool for driving brand awareness and attracting leads. Research indicates there are nearly 3.5 billion social media users in 2019, up 9% from 2018. But all these eyeballs are only helpful if your target audience is actually active on a particular social channel. For example, an ad on Instagram might make sense if you are a fashion or lifestyle company. But would a sophisticated user look to Instagram when considering enterprise-wide business software? Probably not.

Learning Opportunities

'No one opens emails from companies anymore'

Reality: Email marketing can still be effective. In fact, a recent survey from the UK's Data & Marketing Association showed email marketing offers a positive return on investment. The key for this success, of course, is for your messages to provide real value to the people who request to hear from you — no spamming. Segment your subscriber lists and share relevant content that genuinely informs or helps them.

'No one will read long-form content'

Reality: This may or may not be true. It depends on what you are writing about and how valuable it is. So before you switch to video or podcasts, think about your audience. What are their preferences? What will deliver the most value to them? Once you understand your audience on a deeper level, you will know what type of content they prefer and how they like to consume it.

Related Article: Popping 5 Popular Myths About Agile Marketing

Move Past the Marketing Myths

The more aware you are of myths like these, the easier it will be to identify practices or thought patterns that are ultimately unhelpful to achieving your marketing plan. You need to strike a balance between keeping up with the latest trends and sticking to the time-tested (and data-proven) methods that you know work for your company. This is how you break through the random advice and chatter to achieve great results.

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