The words “best practice” are used way too much in marketing. I have been around for quite some time as a marketing and digital professional, (27 years to be exact), and I’m not sure when the words first came about. However, I do think it’s about time to retire them. Let’s look at it this way. If these two words are so important to mention to your peers when you absolutely need to get your point across with gusto, how come you haven’t visited bestpractice.com? My guess is you probably never did visit this site and never will. Guess what? It’s not for marketing pros; it’s for physicians — Gotcha.
In the marketing world, “best practice” is two words used almost as if you dropped a name in conversation. People do this all the time. They cite references, reports, statistics, big and small companies, research white papers, eBooks, videos, blogs… ugh… stop the madness! In my opinion, people say, “best practice” just so they can have some alternative resources to make their idea feel more credible. I completely understand. I have done this myself and in some cases it may work. Here’s an example.
“When designing creative elements for the web, best practice says to use a flat design treatment.”
Who in the world is “best practice” anyway? I’ve never heard anyone in my life named best practice and have never seen a company named that either. So why does best practice get name-dropped all the time? It’s as if it was a mega-celebrity endorsing a product. Name-dropping for the sake of best practice is not accepted. Doing this can make you sound less intelligent and as is you were desperate for a buzzword to make you feel better about your idea.
Sometimes it’s important to have data to back up your decisions. It’s also important to use your intuition. Does that mean when you have come up with a brilliant idea that nobody has done before, you then go looking for “best practice” somewhere… anywhere to help you get your point across? I certainly hope not. Be confident in your ideas. Be purposeful in your own due-diligence and research. Be creative in how you develop these ideas so that you can then present them with moxie and fortitude.
Who’s To Blame?
In today’s business world, regardless of the discipline you work in, historical data has less value in conversation than it ounce did. Big data is to blame for that. However, that also means, as big data matures and is accessible in real time, all the time, “best practice” may not be considered best practice any longer. Hmm. What now?
Best practice may have been transformed by our virtually connected digital world from a term that once had historical meaning to a term that now has real time, immediate value and meaning. I think best practice may soon be a thing of the past. A term practiced by many, but not really practiced at all. Is it possible that best practice isn’t best anymore? Whoa.
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