Check out what Robert Rose, founder and chief troublemaker at Big Blue Moose (who helps marketers become storytellers), has to say in Chief Content Officer…I am so blown away because it’s making me think, think, think, and the below is merely a reaction to pages one and two of the article!
His headline had me at the top — “Why a hyper focus on measurement and incremental gains makes marketers average.” Really? That’s awesome.
What Rose says is that everyone is striving for best practices and that’s about it.
Can I repeat that? Here’s what Rose said in Chief Content Officer, and it’s all appropriately attributed:
“Content marketers in particular seem to be in the grips of ROI monomania. …What we’re really looking for are best practices; they’re safe. Whenever we’re trying something new like content marketing, we become so focused on following best practices that we forget our real job is to be innovative.”
I love this insightful approach to best practice. When I worked in a hospital, each service line was oriented to best practice. Put the solution into action, perfect it, and then travel the country lauding its inner workings so others can emulate it.
Think about how that works — you get the recipe for a best practice, execute on it while following the formula, and call it a day. Infrequently, do people exceed or push the limits of the best practice because really all that’s required is to meet expectation.
In this day and age, when status quo has eroded, it’s imperative we always push the boundaries and exceed comfort levels to earn a level of excellence not previously attained. That’s the essence of what Rose is saying, “…we are saying that we’re satisfied with being average.”
Do you agree?
Rose offers a list of six tips that help you turn the status quo on its head, and I’m not going to recap them because they’re really good and I have to come up with my own. Basically, here is what I recommend to heed Rose’s counsel and buck the average:
>Stand on your head. What’s north is south, and what’s south is north. Change up the bird’s eye view and put on the rose-colored glasses.
>Delete all your followers; how’s that working for you @ChrisBrogan? When you make an extreme change with gusto, you’re bucking best practice and changing it up.
>Stop commenting on the same blogs day in and day out; in fact, stop commenting. What will happen? Will you have an epiphany that you really do like the social webs and can’t wait to get back? Or, will no one miss you at all, and you’ll burrow deep into depression and hibernate for winter? You’ll certainly learn about personal behavior if you do this exercise.
>Find a new hang out. There are groups and cliques and alliances and networks; doesn’t matter how they’re labeled. If yours is inactive and you’re bored to death, then switch on outta there and find some new energy! Align with those who boost you up and not with those who bring you down!
>Get zany creative during a campaign. I read somewhere a young ad agency account rep actually brought kitty litter and her cat to the pitch (they were pitching kitty litter). When her cat used the product, the client was turned off but the agency VP thought it quite clever.
>Go out on a limb and then break it. If you stick your neck out, and you’re really heading out on a limb, keep going until you push the boundaries a few times. Get comfortable and then do it all over again.
Another final observation, and this one may have me going out on a limb…heh. is about measurement. I’m going to blame Chief Troublemaker Robert Rose for this ramble:
When peeps are so focused on proof of campaign smarts, they need tried-and-true deliverables with measurable tactics.
If a new tactic is incorporated into a best practice, can it be measured immediately? Won’t new metrics have to be established and proven over time? I’m asking…
So, maybe content marketing programs aren’t required to have direct ROI. With best practices and average innovation, measurement has a solid place to do its thing; when new concepts are added to the mix, measurement gets thrown a curve ball. Time is required to clock and tick and tally to incorporate innovative ideas into an even better best practice.
So…maybe, just maybe…measurement should be relegated to the sidecar for awhile? Just sayin’ and askin’ all at once…what say you?