Those of you who know me well know that I’m a skeptic at heart. This worldview shapes a lot of my personal and professional interactions, and it’s one of the reasons why my social stream is filled with links to science articles.
But this is a marketing blog, so let’s get to it.
Simply put, skepticism is inclination to question or doubt all accepted opinions. When applied to digital marketing, it can often mean the difference between winning and losing in what has become a hyper-competitive digital landscape.
SEO is probably the channel where skepticism is more or less a prerequisite to success. It’s what allows the true greats to question even the most well-established “best practices” and instead focus on strategic and tactical insights that are based on empirical evidence and application of the scientific method of inquiry. Eventually, these folks are able to piece together truly cohesive online marketing strategies that incorporate real SEO within the broader framework of online marketing.
Mind you, SEO isn’t the only channel where a little skepticism can go a long way. There are pioneering minds in the social media space that have literally made a living (and a name for themselves) by refusing to go along with established “best practices” and instead relying on real, data-driven evidence.
The reality is that skepticism permeates the online marketing universe, infiltrating every channel and every discipline, from usability to analytics. Marketers that embrace this mentality are quick to rise up the ranks by developing an iron clad repertoire in their given field of expertise. Those that don’t often get mired in mediocrity, and end up spending an inordinate amount of time trying to explain why KPIs aren’t stronger despite their having implemented all of the “best practices.”
So do yourself a favor and ask yourself if you’re taking the
mediocre safe route and simply adhering to mainstream marketing ideas, or if you’re taking the road less traveled and applying a healthy dose of skepticism in your day-to-day.
The answer could very well determine your long-term prospects in this digital marketing thing of ours.