Over the last few years, marketing has evolved at an amazing pace. We have new tools and techniques that improve our ability to connect with consumers in more authentic and impactful ways. Along with these changes, new marketing myths have sprung up among some of the overly enthusiastic that are missing the mark.

1. Brands don’t matter anymore

In an era when many purchases start with an online search and continue with a check of review sites followed by a few recommendations from “friends” on social, how much does a brand position matter anymore? Every consumer is rational, objective and will purchase based only on a numerical price-based decision, right? Not so much.

Is an iPhone really better than an Android? One has a significantly stronger loyal following that has been nurtured over time through good products, great customer service and … higher prices.

This is the value of a great brand – recognition, preference and loyalty. While there are many ways to think about the value of a brand, there is one certainty. They are valuable.

2. Data driven marketing will guarantee breakthroughs

A couple of years ago, Adweek reported on a survey from BlueKai in which two-thirds of the respondents said their marketing was “data driven.” 

Data’s role in discovery, measurement and improvement of marketing is critical; however, the Wired article “Why Quants Don’t Know Everything” showed the problems with managing by numbers alone. Marketing analytics can be too much of a backward-looking tool to be the sole input for true innovation.

A better approach for innovative marketing is one that is data informed rather than data driven. In this balanced approach, marketing strategy, customer interactions, creative exploration, and even data analytics are all applied in an agile marketing strategy to deliver insights. 

3. It’s over if your digital marketing isn’t mobile optimized

Back a couple of years ago, more than a couple of web development firms were having a field day trying to scare brands into fast site rebuilds to make their websites mobile responsive. The firms saw an opportunity with the announcement of the pending Google Update; finally, with being mobile, optimization would start to matter for your site’s rankings. The so-called Mobilegeddon was to be the great game changer for mobile rankings. Except the impact really hasn’t been that impactful.

Mobile, without a doubt, is growing in importance for brands. However, how quickly this is growing is not equally important for all brands. We help manage a number of different websites for our clients. In just our small sample set we have a lot of variability in mobile traffic:

  • Among our B2C clients, mobile is more than 50 percent of total traffic, with one client getting well over half of all traffic from mobile
  • Meanwhile, among our B2B clients, mobile is, on average only 15 to 30 percent of total traffic

Yes, mobile traffic is growing, and every brand should look to optimize their site for mobile. However, with traffic rates so different for every brand, the level of urgency for a redesign should be based on who the customer is.

New approaches and new ideas are what make marketing such a dynamic field. Enthusiasm for change and innovation is great, but it’s important to take a balanced view before making drastic program decisions.