Marketing books aren’t bibles

3 Mar

The advertising industry draws knowledge from a long list of outstanding thinkers. People such as Seth Godin, Joseph Jaffe, and Malcolm Gladwell. And, of course, they all have books well worth reading.

The trouble is some marketers, both on the agency and client side, hold one book as the manual for all marketing practices. They quote its passages as though they were holy scriptures. Ask them if they think a strategy is sound, and they check the book. Show them an ad for their feedback, and they check the book.

Yes, these books are insightful and often practical, but are they really meant to be the single source for sensible thought? I think these authors want to inspire you, and challenge you to think differently about marketing. How could their experiences possibly apply to every marketing challenge you encounter in the real world? Part of the maddening joy of marketing is that there are so many variables at work, there are no universal laws to follow.

Let the experts shape your thinking, not determine it.

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