My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Thursday, May 05, 2010

Best Practices are kinda like fairy tales.

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It is late, dark and quiet. A beautiful woman sits alone on a red leather couch wearing only a tank top and a pair of short shorts. Her hair is in a pony tail and Letterman is on in the background but she barely notices it because she is lost in her computer. Every few minutes Tweetdeck chirps and she is follows a new stream of ideas and conversations.

Without warning there is a loud crash followed by a scream and then crying. The woman springs to her feet and runs up the stairs of her home two at a time until she is in the dark doorway of a bedroom…looking down she sees the source of the tears, her son is on the floor.

The woman sweeps up the boy in her arms and consoles him by lying down beside him in bed and gently rubbing his head. As the child begins to settle down he looks at his mother, eyes still a little wet and asks her to tell him a story, but not just any story, he wants to hear the same story he has asked to hear every night for the last year.

“Mommy, Can you tell me the story of when you increased sales 25% by launching your company blog?”

…and just like all the times before, the woman gently ran her fingers through her son’s hair and shared her story she likes to call “Best Practices”

I was at the Canadian Marketing Association National Conference yesterday and found it interesting how many people still in this day and age ask for and rely on Best Practices. Now before I get into what may be perceived as a mini rant I want to say that the Conference was very well put together and I got a lot out of it so please don’t take my observation as a criticism of the event.

Best Practices are an old way of looking at things and should be called “Things that worked for someone at some time but probably won’t work for you because your goals, situations or conditions will all be different.”

I am always for blazing new trails and not following others but even I realize the importance of understanding what works but please also understand that conditions change daily and things like geography or change in economy or where your company is in the brand development stage (and about 100 other things) all contribute to how ideas are received and accepted so if you are going to invest time in reading Best Practices please treat them as fairy tales and allow them to inspire you not influence you.

What says you?

  1. Interesting post, and one with some good points! I do, however, think that the concept/idea of Best Practices isn't a stagnant one. They are, by definition, the best way of doing something. Doesn’t have to be the best way something has ALWAYS been done. They evolve as your needs and objectives do. Sure, borrow from the best, because they’ve spent time and money figuring things out, but it doesn’t mean a new, better “best practice” isn’t on the way. Valuable post, though! Got me thinking.

  2. Saul I love the post. How funny! I think @Michael makes a valid point, but I see where your argument comes into play. Kind of just talking past each other.

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