When you’re in the position of making important digital marketing decisions that impact the success of your entire organization, it’s natural to seek out advice from those who can offer some guidance. And, a solid opinion can go a long way when it comes from someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.
However, it’s important to carefully consider your sources for advice. Most people have an innate desire to help others, and many fancy themselves as experts when they are not. In fact, it’s often those most vocal about their expertise, such as a braggadocio uncle or a know-it-all sibling, who have the least amount of valuable information. In other words, it’s important to sift through opinions and place your trust in only the sources of expertise you can trust. From these individuals, you can learn from their insights and mistakes.
Avoid the Armchair Quarterback
Self-proclaimed “experts” are usually quick to tell you what you shouldn’t be doing in terms of your marketing strategy. Yet, they are interestingly silent when you ask for ideas on what you should do. In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, experts have to adapt to change just like the rest of us. If they’re not familiar with any of the technologies or goals you’re trying to achieve, it’s unlikely they can offer any advice that will dramatically change your digital marketing strategy.
Filter Out Cautionary Tales, Random Suggestions and Must-Go-To Events
It’s always a good idea to be leary of anyone who is adamant about a suggestion. Most likely, they have a thinly-veiled agenda that clouds what they are advising you to do. Pay closer attention to the advice from someone who is willing to share but not pushy.
When someone is giving advice, especially if you’ve asked for it, listen closely and take notes. Give this person your full attention and resist any temptation to talk too much or refute their suggestions. The best use of your time with a quality advisor is to gather ideas.
Consider Your Source
Every person’s experience is based on their background, personality, experience and other factors. When listening to advice, consider how their unique expertise applies to your specific case.
Look for Trends
To be successful, it’s important to talk with a variety of people with different perspectives. Keep track of your conversations, even if they’re brief, and compile them into a single document. As you continue to collect advice, you will likely begin to see trends or themes emerge that can help guide your decision, whether that’s on the deployment of a new solution or the use of a tried-and-true strategy.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
There may be times when someone who appears to be an expert on paper offers some advice that just doesn’t seem right. If you don’t feel quite right about a suggestion, don’t take it. Although not everything should be led by your inner voice, there is value in listening to your gut when making digital marketing decisions. You didn’t get where you are without a strong ability to make good decisions.