Jay Acunzo on How to be an Exceptional Marketer

By kniemisto

Do something different, they say. Be bold. Stand out from the pack! The list of clichéd instructions on how to improve just about anything according to them is, well, endless. So, when all the “expert” advice becomes white noise, we might as well render it meaningless. If we’re all following the same guidance, aren’t we all a bunch of followers?

Instead, marketing and sales pros must dig deeper to uncover what can truly set initiatives apart. And no, these won’t come from yet another blog.

What differentiates best practices from the right practices comes down to what Jay Acunzo, an award-winning podcaster, and dynamic speaker, says is not much more than your intuition. As the former digital media strategist at Google and head of content marketing at HubSpot, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be the difference. I interviewed Jay to find out what marketers can do to break away from banality in a way that really matters to themselves and their customers.

Q: You’ve been quoted as saying, “It has never been easier to be average.” Expand on how this applies to today’s digital marketing landscape. How do we prevent mediocrity from creeping into the creative output?

Think about the amount of information you have access to and the speed at which you can access it. It has never been easier to find and follow someone else’s idea or answer. You need direction and someone else has pretty much handed you a “how-to.” Done. Simple.

Unfortunately, generalized advice is the best these so-called expert opinions can provide—without knowing your context, who you are, who your team is, who your customers are, etc. You can’t remove an individual from the situation, and because experts make their living providing broadly applicable knowledge, you’re just defaulting to whatever latest trend they report. You’re doing commodity work.

With more and more experts coming out of the woodwork, it’s never been easier to be average. So, the question is, what does it take to be exceptional in a world where average is now table stakes?

Q: But how can marketers initiate acting on something differently? How do we acquire the confidence to push back on the status quo?

Those doing the work have to unleash their full potential. Stop obsessing over some guru’s answers, and start asking yourself the right questions. Then almost naturally, you’ll start to focus less on generalized advice and more on the specifics of your own context, as well as the abilities of your aspirations.

Q: You host the Unthinkable podcast. What’s been your favorite strategy or guest story? What lessons can we pull about standing out in increasingly noisy digital ecosystems?

We’ve had so many incredible guests, from Disney to TED speakers to best-selling authors. But one of my all-time favorite stories involved Lisa Schneider, Chief Digital Officer at dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. You’d never expect someone from Merriam-Webster—a brand not known to be particularly exciting—to engage in this crazy, imaginative work. But they’ve differentiated so successfully due Go to the full article.

Source:: Marketo

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