2009 Marketing Blueprint — What will you do differently this year?


The underlying theme of our 2009 Marketing Blueprint clinic boiled down to this: Be prepared to break some rules this year.

That advice might seem odd at a time when many companies are scrambling to find solid ground by tightening expenditures, laying people off, and clinging tightly to marketing practices that have already shown results.

In this economy, most organizations aren’t willing to stick their necks out too far. And that’s exactly why it makes sense for the bold to do so.


After all, if your rivals are playing it safe, and you’re forging ahead with new ideas and initiatives, you’re more likely to stand apart. Aside from those competitive advantages, having the gumption to branch out with your testing, optimization and marketing efforts is what can lead to surprising gains. Failure is certainly a risk, but so is inertia; that’s why we test and learn and test again.

Best practices vs. common practices

One of the keys is distinguishing between best practices and common practices — and understanding that neither are fail-safe shortcuts to conversion gains. In fact, our case studies from this clinic showed how applying the same practices that got a 162% increase for one site yielded a 48% decrease for another site. Keep that in mind if you’re using templates or similar elements across several sites or landing pages.

You can now access the Dec. 17 clinic in three formats for your convenience — note that the research brief includes several links to relevant clinics and free tools:

We can learn from both negative and positive results, but we don’t grow and advance our knowledge by simply repeating the same practices and methods. So even though this 2009 Marketing Blueprint lays out a framework for optimization, it’s up to you (and us) to mix things up a bit in order to discover what really works this year.

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  1. Tom says

    Whereby 2008 was epitomised by “getting ready” and “busy work”.

    2009 will be the year of “living dangerously” – or as you say “breaking some rules” and actually concentrating on marketing first and foremost.

    Funny that!

  2. Hunter Boyle says

    Thanks, Tom. Indeed, this year could shape up as “Marketing Gone Wild” with pandemonium in the virtual streets. One can hope. 😉

  3. Sue Burton says

    One of the new rules of marketing should be: find what works and adapt these principles to new technologies. We’re finding a significant influx of new clients who are interested in our Cost-Per-Action (CPA)online advertising model which allows them to use proven direct response strategies to target online affliate marketing universes (via social media, email, display, and search). These clients pay only for customers who actually convert and have the added benefit of integrated cross-channel direct response campaigns. Rather than breaking the rules, its the learned rule of adaptive marketing — survival of the fittest!

  4. Hunter Boyle says

    Thanks for posting, Sue. I’d agree that as the CPA model continues to mature, and frustration with the PPC space grows, we’ll see more of a shift in that direction. Looking at your site, it appears you’re getting some solid results. Kudos — and don’t let up on bending, adapting or evolving the rules.

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