Flip Flop Friday – Three Digital U-Turns I Should Probably Keep To Myself


Having to admit you’ve made a mistake is a dreadful thing. Which is why I try extremely hard avoid ever having to do so.

Every now and again, however, something terrible happens. I find myself presented with data so overwhelmingly contradictory to my viewpoint that I have simply no option but to adjust my position, and then obviously pretend that was always my position.

Here are 3 such acts of flagrant flip floppery that I feel compelled to concede:

  • The first relates to the acronym CODE – create once, distribute everywhere. Which essentially means that rather than approaching each channel in isolation, you create world class content that’s channel agnostic and then put it out everywhere. This was something I advocated for a long time but the trouble is that’s just not how content marketing works. As the great Joe Pulizzi put it in our interview over the summer – If you look at the greatest content creators, they’re bloggers, they’re you tubers, they’re on TikTok. They do one thing really well. Then they diversify. To be clear, nobody’s suggesting you shouldn’t still publish your content to across a bunch of channels – operationally that’s a no-brainer – but 80% of the value will come from one source- so design your content with that channel in mind.
  • The second relates to the wisdom of “Starting with why” – like a lot of people I was obsessed with that Simon Sinek video on brand purpose. You know the one. So much so that the question of “why” became a core component of our branding sequence. And while we found it invaluable for established companies, for most new businesses it was actually a distraction from the most important question of all, which was their product market fit. A question that few businesses ever truly get to grips with. And who the hell cares why you’re doing what you’re doing, if no bastard to buy it. It’s not an inspiring thing to say and brand experts will hate me for it, but most new businesses, really are better off starting with what.
  • And finally, the value of Marketing Qualified Leads (ie. data and permission given for contact by someone within the target audience) – I can still remember when I was first introduced to the concept of MQLs many years ago. I was instantly hooked by the financial simplicity of it all – 3 marketing qualified leads  = 1 Sales Qualified Lead, and 3 Sales Qualified Leads = a customer. What’s not to love about that. The problem is, it’s absolute bollocks. In all my years I’ve never known a brand follow that kind of formula. If you want to convince your board that you’re adding value, concentrate on the converted customer value that originated from marketing. You deserve to take credit for a significant % of that number. But keep the talk about MQLs to within the marketing team. Because honestly, as I’ve discovered one too many times, nobody else cares.

See you next time,


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