The author explains that a superior once challenged him on best practices. The reason was slightly surprising - the superior considered best practices to be lazy.
The article goes on to question best practices, saying that while they're based on expert review and widely regarded provide effective methods to employ in different situations, is it always best to take them as gospel?
- Trust but verify: When marketers adhere to best practices, they're still trying to sell something. Can they accurately develop best practices insights when their judgment is likely skewed by profits and sales? For that reason, it's wise to examine the recommended practice carefully before you employ it.
- Different situations: Even though best practices cover various scenarios, it's important to consider just how well a best practices situation matches your own.
- Cost versus benefit: Best practices stop repeated mistakes and save money, but you need to weigh the cost against how an action benefits the company too.
- Vendor versus client expectations: The aims of vendors and clients aren't usually the same where metrics are concerned. The author uses the example of services that require clients to place a tracking script on their website. Doing so can affect page load time.
- Inhibiting innovation: Relying on best practices can stop teams exploring and discovering.
Never relax on performance metrics
The author says that best practices hardly ever provide for a "set it and forget it" approach. Implementing any tactic properly means establishing and tracking appropriate metrics - otherwise, you'll never know if the approach is effective. He says that while best practices provide efficiency and let you learn from the errors of others, you also need to keep a close eye on whether or not something is working.