Deciding Which Marketing Plan Material To Trust and Purchase

When I was researching online marketing for my book, I had to figure out just that – which ones to believe. It helped that I have a relatively extensive marketing background (MBA, Brand Manager, VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing Services), but it wasn’t what I relied on most when deciding who’s information to trust.

I was writing for small businesses and have had small business marketing experience, so I mentally put myself back into those shoes while researching and writing. Some questions I considered when trying to decide if sources are trustworthy and appropriate for small business:

Are they ethical?

This is a judgment call. I would read through their material (sales material, articles, and other free info.) and see if anything I read made me uncomfortable from an ethics standpoint. Marketing to me is not about tricks.

Who are their target markets – others in the marketing industry or broader businesses?

The semantics get confusing because marketing is both an industry and a function. A lot of marketers in the marketing industry market to other marketers in that same industry (In other words, their marketing products or services are meant to help others who provide marketing products or services).

If you are a small business owner, manager, or startup in another industry (candy, recruiting, corrugated, virtual assistant, cleaning, retail, etc.) it seems that wouldn’t be the best material for you.

To me, it makes more sense to gravitate toward marketing information that is meant for businesses outside the marketing industry. I haven’t done any kind of study, but it seems to me material written with non-marketing-industry businesses as a target audience would have more of an eye toward general, overall business success.