Join us in two weeks at Search Marketing Expo — SMX East — November 13-14 in NYC, for 100 tactic-rich search marketing sessions, two new tracks devoted to agency operations and local search marketing for multi-location brands, empowering keynotes with Rand Fishkin, Google, and Microsoft Advertising, intimate training with industry experts, and invaluable networking that plugs you into a thriving community of engaging marketers.

Here’s a look at what’s in store…

Pick the pass that suits your goals and budget:

  • All Access: The complete SMX experience — all sessions, keynotes, clinics, networking events, and amenities. Book before November 13 and save $150 off on-site rates.
  • All Access Workshop (best value!): Maximize your learning with a full-day pre-conference workshop. Book before November 13 and save $300 off on-site rates.
  • Expo : Interested in growing your network and meeting vendors? This free pass gets you the entire Expo Hall, sponsored sessions, Q&A clinics, refreshments, select networking, WiFi, downloadable speaker presentations, the mobile app, and more. Book now and it’s free! (On-site rates cost $99.)

We guarantee you will walk away with at least one actionable tactic that can help bring your search marketing campaigns (and your career) to a new level of success.

Register now and I’ll see you in two weeks!

About The Author

Lauren Donovan has worked in online marketing since 2006, specializing in content generation, organic social media, community management, real-time journalism, and holistic social befriending. She currently serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Third Door Media, parent company to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, SMX, and The MarTech Conference.


Most of the entrepreneurs and even online marketers that I know are self-taught. These days, you don’t have to get a degree in marketing to be successful in business. All it takes is gumption and a willingness to figure things out on your own.

However, there’s a downside to self-instruction. When everything you’ve learned comes from a problem you’ve had to solve, sometimes you miss out on the bigger picture. You get so stuck in the details that you never learn some of the broader principles that might have helped you avoid some of those problems in the first place.

Of course, on the flip side of that, there’s the argument that many of the principles taught in marketing courses don’t apply anymore. The world has changed a lot since the Mad Men era when marketing theory was first formalized – do the same theories still apply to the world of online marketing?

To answer that question, let’s take a look at one of the oldest ideas in classic marketing – the four Ps of marketing – and see whether or not they are still a meaningful part of modern marketing.

Where did the 4 Ps come from?

The four Ps have their roots in the 1960s. Back in 1964, Neil Borden wrote an article entitled “The Concept of the Marketing Mix.” In this article, he talked about a variety of “ingredients” that marketers have to combine to create a solid marketing strategy.

In Borden’s original article, there are a lot of ingredients: branding, distribution, product, planning, display, price, advertising, packaging, promotions, and more.

While it was all good stuff, it was kind of hard to remember.

Since marketers love to make things simple and memorable, it wasn’t long until E. Jerome McCarthy boiled Borden’s list of ingredients down into four basic elements that he called “the four Ps of marketing:”

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

To put it simply, the four Ps of marketing are a simple way to keep track of all the different ingredients that you need to blend to create an effective marketing mix. The specific flavors and ratios of these ingredients will vary depending on your business, but any good marketing plan should account for each of these elements.

Do the 4 Ps still apply?

Now, that all sounds good on paper, but it doesn’t really answer our core question: do the four Ps work in a digital world? So, let’s take a look at each of the four Ps and see if they still apply in the world of online marketing.

  • Product

As many marketers have discovered, your marketing is only as good as your product (or service). You can’t sell snake oil for very long before you get run out of town.

In today’s online world, it’s even harder to sell poor products or services because the internet facilitates instantaneous communication. It only takes a few unhappy customers to destroy your business.

As a result, the product or service you’re trying to sell matters more than ever in the digital era. It needs to be something that people truly want. Otherwise, your whole marketing strategy is built on a house of cards.

To make matters worse, the internet makes it easy to find alternatives to your product or service. Most of the time, the competition is only a few clicks away, so if anything, your product matters more in the digital age than ever.

  • Price

On the flip side of the value/cost equation, we have price. Even if people love your product or service, if it isn’t priced appropriately, it will be hard to market.

However, the price you can charge is directly related to your product’s perceived value. This is why Apple can charge so much for their products. From an objective standpoint, Apple products aren’t technically any better than PC products. However, Apple products come with all sorts of added non-technical value: fashionability, prestige, ease-of-use, etc.

As a result, Apple products are perceived to be much more valuable than their PC counterparts (by their fanbase, at least) and Apple can sell them for a much higher price.

Where did all of that perceived value come from? Good marketing, mostly.

In any case, picking the right price point is an important part of marketing. The price your business is charging needs to be consistent with the value people associate with what you’re selling. Good marketing can increase the perceived value of your goods or services, but even Apple has a limit to how much they can charge – your price point needs to match your customers’ needs and expectations.

Here again, the internet has increased the importance of your price. It’s incredibly easy to find your competitors, so if the perceived value of your products or services doesn’t outweigh your price, they’ll go somewhere else.

  • Place

If you’re like most online marketers and entrepreneurs, when you think “place” or “placement,” the first thing that comes to mind is ad placements. As digital marketers, we spend a lot of time fighting for ad placement and position, so it’s a natural assumption.

However, in the four Ps of marketing, “place” actually refers to distribution, not advertising placement. How do you actually get your products or services to your customers?

Moreso than any of the other Ps, the internet has changed how marketers approach “place.” Back in the 60s, there was no such thing as online shopping. People bought products at a brick-and-mortar store or possibly via a mail-in catalog.

Today, however, people do an enormous amount of research and actual purchasing online. All kinds of goods and service transactions take place without the customers ever setting foot in a physical location.

As a result, figuring out your distribution strategy is possibly even more important today than in the past. Take dropshipping, for example. Many drop shippers have successfully marketed their products online, only to have to shut down their otherwise “successful” businesses due to distribution problems.

On the flip side, one of Amazon’s strongest marketing points is its distribution network. By offering rapid shipping with easy returns, they are able to sell the same products at similar or higher prices and still win over a massive share of the market.

  • Promotion

Finally, we have the P that most people spend the majority of their time on promotion. In fact, when most people think about creating a marketing plan, they don’t think much about product, price and place.

Instead, they think about how they are going to get their products or services in front of people. They’re focused almost entirely on promotion.

And it makes sense. Thanks to the internet, marketers have more marketing channels at their disposal than ever. Between classic marketing channels such as TV spots, direct mail, PR marketing, etc and online channels like paid search, social media, influencer marketing, and email, businesses have an almost overwhelming number of ways to reach their target market.

However, all of these various options make picking the right channels especially important. Most businesses don’t have unlimited marketing resources, so they need to focus their time and efforts on the right promotion channels.

The trick here is to figure out the best way to access your target market. If you’re marketing to Millennial mothers, your best shot is probably to focus on Facebook and Instagram. For the retired parents of those Millennials, however, you may get better results from paid search or direct mail ads.

Overall, the digital age has amplified the importance of your promotion strategy. However, while it’s tempting to focus entirely on the promotion aspect of your marketing mix, if you ignore the other Ps, you can inadvertently set yourself up for failure – not success.

The 4 Ps in the online world

As a general rule, the internet has made the four Ps more important, not less. However, the world of online marketing comes with a variety of new challenges that Neil Borden never could have imagined.

For example, buying things online can be scary for your customers. There’s always a risk associated with making a purchase, but when your customers can see, touch, smell, or try on what they’re buying, it’s a lot easier to feel confident in what they’re buying.

Similarly, with a services provider, meeting and directly interacting with the people who will be providing the services goes a long way towards building trust. Online, you simply don’t get that face-to-face experience.

As a result, businesses now have to incorporate building trust in an online medium into their overall marketing strategy.

In addition, because companies often never spend time directly interacting with their customers, they often end up focusing more on the technical details of their marketing approach than the actual people they’re marketing to. The end result? Campaigns that look great on paper…and don’t produce results.


While the four Ps appear to have withstood the test of time, if anything, the digital age has amplified their importance and made their application even more complicated.

The problem is, however, that most businesses don’t think about their marketing in terms of their overall marketing mix. Instead, marketing has become synonymous with promotion. As a result, many companies get overly focused on promoting their business and forget how important price, product and place actually are.

So, do the four Ps still apply? Absolutely. In fact, if anything, figuring out how to apply the four Ps to your business can be the secret to outmaneuvering your competition. After all, if you can incorporate the four Ps more effectively than your competitors, you have the foundation for a marketing strategy that will help you win online.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Jacob is passionate entrepreneur on a mission to grow businesses using PPC & CRO. As the Founder & CEO of Disruptive Advertising, Jacob has developed an award-winning and world-class organization that has now helped over 2,000 businesses grow their online revenue. Connect with him on Twitter.


As the world becomes increasingly connected, the email marketing regulation landscape becomes more and more complex. Whether or not you operate directly in different countries, it’s good practice as an email marketer to know which laws and regulations apply to your subscribers, wherever they are in the world. In recent years, keeping on top of new legislation has been challenging – most notably in Europe, with the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The team at EmailOctopus have compiled this guide to make things easier. Our aim is to create a space where the email marketing community can keep each other up-to-date about regulations around the world, so it’s easier for us all to be aware of new legislation, as and when it’s implemented.

At a glance

For more detail about a country’s legislation, click the country name.

Country Legislation Content required Opt-out required Consent required Penalties
Australia Spam Act 2003 Name, contact information Yes Implied consent if you have a previous business relationship. Otherwise, explicit Up to $1.8m AUD per day
Brazil None at present, LGPD comes in August 2020 None No Consent is not required None
Canada CASL Name, mailing address, contact information Yes Implied consent if you have a previous business relationship. Otherwise, explicit Up to $10m CAD per violation
Germany Federal Data Protection Act, GDPR, Telemedia Act Name, mailing address, clear identification of the sender Yes Implied consent if you have a previous business relationship. Otherwise, explicit Up to €20m, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher
India None at present None No Consent is not required None
United Kingdom GDPR, PECR Name, mailing address Yes Explicit consent, via a minimum of soft opt-in Up to €20m, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher
USA CAN-SPAM Name, mailing address, contact information Yes Prior consent is not required Up to $16,000 per violation

Explicit vs implied consent and other key terms

Explicit consent

Explicit consent gives the individual or business the right to deal with personal data. Consent can be acquired in writing or verbally. Generally speaking you’ll need to keep a record of consent collection.

A typical example in email marketing is a website registration form. Some legislations will require that you include a check-box to allow customers to consent to receiving your newsletter.

  • Soft opt-in: When you’ve collected an email address as part of another process, such as a purchase flow, and can reasonably assume the customer will be happy to receive further communications. However, you must have given them a clear chance to opt out – both when you first collected their details, and in every future message you send.
  • Single opt-in: A one step opt-in, so only a registration form is filled out.
  • Double opt-in: A multi-step opt-in, so the registration is confirmed via a link sent to the acquired email address.

Implied consent

Implied consent, also known as inferred consent, is usually derived from actions and circumstances, often a previous purchase or enquiry.

The best example is during online shopping. Imagine a customer has just bought a games console from your online store. You may assume that the client is interested in games and wish to contact them after their initial purchase with other similar products. If you haven’t specifically asked to contact this user again (via a checkbox or similar), this is called implied consent.

The exact boundaries for both types of consent are defined in the specific country laws.


This guide is a community resource which is open to edits from members of the public. Information may be inaccurate and shouldn’t be taken as legal advice – always consult a local lawyer before carrying out email marketing in any region.


Building a corporate, product or service brand – or planning any go-to-market activity in support of that brand (campaign, website, content, etc.) – in the absence of a strategy is like building a house without a solid foundation.

Creative must be grounded in a sound strategy, underpinned by a singular insight about the audience. This means going deeper – figuring out the intrinsic human need that’s driving the consumer, and showing how you’ll meet that need or solve that pain point. Look at the data available to you, get the data that isn’t, and plan things out in a way that makes sense.

Why bother? Strategy empowers creativity. When you give a creative team a strategic, authentic and singular insight, they’ll push the creative that much further. Creative teams need a defined sandbox to work in; otherwise, the unlimited choice and scope can be paralyzing and actually stifle great work. Context is always king. Without a sound strategy up front to inspire the creative, you often get – at best – mediocre, unsuccessful creative tactics in search of a strategy. At worst, you get a poor buyer’s journey and a brand experience that ticks people off. And once you lose someone’s interest, it’s very hard (and expensive) to win it back.

When it comes to effective marketing, a big spend and eye-catching creative isn’t enough; spending time and money on strategic planning is the key to success and worth the investment.

Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share their observations and opinions about our industry. You can submit your own here.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Theresa is the President of McMillan, an independent creative agency headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices in NYC that specializes in the brand experience for a global clientele. She’s responsible for plotting the pragmatic course of action through business development, strategic services offerings and industry partnerships that define the agency’s growth and corporate strategies. Theresa’s been a B2C and B2B marketing professional for more than 25 years, honing her craft in the consumer-packaged goods, software and advocacy sectors and is a strategist-by-trade, which has amplified her life-long passion for pulling things apart to see how they work. She brought that insatiable curiosity to McMillan in 2007, building the agency’s strategic services practice from a one-woman operation into the guiding force behind successful projects for Intuit, LexisNexis and Trend Micro, and becoming President in 2018.


Across industries and in nearly every vertical, AI is driving digital transformation. In sales, for example, 70% of US-based professionals are now using some form of AI at work. In marketing, platforms like IBM’s Watson Marketing, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and Pega’s Unified DMP are bringing brands closer than ever before to their customers. Project scheduling optimizers for engineering, telecommunications AI that recognize early signs of churn, and personalized gaming experiences based on in-game data are just a few of the ways AI is disrupting major industries today.

AI is no longer the exclusive domain of massive enterprise with equally outsized R&D budgets, either. Intelligent automation is now accessible to even the smallest of businesses; call it entry-level AI, if you will. From full-service marketing platforms like MailChimp for SMBs to individual standalone tools like and LivePerson’s Maven, AI-powered martech opens the door to a world of cost savings, new revenue and enhanced customer experience.

For marketers of all skill levels and disciplines, the time to become AI-proficient is now. 

How AI is changing the automation game

Martech evangelists are having an easier time getting buy-in lately; after all, inefficiencies cost money – as much as 20 to 30 percent of an organization’s revenue each year. While a Walker Sands report found 33% of marketers said they faced internal resistance to martech in 2016, just 27% experienced the same in 2018. CMOs have realized the benefits of using automation to reduce manual labor, execute repetitive tasks, and respond to opportunities in a more timely way. As of May 2019, for example, more than 70% of advertisers were using Google automated bidding strategies.

Obviously, efficiency and scale are great benefits in themselves, but it’s when you layer Artificial Intelligence on top that digital gets truly interesting. This is where the magic happens. Automation and AI are no longer the new kids on the block, but together they’re maturing and truly testing the limits of what’s possible. Machine learning has grown in leaps and bounds and, as C-level executives have bought into its potential, has been given more latitude in actually making decisions and executing operations based on data.

Take warehouse robots, for example. Perhaps one of the most recognizable early applications of intelligent automation, these machines zip around warehouses picking and packing orders. In 2012, Amazon started a retail arms race by acquiring Kiva Systems and cutting off the warehouse robot supply to competitors Walgreens, Staples, and more. Kiva became part of Amazon Robotics, a company that in its own words, “…automates fulfilment center operations using various methods of robotic technology including autonomous mobile robots, sophisticated control software, language perception, power management, computer vision, depth sensing, machine learning, object recognition, and semantic understanding of commands.”

But they aren’t the only player in the game. That earlier decision to strip competitors of their technology made way for innovators like 6 River Systems, a startup founded by former Kiva engineers. Their robot, “Chuck,” is designed to engage associates, keep them on task, and boost human productivity. They call it a “directed approach,” where humans are in control of and aided by their collaborative robot partner.

Vecna Technologies has been making medical robots and software for two decades, but just got into the warehouse robots game, as well. Their self-driving warehouse vehicles use machine learning to continually optimize workflow and improve human performance, as well.

Warehouse operations and order fulfillment are just one area in which humans and machines are learning to work together, but it’s big business. In fact, warehousing and logistics robotics is an industry expected to reach a market value of $22.4 billion by the end of 2021 (Tractica).

In warehousing, AI and deep learning are successfully enhancing human productivity, optimizing workflows, and improving customer experience. In B2B, intelligent automation is creating entirely new revenue streams.

DIFM service is an excellent example of humans and tech working together

While intelligent machines are being empowered to make some decisions, marketers’ jobs are not in danger – at least, not those who are willing to learn to work with them. In fact, intelligent automation can act as a great complement to and even dramatically improve human performance, when used… well, intelligently. What’s more, humans can enhance the value of a software application by specializing in it and helping others reap the greatest benefit from using it. Some have referred to this opportunity as the “Do It For Me” economy.

Anthony P. Lee, Managing Director at Silicon Valley venture growth equity fund Altos Ventures, explained in a TechCrunch column: “DIFM combines technology automation with specialized labor to deliver a complete solution to a business problem. It’s as much about people-powered customer service as it is about code-powered efficiency.”

For some, DIFM is creating new revenue streams. Rather than software-as-a-service, each using automation complemented by a secondary level of human expertise – deliver software-with-a-service. In making experts available to power the machine, they help customers get the maximum value possible from the program.

DIFM is not an entirely new phenomenon, but the tech-powered evolution of business process outsourcing or managed services. Once reserved for the wealthiest and largest brands, the new managed services are a hybrid of intelligent automation and specialized human services that deliver both the scale and expertise it takes to meet consumers’ heightened expectations.

Intelligent automation is forever changing the way we work

Concerns over robots displacing human workers are not entirely unfounded. As workflows evolve and repetitive tasks are automated, those jobs will indeed disappear for humans. But as Yaro Tenzer, co-founder of the mechanical hand order picker RightHand, argued to the Boston Globe, “People cannot find enough labor to do these jobs,” said Tenzer. “They call us and say, ‘we cannot fulfill orders. Can you help us?’ ”

Those with the technological savvy to work alongside the machines – to ensure they’re given good input, and to decipher and maximize their output – will increase their own value as employees.

At the executive level, a tangible and active commitment to digital transformation is the only way forward. According to KPMG, just 20% of firms surveyed said they are beyond the pilot stage and ‘up and running’ with their AI efforts. Organizational uncertainty around how to get started, integration, and workflows abound. With transformation comes a great deal of disruption, and business leaders must be able to navigate and move past it.

The cost savings and improved efficiency of successfully implemented AI are a bonus, but should not be your primary goal. From a more holistic perspective, intelligent automation can fundamentally change how your organization operates – from improved customer engagement to driving growth and creating entirely new areas of business.

In martech, this means developing the technical skills to maximize the machine’s output, while still nurturing the creativity that underpins the best marketing campaigns. It means succeeding in an area where many currently fail: integration (KPMG also found that only 10% of respondents are integrating solutions across automation, AI, and smart analytics).

It means moving quickly to coordinate efforts and getting rid of piecemeal AI efforts that may achieve one objective but do so in a vacuum.

Most of all, the AI revolution requires of marketers that we find synergy between our talent and technology; that we embrace our place as hybrid marketers. Learn more about developing the skills required of an AI mindset here.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Andy has over 15 years experience in formulating marketing, digital and content strategies for many of the world’s leading brands, agencies and technology pioneers. Andy works closely with CEO and CMO thought leaders, executives and technology partners on strategic marketing, digital and content marketing strategies. He has also spends considerable time consulting, and travelling across the World, for many digital and content marketing technology startups — working on research, event and publication projects. Andy has worked at the C-level with leading brands such as HP, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, HSBC, United Airlines, Adobe, Apple, American Express and Fidelity International. He has also consulted on digital marketing projects with many of the world’s leading agencies such as Publicis, Aegis, Starcom, Digitas, Zenith Optimedia, GroupM and WPP properties.


Jonathan Roman walks onto the stage, coffee cup in hand. He’s relaxed. He’s confident. He knows his story is going to be compelling. And it is.

Working with for a little over a year, Roman has overseen a radical shift in how consumer data is augmented, cleansed and segmented to drive a customer-first digital marketing strategy that works. He is one of a new breed of marketing technologists that understand both the platforms that exist and how they work, as well as how they can be applied in the market – seemingly a rare skill, but one that pays dividends for the organization when put to good use.

The data evolution of is an interesting one – founded in 1983 before customer data was such a hot topic, they produced lots of books, which were released to their members, and through the mid-nineties they were publishing CD-ROM content, before the launch of their Family Records Product in 2012. However, the world took-off for with the launch of their DNA Product in 2015. And by taking-off, I mean 3 million paying subscribers, over 15 million individuals in the consumer data network, 100 million family trees and 20 billion historical records. Before 2018, a lot of this data was collected, yet siloed. Data manipulation was primarily manual and marketers couldn’t guarantee that they were talking to their prospects or customer in the right way.

While many technologies exist to augment the marketing technology stack, to be successful you have to consider all areas of the organization, not just the marketing team.’s challenge was no different and was solved by following three simple principles as Roman overhauled how they worked with and used its data. Principles that can be applied to other organizations facing similar issues.

People and process

Ensure that everyone is on-board with the vision, not just the marketing team, but IT and information security too. Avoid working in silos and standardize request processes. Offer regular, open education to other groups as well as taking the time to understand request processes of other teams. Most importantly, create a trust-based culture of sharing success and saying “thank you.”

Standardization and governance

Establish and champion standardized account structures, tagging architecture and taxonomy across all platforms. Create governing councils to oversee highly impactful and involved projects. Set-up automated quality assurance where possible. Understand the data that your vendors are collecting and why they are collecting that data…and, most importantly, invite the legal team to everything!

Ad/marketing technology

Re-evaluate the ad/marketing technology stack regularly. Assess the synergy and compatibility of the marketing stack, and access the impact of industry changes or regulation against it. Learn the platforms as a user, not just as an owner – if you find it’s challenging to work with, engagement will be low and you must demand more from your vendors and partners.

When explaining the most significant single platform change that has enabled’s marketers to truly adopt agile marketing, Roman is clear – it’s the deployment of a Customer Data Platform (CDP). The CDP is the central piece of martech that allows the team to move quicker. It unifies data from all data sources, cleanses, transforms, unifies, enriches, segments and predicts user behavior – ultimately allowing marketers to personalize the website, ad, email and social campaigns, direct mail and push messaging.

The session’s remit was to put the right systems and processes in place to allow marketers to move fast – to drive new customers from prospects and to impress or delight those that already subscribe. Marketing enablement, if you will. It’s been a journey, but one that Roman and his team of 30 marketing technologists have successfully navigated.

More about the MarTech Conference

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Periodic Table of Email Optimization and Deliverability, which we launched at the MarTech Conference in Boston recently, we consulted with many email experts to determine the essential elements for success in this complex medium.

One of the important themes to emerge was that of Permission, which resides in the Optimization half of the chart. Let’s explore the four permission essentials for email marketing success.

Before marketers even begin to email, they must first secure the affirmative permission of the recipients. This sets the stage for a positive relationship between the mailer and the mailee, because the customer or prospective customer has raised a virtual hand and agreed that the marketer’s email will be welcome in their mailbox. 

Typically, the opt-in (In) process occurs through a sign-up form, where a person submits their email with the expectation of receiving a newsletter, a white paper or some other form of communication from the sender. Double Opt-In (In2) goes a step further, requiring that subscribers click on a confirmation email sent to the address submitted. This has the advantage of collecting a second agreement from the recipient and stymies situations where people or bots input bad email addresses that don’t belong to them. However, the double opt-in process may also leave some potential subscribers behind, when they neglect to respond to the confirmation email. 

To maintain a positive relationship between the parties, and also to be in Compliance (Cp) with national and international regulations, senders must always provide recipients with an easy-to-find option to unsubscribe, or opt-out (Oo) at any time. 

Download the newest Periodic Table now and ensure your email marketing’s on the right track.

More about the Managed Inbox

About The Author

Pamela Parker is Senior Editor and Projects Manager at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.


Nowadays, most marketers understand the essentials of content marketing: know your audience, provide value, don’t sell aggressively. 

But content marketing is evolving quickly – and success is not always cut-and-dried. As a result, it’s easy for old ideas to outlive their usefulness, or for marketers to overreact to changes in the landscape. And when that happens, myths and misconceptions creep in. These myths may include a grain of truth, but ultimately they stand in the way of content marketing success. 

With that in mind, let’s clear away five myths that continue to haunt content marketing. 

#1: Your content speaks for itself

Myth: If your content hasn’t truly broken through with your audience, either your content isn’t good enough or you’re not producing enough of it. 

Reality: Content remains the heart of your marketing efforts, and there is no substitute for brilliant content. But it’s easy to fall into the cult of “more” or the cult of “better,” and fail to examine the role of amplification and distribution in content marketing success. Without support and validation from other marketing channels, even the best content can fail.  

#2: SEO is dead

Myth: Old-school SEO tactics – such as keyword stuffing and amassing low-quality backlinks – no longer work. Therefore, competing for organic rankings is impossible and a waste of time. 

Reality: SEO is as important as it’s ever been. It’s true that search engine algorithms have evolved, and there are no tactical shortcuts to the top of the rankings. As algorithm updates make search engines better at gauging whether content has value to actual humans, the focus has shifted to creating unique, rich and engaging content – while still optimizing so search engines can crawl and interpret content properly.

#3: RIP Facebook 

Myth: Young people are abandoning it in droves, “organic reach” is an oxymoron, and Mark Zuckerberg is seemingly in front of Congress every other day. The targeting tools might be nice for advertisers, but organically Facebook is over. 

Reality: Despite the bad press, Facebook is still the world’s largest social network. While it may not be the main social channel for every business, a decent Facebook presence is still a necessity for most well-rounded organic social strategies. An abandoned-looking Facebook page is a missed opportunity and may lead visitors to think less of your brand. 

#4: More content is better content

Myth: The more you throw at the wall, the more likely something is to stick, right? 

Reality: There is some truth to this myth. If you sink all your resources into one content masterpiece, you can’t iterate and learn – and if your piece doesn’t perform, you’ve got a problem. But the trouble with turning on the content fire hose is that your audience is already inundated – they’re seeing vast amounts of low-quality, unmemorable content every day. The soundest content strategy is a happy medium – a series of strategically chosen bets rather than trying to be everywhere at once.  

#5: More martech, more money

Myth: Technology solves problems. Therefore, marketing technology solves marketing problems. 

Reality: To be clear: great tech, used well, is a massive advantage. Martech solutions become problematic when you lack a clear strategy, or don’t have strong executional foundations. In those cases, you’re adding a whole new set of costs – in money, implementation time and ongoing effort – that can divert resources from doing the basics well. Also, marketers often underestimate the difficulty of mastering the new competencies that technology enables. Technology can help you personalize content, for example, but personalization is not a switch you can flip – it’s a capability that needs to be developed and nurtured over time.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software in your business. This 48-page report includes a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources to help you determine if you could benefit from implementing a marketing automation solution.

Also included in the report are profiles of the 14 leading marketing automation vendors, pricing information, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy.

About The Author

Digital Marketing Depot is a resource center for digital marketing strategies and tactics. We feature hosted white papers and E-Books, original research, and webcasts on digital marketing topics — from advertising to analytics, SEO and PPC campaign management tools to social media management software, e-commerce to e-mail marketing, and much more about internet marketing. Digital Marketing Depot is a division of Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, and producer of the conference series Search Marketing Expo and MarTech. Visit us at


Register by next Saturday, October 5, to save up to $600 off on-site rates!

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Search Marketing Expo – SMX East is happening November 13-14 in New York City… and Early Bird rates expire next Saturday, October 5!

Don’t miss out on up to $600 in savings on the only search marketing conference that’s programmed by the Search Engine Land editors.

You’ll get 90 tactic-rich search marketing presentations (including two new full-day tracks on agency operations and local search for multi-location brands), keynotes from Rand Fishkin, Google, and Microsoft Advertising, 8 interactive Q&A clinics, demos from 30 market-defining vendors, exclusive networking events, and so much more.

Ready to register? Get started here!

See you in NYC 🙂

About The Author