James Anderson

Best Marketing Advice Ever from Symantec, Kraft, Marriott, Google, Motorola, Condé Nast

James Anderson     Digital Marketing


Last month, we published Worst. Marketing. Advice. Ever. Top Brands Share All. There were some doozies on that list – some of the worst marketing advice our group of influencers ever received. Thank you to our readers that left even more examples of bad marketing advice in the comments – some funny ones too.

I was inspired to put the list together after reading through the countless advice / new years resolutions posts in early January. Ever the contrarian, I couldn’t help but focus on the opposite. I asked, what is the WORST advice you’ve ever received.

In the process of putting together that post, however, I couldn’t help but wonder … what would these same experts say is the BEST piece of marketing advice they have received?

Is the best advice just the opposite of the worst? Certainly not. The best advice, as it appears in several of the contributor’s quotes, is customer-focused.

LaSandra Brill

LaSandra Brill
Sr. Director, Paid & Earned Media, Symantec

Don’t say No. Instead tell me how you get to yes. Being able to identify and communicate the tradeoffs is “strategic thinking.”


Julie Fleischer

Julie Fleischer
Director, Data + Content + Media, Kraft Foods Group

It’s all about the consumer. Everything starts and ends with her. Who is she, what does she need, what does she want, what excites her? Everything we do must be in service to the consumer. If you follow the consumer and know her deeply, you’ll never go wrong.

Michelle Lapierre

Michelle Lapierre
Senior Director, Customer Experience & Social Media at Marriott Rewards

“Always put your customer in the middle of the story.”


Mei Lee

Mei Lee
VP, Marketing – Digital at Conde Nast Entertainment
The best marketing advice that I often follow is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Ask yourself if you would click on that ad copy? Is that image interesting to you if this is your first touch point with a brand? Why should you care about this message? If you cannot convince yourself or your small sample size of friends to take a desired action from whatever marketing you are doing, then follow your gut and start over.

Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb
Industry Analyst, The Altimeter Group
It’s brain-dead simple, but so often forgotten: marketing’s audience is the customer or the prospect. Communications, language, creative, EVERYTHING must be from their perspective. Not yours, not your company, not your boss, and not the CEO. The target audience.


Matt McGowan

Matt McGowan
Strategy at Google (COO of Americas Ad Agency Business)

Focus on the user and all else will follow!



Jennifer Mesenbrink

Jennifer Mesenbrink
Senior Manager, Digital and Social Content Strategy Motorola Solutions

One came from Gary Van Prooyen while he was in his role as Motorola Solutions Global Brand & Content Operations lead, and that was to use a brand voice that is “Human, confident, imaginative and clear.” Defining a brand voice well is a tricky business, and these guidelines changed our tone and style completely. It transformed everything about the way we wrote for our website and social media.


Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi
Founder, Content Marketing Institute and Author, “Epic Content Marketing”

We work to run our content marketing strategy with the following always in our thoughts and actions:
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter


Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer
Consultant, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Adjunct Marketing Professor, Rutgers University

In an era when we can do almost anything, it’s the things that are worth doing right that make the most impact.

What is the best marketing advice that you have ever received or heard? Share with our readers in the comments below.

Top image: Shutterstock

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  1. It’s great to see that these guys are providing such great advice.

    I love Rebecca Lieb’s quote: “EVERYTHING must be from their perspective.”.

    That’s probably one of the most simple aspects of marketing that so often gets overlooked.

    Hence why I write pieces like this that should help people find out what problems their target prospects are having! – http://www.samsmarketingblog.com/answering-questions-content-marketing/