“Is it not dangerous to have students study together for years, copying the same models and approximately the same path?” – Theodore Gericault, Born Sep. 26, 1791.
People who study marketing WITHOUT doing much ACTUAL marketing will all learn the same way.
They read the same books. They copy the same winning ads. They learn the same thinking and writing patterns as the imitators before them learned from some long-ago innovator.
And hey, there's certainly value in learning past successful strategies and the contexts that made them effective.
But when practically everyone out there is marketing the same way, using the same tools and the same ideas in response to the same problems…
Well, it's super easy to stand out against that. IF you have a background and willingness that allows you to create a contrast to their sameness.
So what informs and infects your marketing mind?
Not other popular famous marketing stuff… What weird and unique combinations of diverse ingredients are you feeding your brain with?
Because that is where new ideas come from. That is where innovations begin, which imitators can only copy and never create.
All of them working the same way creates a pattern. You be the one to break it and offer something different. Not necessarily superior, even. Just different enough to capture attention.
And when that once new and interesting pattern-breaker gets to be copied so much that it creates a new boring pattern of sameness, guess what you do?
Break it again.
Lest you mistake me for saying no one should study, and everyone must be original…
That's not what I said. Do study.
But study from the standpoint of looking at your competitor's playbook. Then go beyond it with outside study of your own, and then outplay them.