I have never been a fan of using best practices as my playbook for any program I run for clients.

My rationale is this:

Best practices are the listing of the practices used by a large amalgam of companies. For someone to pull together a cogent list they need to pull out the specific practices each company did that couldn’t be copied by other companies because of product, location, pricing, etc. So, in effect, when all is said and done, you’re not really getting “best practices”, you’re getting “best practices on average.”

You’re seeing “common” practices not best practices.

Don’t get me wrong. Always start with the big picture. You need to know what the “majority” is doing.

But to really have a great program you need to dig deep into your own channel idiosyncrasies and unique issues.

It’s why we always suggest some sort of Design Sprint before we create a program.

It’s why we try to do a motivational assessment to understand your audience’s unique motivational profile.

It’s why we don’t do off the shelf programs.

If your doctor suggested open heart surgery because the last patient matched your demographics (age, weight, height, income, zip code, etc.) would you do it?

Probably not.

Don’t design and run a program based on best practices.

Design and run YOUR program based on YOUR uniqueness.