“THIS IS HOW WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT” - reasons to remove this phrase from your work immediately

Breaking free from the cycle of same old tactics, same old results

By: Erin Hudson

Everyone has certain phrases that just bug them; specific idioms or expressions that we find grating and cause us to instinctively flinch. The one I hate the most: this is how we’ve always done it. Not just because it’s reductive and unhelpful, but it is a signal of a philosophy that will limit the potential of every campaign, product, etc. that is created in that mindset.

Technology and trends change so quickly that it is important to remain nimble with your tactics. When you are fighting to stand out in the noise, using the same cookie cutter approach will likely result in your message getting buried.


While it’s true that there are certain tactics that have stood the test of time, it is also true that those tactics work best only for specific audiences.

Are you looking to reach people 60 or older? A mailer, phone survey, or in-person meeting will likely work best.

Is your audience in their 20s and 30s? Stick to email, social media, and clean website designs with clear calls to action.

Just because you have done certain things a certain way for every campaign does not mean it will always work. Instead, take a closer look at who you’re trying to reach and adjust your tactics based on the audience.


The best campaigns are those that tailor every detail to best fit the message, audience, and goals. You may have had a successful campaign and need to recreate a similar campaign a year or so later. Copy + paste the previous campaign, right? If it worked last time, why wouldn’t it work again? You may find that in just a year, interests, trends, and technology have changed enough that using the same tactics won’t work out as well as the first time.

When using a past campaign as an example, look at the tactics that were successful. Then, define the goals that you’re trying to accomplish and who you’re trying to reach. Take those tactics and make updates to ensure that you’re getting the best ROI. You may even uncover an idea for a fresh approach that will drive even better results.

The whole point here is to be open to new and changing ideas. The nimbler you are, the more success you will see in the end.