Have you ever asked a friend or co-worker for their opinion on something? Maybe it was a big presentation to senior management, or a vacation spot. Or if that dress made your hips look wide? We rely on input and feedback from others we trust because sometimes we need that outside perspective to broaden our thinking, help identify potential issues or just share something we weren’t even thinking of.
The same is true when things feel stuck, or not moving forward, in our marketing activities. The tactics that have steadily delivered results stop delivering, the industry gets crowded and everyone’s messaging feels the same, fans stop engaging on social media, or there’s a big launch coming up that needs to break historical results. These are all important reasons to ask someone to take a look and shed some light on what may be going on. And more importantly, recommend a solid course of action.
These are also some of the situations where I’ve either been hired by companies to bring that perspective and advice, or have hired someone to do the same. Here’s a few examples that you might be able to relate to:
One long-term client initially hired me to help shift the culture and mindset of people when they were ready to launch a new brand. The company had many employees that had been there five to twenty years and were “too close” to the way they used to do things to be able to bring the president’s vision to life. Boy has our work had significant impact across the business.
Subject Matter Expertise
Years ago, a former employer made the shift to a marketing automation platform and we were ready to take our nurture campaigns to a higher level. One of the first things we did was to hire an expert! We had the right content, the right strategy, but every detail needed finessing to make it even better. As the content developer, I was too close to the work to have that fresh perspective.
Identify and Solve Problems
Sometimes it’s hard to define the problem, and sometimes you’re part of it, which makes it even harder! As difficult as it is to admit, we’ve all been there. Simply put, employees often know there are challenges but can’t put a finger on the contributing issues. It can be a struggle to even recognize them as problems anymore, but these challenges could be holding your company back from greatness. Whether a consultant goes though a formal audit, or relies on observations, interviews and immersion, they’re bound to quickly notice elephants in the room and know how to deal with them.
Build and Supplement Teams
Consultants are often brought into a team to work alongside the members with the goal of identifying “what’s missing”. They can then fill the gaps on a short-term basis, while helping the company hire and train, or develop, the right additions to the team. With a few of my clients, my goal has been to work my way out of a job in just this way.
Bring Fresh Ideas
Strategic experts are often brought in to share the lessons learned from experience and lead a team to develop strategic direction for a new campaign, product launch or other initiatives. Even global agencies will bring in outside perspectives on a new client pitch or big project to increase the creative attention and deliver bigger impact. And, of course, for every unique situation, there’s that right consultant or advisor. While my background and expertise positions me well for many different challenges and opportunities, there are times I recommend someone that I trust, or bring in a subject matter expertise to partner with me. It’s critical to have the right people on the case to the get outcomes you want.
What areas of your business might benefit from some outside perspective?