Think back to a time when you received guidance from outside of yourself…
Perhaps it was an essay you wrote in college that you asked someone to edit.
Or maybe it was that time when you went to see a therapist about an issue you were having.
In business, it might have been a consultant that you hired for a specific project.
Whatever it is, you sought that outside perspective because you understand the value in it. Other people’s point of view can be absolutely critical to our success in almost every area of life.
So why do so many small businesses handle almost all of their marketing in-house? According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Survey, “in-house help is the most common digital marketing resource (43%), but industry leaders say that small businesses that try to handle everything in-house may overextend themselves.”
It’s not a sign of weakness to seek outside help for your marketing. On the contrary, it demonstrates your understanding of the natural limitations your internal marketing team faces. A well-rounded approach to marketing—one that utilizes your internal talent and an outside perspective—is the formula for a winning marketing strategy.
How an Outside Perspective Impacts Your Company’s Success
In a recent article, we explained that most companies don’t have a marketing strategy that is based on sound evidence, data, and experience. Instead, they read a lot of marketing theory and try a lot of different things. That is not the same thing as having a strategy.
When we try to develop a marketing strategy from within our own company, it is completely different than looking at it from the outside. There simply isn’t any way around this. You are too close to your own perspective and no matter how much you envision yourself in your customer’s shoes, you can’t completely do it from the inside.
There are several reasons for this. Let’s look at them now…
1) Outside Marketing Firms Bring Fresh Thinking
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Marketing companies that work from outside of your company bring a fresh perspective that doesn’t exist from within your company.
They have different insights and experiences that can help you approach your marketing from a unique angle. Their outside perspective helps you infuse your marketing strategies with freshness and unexpected approaches.
It’s natural to get tunnel vision. In fact, it’s actually unavoidable. It’s just something that happens when we are so close to a project. We invest our time, emotions, and finances in our company, and it’s pretty much impossible to see things clearly from that standpoint.
While you may have a good handle on who your target market is, for example, one little shift in the way you segment your target market can have dramatic results in improving your bottom line. A fresh perspective brings that shift.
2) Outside Marketers Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone
One thing is for sure: Nothing great is ever created from within our comfort zones.
Outside marketers disrupt your comfort zone. They’ll shake up your safe zones and challenge the assumptions you have made about what will and won’t work. They’ll help you market your business in a new and unique way so that you truly stand out.
It is normal for small businesses to take certain things for granted, and those things just might be the differentiators that make others line up to purchase your stuff. At the same time, it’s also common for companies to be presenting a differentiator to the world that isn’t really setting them apart at all.
Breaking out of these comfort zones can help us see our company more clearly and get out of our own way so that we can create a more effective strategy.
3) Outsiders Don’t Have Internal Baggage
Every company has certain issues that they are facing. We might call those issues internal baggage. That baggage puts pressure on its managers, causing them to make marketing decisions that aren’t always in alignment with the company’s overall goals.
The intention is good, but the outcome doesn’t always follow suit. An outside marketing partner can see around those issues and help the company make different decisions that lead to better outcomes.
4) Outsiders Understand Your Customers Better Than You Do
Outside marketing companies have the tools and time available to fully research your customers so that they can understand them inside and out. They can help you speak the same language as your customers instead of using the words you use internally. They can help you demonstrate the benefits of your products and services in a way that will land with your ideal customers.
When we are working from inside of a company, it’s more difficult to demonstrate the value of what you offer to those outside of your company, but marketing firms are masters at this art.
5) Outside Marketing Partners Have More Experience
Marketing firms have worked with a multitude of different companies. They’ve done the testing. They’ve worked through issues. They know what works and what doesn’t, because their only objective is to help companies market themselves effectively. They also have more experience in creative problem solving, which is the underlying purpose of marketing.
An internal marketing department might have experience, yes, but their range of view is more limited. And typically, their time, resources, and experience with this type of research are more limited as well.
When marketing companies start testing if a marketing technique will work for your company, they are starting from the halfway mark instead of way back at the beginning. They’ve already done a lot of testing with other companies, and you benefit from that experience.
6) Outside Marketers Have More Resources
Outside marketing firms not only have more experience in creative problem solving and marketing from many different approaches but also have more resources at their disposal.
With the right software, amazing feats can be accomplished in marketing. It’s how companies uncover the issues in their market, the motivations of their customers, and the approaches that lead them to effective marketing strategies.
7) Outsiders Provide Valuable Direction & Guidance
No matter how many marketing articles you read, you don’t know every marketing technique out there. We know this is true because if it wasn’t, your company would be a marketing company instead of whatever it is that you do. You know everything there is to know about your business; marketing firms know everything there is to know about marketing.
If you’re a plumber, you wouldn’t advise your customers to do their plumbing on their own because you naturally know how to fix their problems better than they do. In the same way, you shouldn’t leave something as important as marketing your business to you and your team. There are certainly things you can do with great success, but you can’t do it all. That’s why there are professionals to provide direction and to lead you through effective strategies.
It’s also important to point out that there are so many marketing approaches out there, and if you stay up on the latest marketing info, it can get a little confusing to know which direction to take. A marketing firm can guide you through all the noise and help you to focus on what will be the most effective solutions for your unique business.
Whether you have an internal marketing department or not, every single company will benefit dramatically from an outside perspective, but you need to remember that outsourcing your marketing completely is also not the answer. It will always be a joint effort, with your marketing team working in partnership with your outside marketing firm.
At Viral Solutions, we are here to provide the outside perspective your company needs to succeed. Click here to learn more about all the ways we can partner with you, and then contact us for a free consultation to get started!