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A recent report from CB Insights indicated that 14% of new businesses fail due to poor marketing. With SMEs in the UK poised to spend a staggering £35.1 billion on marketing this year alone, many will end up throwing good money after bad with marketing initiatives that fail to deliver a clear return on investment.
So, what is going wrong?
The problem is that many marketers are staying ‘in their own head’ and don’t understand that successful strategies leverage an ‘outside-in’ approach.
This means talking to others from outside your ‘bubble’ and getting their unbiased opinion on what’s working and what isn’t.
Here are some reasons why a peer-to-peer perspective could be what’s lacking in your marketing strategy, and why gaining outside feedback could be the key to thinking more and spending less.
A PwC survey conducted on 1,200 business executives found only one-quarter of companies saw themselves as leaders in innovation, which is worrying, as innovation is a crucial part of brand growth strategy.
Sometimes, all it takes is speaking to others and learning about what they have been doing to inspire innovation and new thinking for your own campaigns.
This isn’t about ‘copying’ or mimicking the work of others. It’s an opportunity to learn about what has worked well [and not so well] and new approaches you could take to get the most back from your unique audience.
An outsider’s perspective can have a huge impact and prompt you to look at problems and opportunities from a different angle, generating new ideas that you may not have thought of otherwise.
Reimagining existing ideas
Beyond being a source of new ideas, outsiders can also help vet and reimagine the ideas you already have.
Once you have an idea on the table, bringing it to others outside your field can be a godsend.
Firstly, they can provide a neutral opinion on how new the idea really seems and whether it actually is innovative.
Secondly, they can suggest ways you could adapt your marketing that are common outside your industry but that may never have occurred to you.
The average marketing budget accounts for nearly 12% of a company’s overall budget and 10.4% of its revenue, according to the 2022 CMO Survey. Therefore, every pound spent needs to work hard for your business.
As a small business, you can’t always afford to experiment with new and potentially risky ideas, and with so many campaigns failing to deliver real value, this crucial investment is often plagued with risk.
But, by getting the opinion of someone externally, you can identify ways to improve and streamline your ideas, and cut costs in the process.
Getting into the mind of the consumer or customer
Outsiders can look at your approach from the consumer or customer’s perspective.
This can help you understand whether you’re clearly explaining the idea to someone who doesn’t live and breathe your internal lingo.
While the benefits of your new product or service may seem obvious to you, your campaign might not resonate with your external audience. While enthusiasm for what your business does is key, when it comes to marketing, that enthusiasm can work against you by clouding your judgement, and leaving you with campaigns that are not as effective as they otherwise could be. Simply, it comes down to the fact that you can’t read the label from inside the jar.
Therefore, speaking to someone on the outside could be key to whether your marketing does its job well or not.
The benefits of an outside perspective on your marketing are clear, but one of the most difficult things to do as a business owner is to view your business from an external point of view – like an outsider looking in.
By seeking opinions on your campaigns from someone who isn’t within your business, you can see how your ideas are viewed though a different, unbiased lens, and ultimately take your strategy to a whole new level.