If you wrote a business contract, even if you were confident your language and terms were legally binding and clear, you’d still run it by an attorney to check for loopholes to protect you against liability, identify potential pitfalls and correct mistakes. You just wouldn’t risk it. You’d get a second opinion – knowing the money spent would ensure your safety for the future. You should be doing the same with your marketing.
I’ve witnessed entire “experienced” marketing teams blow it when executing a new tactic because they didn’t get another set of eyes to review their process. Have you ever seen an ad that had NOTHING to do with the product, and before the next commercial aired, you were still wondering, “What am I supposed to be buying – a hike in the woods or a hearing aid?” Ads like these can be avoided if another set of eyes divorced from the project can help communicate perception.
Consulting with another will serve a dual purpose. It will educate you by helping you see the gaps in your thinking and plans and ensure you’re allocating funds and directing your efforts wisely.
This still holds true even if you’re the “Big Cheese” and you have a team of people telling you “this is the plan we’ve given our best to create”. Don’t come through slashing their ideas down. You’re not only crushing morale, but you’re most likely shooting yourself in the foot. Be a team player, and listen to your team. Ask them how they came up with the plan and how it can work. If you differ on approaches or opinions, trust the team you hired. That’s why you chose them in the first place.
Here are some approaches you can utilize whenever you need another individual to confirm your thinking…
- Run it by a colleague to talk through your logic. Ask the hard questions and actively play devil’s advocate, which should push you to look more deeply at your strategy.
- Give a problem to another team, and let them try to work out a solution. If they come to the same conclusion, you’re probably on the right track.
- If you’re thinking through a complex tactic or strategy, try to find time to take a break. Setting something aside for a time and returning to it later allows you to look a problem with “new” eyes. This is great if you don’t have anyone with the time to help out.
- Hire an experienced consultant or marketing agency to review your plan and offer strategic guidance.
“One of the most important leadership lessons is realizing you’re not the most important or most intelligent person in the room at all times.” – Mario Batali, American chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality. Estimated 2015 net worth, $25M.