I remember about 5 years ago, it felt like you couldn't go to a marketing blog without reading someone's rant about the fact that big businesses all around the world will fail in the next 5 years if they didn't get on the social media band wagon and that traditional media was dead. Turns out, they were wrong. We said that then, and we're seeing it be proven true now. Social is extremely important, but it's not been the media and company killer many touted it to be.

So what's the lesson here?

It's to understand that your passion can skew your perspective and put you way out of balance with what's actually going on.

How you apply that lesson is by doing two things:

First, bring in an external perspective. Outside firms bring a different voice to the table and can help temper your passion when it becomes misled.

Second, be ready to be an external perspective for the outside firm as well. The reality of us marketers is that we get over-passionate as well. We love to jump on the bandwagon of the latest tool. We did it with social media, we did it with QR codes (don't see too many of those anymore…) and we're doing it with content and video creation now. We flood things and in time, kill them with our passion. Here are some stats to think about:

  • 61% of Marketers are Twitter Followers (follow other people on Twitter), while only 12% of online consumers are.
  • 90% of Marketers have a smartphone while only 51% of online customers do.
  • 93% of marketers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message, compared with only 49% of online consumers.

These realizations will help you work more effectively with your marketing consultant. Allow them to speak. Give their opinion and perspective a lot of weight. But also be ready to ask the tough question. Be ready to find out if they are pushing a specific medium just because they like it, or because it's the right one for you and your audience.

* Marketing Profs: Marketers Are From Mars

Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.