Have you looked at yourself? Objectivity and successful marketing

It took a year. Longer than it takes to create a human being. But we did it — we finally launched our new website with our new brand. You’re here and we’d love to get your opinion.


We walk our clients through brand evolutions all the time. Advise them on their websites. Tell them how to leverage them. But there’s a reason that doctors aren’t supposed to operate on their family members (that’s true, isn’t it?); when you are so close to the “patient,” it’s tough to be objective.


Objectivity is a critical part of any marketing program or effort. When you work day to day providing a service, creating a product, selling anything, you lose some objectivity. It’s normal. Maybe you begin to drink the Kool-Aid without realizing it tastes a little “off,” or maybe you forget some of the elements that are apparent to the subjective audience.


But if you’re not taking a step back and really looking at your message, delivery and content, you may not be conveying what you need to convey. You may just be conveying things through a slightly foggy lens.


Objectivity allows us to understand whether something is resonating, and gives us the ability to try things another way. Our website is a good example of this. Although we continued to get positive feedback on our previous website, by looking at other sites, we were able to objectively see that there were better ways to get our message across.


Here are some ways to ensure objectivity in your marketing:


Start with a blank slate:  Sometimes you just have to start from scratch. It’s hard to be truly objective if you’re still wedded to a legacy idea or platform. Wipe off that slate and think about what you could do if you weren’t wedded. Guess what? Maybe you’re not.


Seek other opinions:  We all get attached to our own ideas and opinions. It’s human nature. But go outside your comfort zone–to an expert, a consultant, a friend or advisor. Ask them good, pointed questions and really listen to their answers. Hey, we’re a marketing firm and we hired outside help to work on our new brand and website. We were just too close to it.


Put something aside and revisit it:  Time can be a game changer. Something you created last week might seem less fabulous this week. Give yourself time to evaluate what you created — or what was created for you — and see if it has legs.


Be open-minded: One of Castle’s partners likes our new brand and website less than the other. We’re not saying who. Nevertheless, we both agree that it is effective, reflective of where we are today and where we’re going, and appropriate for our goals. Listen to what the consensus might be, and be willing to concede your opinion for the greater good.


Look at other examples: Whatever you’re creating, someone, somewhere is trying to do something similar. Do a little research into your competitors, or even other industries, to find examples of what you like, and what you don’t like. It can help you define where you’re going.


Test: Focus groups, betas and surveys work. If you’re not sure, ask your audience. Do some formal or informal testing and stack the deck a little before you make your decision. You’ll be better informed.


Let’s face it…hire an expert: We would be remiss if we didn’t suggest that an outside organization with the right expertise can help you get from A to Z a lot more efficiently. We hire attorneys for legal work and CPAs for accounting work; there’s a reason for that. They’re experienced and they can help you through the above steps with less pain than it takes to attempt it on your own. (And by “they” we mean “Castle.”)


Contact us and we’ll apply our objectivity and experience to your marketing (PR, social media, events or incentives) challenge. Painlessly.