Who should I turn to for marketing ideas?

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by marketer Michael Halligan


There’s nothing worse than a big mental block when you finally manage to put time aside to try something new with your marketing.


While coming up with new ideas is the sexy side of marketing, the hard work must be done first to determine why your campaigns haven’t been getting a great response.


There are six common reasons why marketing campaigns fail:


  1. The ad is just creating more noise in a crowded marketplace;
  2. The brand has no clear position or value in relation to competitors in the market;
  3. There is no call to action;
  4. The offer isn’t compelling enough to take action;
  5. The customer makes the first step but isn’t convinced by the rest of the sales funnel;
  6. The brand only splashes the water with the campaign, afraid to give it the resources and repetition that it needs to be successful.


Once you’ve worked out what was troubling your campaigns in the past, you can start to plan how you are going to improve. Fortunately we live in an age where we can dive straight into Google and come out an hour later full of inspiration and buzzing with ideas.


There are four key methods of expanding your marketing arsenal:


Look overseas


Other cultures present fresh ways of looking at a market. Find equivalent businesses in other countries and see how they present their business to their customers. Better yet, take it one step further and contact the business to work off each other’s ideas.


Look at other markets


You would be surprised how many of us stick to the same old, tried and tested routine of our industry. Make a list of five industries that intrigue you and research some of their most successful campaigns and common tactics.


Immerse yourself in blogs


There is a wealth of information, ideas and past work online to get your creative juices flowing. Trevor Young and Julian Cole have each posted top 50 lists of influential marketing and advertising blogs.


Work with a marketing consultant


Consultants spend their professional lives solving problems and injecting life into tired marketing strategies.


Working with a marketing consultant can dramatically speed up the campaign development process and often bring ideas to the table that you might have never thought of. If you are on a tight budget, however, working with a consultant can sometimes leave you with little money to execute your campaign.


If you do head down the path of outside help, do everything possible to involve yourself in the work of the agency. The more you learn about what’s driving the campaign and the marketing strategy being implemented, the better position you will be in when it comes time to mix things up again in the future.


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