You can’t lick your own elbow – especially in business!
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
You can’t lick your own elbow
There's a saying that ‘you can’t lick your own elbow’, which if you think about it is strange, since you can easily lick your fingers and your elbow is physically located closer to your mouth, yet the act is near impossible. In fact, truth be told, the only way you can really see your elbow, in its entirety, is with a mirror.
It takes a reflection in a mirror
The same is true for your company’s overall marketing strategy. You and your business partners are really close to what’s going on with your marketing strategy and you may have been part of the original team to develop it, but you can’t really evaluate the results without having someone else put a mirror up to your efforts to reflect, back to you, what’s really going on.
What’s more, trying to get a clear picture of your strategy from within, is hampered by ‘group think’ that takes over your everyday meetings and puts a stop to the hard questions and creates malaise or even unease at asking them.
Only someone from outside your organization can look in and ask the sometimes seemingly simple questions and sometimes the hard questions that will help you and your team to look at your marketing strategy and efforts with ‘fresh eyes’.
The two question test
Now imagine us coming into your conference room and asking two simple questions: “Who are your competitors?” and “Where can your customers find them?” Most businesses we’ve worked with can easily answer the first question. The second one takes them by surprise and that’s because their assumption is that everyone manages their marketing, especially online marketing, in the same way and at the same level.
Now imagine sitting in the comfort of your conference room and watching on your large screen monitor as your competitors actively target market your customers, in living color, through their website and on social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. No arguments and no expert opinions can contradict this; this is ‘black and white’ in living color proof of where you need to be as well.
Black and white in color
Now a marketing audit is so much more than two questions and performed correctly, requires a team from the outside-looking-in to ask an exhaustive list of questions and assess the answers. The resulting evaluation is a mirror reflecting your company’s marketing efforts and only once you understand the evaluation can you work to improve those efforts going forward. The only question left is: when will you and your company take that step and shine a mirror on your company’s marketing efforts?