February 8, 2024

The rise of the ‘lone marketer’ – why external feedback is crucial to in-house success

According to an ongoing survey conducted by CareerExplorer, marketing managers rate their career happiness at 3.1 out of 5 stars, which puts them at the bottom 40% of careers.

This begs the question of why a job that involves the most entertaining and fun aspects of business – these being growth, change, and interaction between business and customer – would lead to such an unsatisfactory rating.

The answer is loneliness and, perhaps, worry. In larger companies, there is usually a team of marketers – from the CMO or marketing manager to the brand manager, marketing coordinator and comms specialist (to name a few). Not only do these marketing squads have the breadth and depth to get things done, but they also have the added advantage of being able to speak in the same dialect.

Whether you’re a trained marketing co-ordinator, or perhaps someone who has inherited the marketing hat in the organisation, feelings of loneliness and isolation in your role are probably all too familiar. And handling all the inevitable marketing uncertainty on your own can be stressful, leading to worry.

What you may not realise is that getting feedback on your campaigns from someone externally could be the difference between failure or success, or at least greater peace of mind.

PROVIDING A NEW PERSPECTIVEIt’s said that you can’t see the end of your own nose and, sometimes, you simply cannot get an objective perspective on your own work. You’re too close to things, or looking through the wrong lens to see it in context, or as others external to your business might.

Most decision-makers focus on specific details of their projects, notes Gartner. As a result, they miss the big picture and believe their projects are special. They may favour information that confirms their already held beliefs or ideas, a phenomenon known as ‘confirmation bias’. As an in-house marketer, these factors can limit your ability to think outside the box and find solutions.

At outsider’s perspective, on the other hand, is not subject to internal preferences and biases. Yes, they have other biases but, crucially, they bring little baggage to their perceptions of you. Plus, people from outside your organisation are inherently better able to see the bigger picture and bring a fresh outlook to your projects.

As a marketer, you’re no doubt a creative individual, but this creativity can often be stifled when working alone in your role, day in, day out. Ideas often gain real momentum in a group where an initial thought is built on by others. You just can’t do it on your own.

A lonely marketer that doesn’t have peers to bounce ideas with will always be at more of a disadvantage and, sometimes, seeing what other people have done can spark new ideas. An outsider’s perspective might be precisely what you need to get out of a rut and generate fresh insights.

When running your company’s marketing internally without anyone to bounce your ideas off, you may lack the confidence and conviction in your ideas when it comes to pitching them to decision-makers.

Nobody else is going to believe in your ideas if you yourself don’t, but sharing your strategies and approaches with other marketers on the outside can help silence your inner critic and ultimately get more buy-in for your ideas. This in turn, dials down the insecurity and fear of getting it wrong.

As a solo marketer, you’re usually working on projects from end to end without much input from others and often under great pressure. While this can be great for productivity, it’s not always great for energy and motivation.

We all need others to cheer us on, keep us feeling excited about the task at hand, and recognise a job well done. The majority of marketers are more socially-minded than your average person – they crave connection between people.

Sharing your ideas and approaches with others external to your company can be a simple contribution to reigniting your passion and enthusiasm and provide the motivation you need to take your campaign to a whole new level. Or at least, provide some assurance.

If you’re a ‘lone marketer’, it can be really challenging to be effective and productive in your role, precisely because you’re on your own. Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

By seeking an outside, unbiased perspective on your campaigns, you can gain a new perspective and a renewed confidence in your ideas and set your marketing on the path to success.


Roger Jackson – founder and CEO of SenseCheck

Want some tips on avoiding marketing waste?

You may also want to read…

Want to know if your marketing idea works?
Get it SenseChecked!