Have you ever had your management team agree on something unanimously?
If I were a betting man, I’d say probably not. And, that’s just how things are – just imagine how dull the world would be if we were all in agreement all the time.
That’s why facing a challenge like implementing a new marketing strategy can be so tiring. Not only do you have to develop the strategy – which will definitely take up a fair amount of time and resources – you also have to get your management team to support the plan.
But, how exactly do you get your team to buy into a marketing strategy?
Understand Your Team and Organization
Before you get team members to buy into a specific marketing strategy, you need to understand who your audience is. Fusion Workshop states you should study and understand “the strategic aims of your organization.” In other words, what are the goals and objectives most important to the current, as well as future, state of your business?
Six common “strategic business goals are in the areas of market share, financial resources, physical resources, productivity, innovation, and action planning.” Being aware of this can help you “align your vision to the short and long-term goals of your organization.”
Besides understanding the goals of your organization, you need to also understand the team members “who will be working towards these aims.” When you know what motivates them, you can tap into these motivators to get them on board.
Sean Power has an interesting anecdote in an article he wrote for Content Marketing Institute. It’s about an employee who tried to get his boss on board with a content marketing strategy. The employee had prepared everything for a presentation – “research papers, cost-benefit analyses, case studies, potential solutions, and the pros and cons of several possible options.” What happened? The boss instead took advice from his “golf buddy” because he trusted him.
In the professional world, we listen to our peers we can trust, our confidants. If you want to sell team members on an idea, then make sure that you have an established working relationship. That doesn’t mean you have to play golf together every week, but you need some sort of rapport – whether that’s going to lunch once a week or sharing ideas – if you want them to be on your side.
And, who knows? That person could have a great relationship with another credible team member.
Let Team Members Share Their Knowledge
If you really want to team members to buy into your plan, then give them a chance to share their knowledge, experience, and ideas. John Hall gives an example at Forbes about how Centro got their engineers involved with a content marketing strategy. By letting the engineers create content, Centro not only boosted its credibility, it also improved team morale by getting everyone involved.
Hall also states that this can unify a company – even across departments. For example, “if engineers develop content showcasing their expertise, PR can also use it to draw positive attention to the company. PR can then work with the social media team or customer service to maximize its reach.”
In short, give your management team a chance to have some input into the formation of a marketing strategy. If they are a part of it from the beginning, it will be easier for them to buy into it since they helped create it.
Demonstrate the Strategy’s Value
To demonstrate the value of a strategy, you’re going to have to effectively communicate it to the other management team members. Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind. You should avoid jargon and always have an elevator pitch prepared that focuses on the benefits of the strategy. And, you may very well have to make a presentation.
Joe Griffin detailed an excellent format on Content Marketing Institute for an effective presentation. He recommends that your presentation format be as follows:
- State your intention
- State the current situation
- Define content marketing and its value
- Bridge the gap
- Define your action plan
- Make the ask
Griffin adds that you need to “be clear, friendly, and confident.” Make sure that you’re also prepared for questions and try to implement the Guy Kawasaki-championed “10/20/30 rule.”
Give it a Test Drive
If anything, you’ve at least gotten the interest of your management team if you’ve followed the suggestions from above. But, one of the best ways to get them sold on your strategy is by testing it out and reviewing results. Kapost suggests that you do this internally, but if you want to see what happens in the real-world, here are some deciding factors on how effective your strategy is:
- Immediate gains: Facebook likes, reTweets, LinkedIn shares, etc.
- Baseline everything: Use services different tools like Searchmetric’s SEO management software and Moz’s rank tracker to help track data and relevant keywords.
- Back-links: How many inbound links did you receive?
- Leads/Sales: How many visitors and sales did you make following the release of your marketing strategy?
Creating Consensus: Winning Support for Your Marketing Strategy
In the dynamic landscape of business, achieving unanimous agreement within a management team is a rarity. Differing viewpoints and perspectives are what fuel innovation and spark progress. Yet, the challenge of rallying a diverse management team behind a new marketing strategy can be daunting. Crafting the strategy itself is one endeavor, but securing your team’s endorsement is another feat altogether.
Understanding the Orchestra: The Orchestra: Your Team and Your Organization Before embarking on the journey of getting your management team on board, it’s imperative to grasp the intricacies of your organization. Understand its strategic aims and objectives, as well as the core goals that drive its present and future. Whether it’s market share expansion, financial growth, innovation, or more, aligning your vision with these overarching goals can pave the way for smoother buy-in.
Yet, it’s not just about organizational aims. Comprehending the individuals that form your management team is equally pivotal. Uncover what motivates each member, and tailor your approach to align with these motivators. By acknowledging their personal stakes, you can craft a strategy that resonates on a deeper level.
Building Allies: The Power of Credibility and Relationships
In the realm of influence, credibility and rapport reign supreme. A compelling anecdote about a golf buddy’s sway highlights the importance of established relationships. While you don’t need to share golf outings, fostering some form of professional rapport can amplify your influence. Trust is a precious currency in the business world, and recommendations from credible peers hold significant weight. Nurturing relationships within the team or across departments can pave the way for support.
Empowering Participation: Leveraging Collective Intelligence To gain genuine buy-in, offer team members the platform to contribute their knowledge, insights, and perspectives. Involving them early on not only acknowledges their expertise but also fosters a sense of ownership. Encouraging participation from various team members can also foster collaboration across departments. For instance, engineers contributing to content creation not only boosts credibility but can be repurposed by PR and social media teams to maximize reach.
Such involvement transcends silos and forges a shared mission, binding departments under a unified goal. When individuals contribute to the genesis of a strategy, their sense of ownership naturally propels them to support its execution.
Evidencing Value: Effective Communication and Demonstration To secure backing, effective communication is paramount. Jargon-laden presentations can alienate, so focus on clarity and simplicity. Your elevator pitch should resonate with the benefits of the strategy, free from unnecessary complexity. Delivering a compelling presentation requires structured storytelling. Begin by articulating intention and current state, then move into defining content marketing and its value. Bridge the gap between current reality and the envisioned strategy, laying out the action plan with clarity. Conclude by making your pitch confidently and inviting questions.
Following these guidelines ensures your message is not just heard but also internalized. Prepare for questions and anticipate uncertainties. Embrace Guy Kawasaki’s “10/20/30 rule” for succinct and impactful communication.
Testing the Waters: From Interest to Conviction: By now, your approach should have captured your management team’s interest. But to convert interest into conviction, consider test-driving your strategy. Internal trials can showcase immediate gains such as social media engagement and web traffic. Implement tools like SEO management software to track data and keywords, gauging results. Monitor inbound links and assess leads and sales generated by the strategy’s launch.
In the complex symphony of management alignment, these strategies act as harmonious notes, resonating with the diverse perspectives that fuel innovation. Securing buy-in isn’t just about winning agreement; it’s about rallying diverse minds to orchestrate a successful performance. Just as a well-coordinated orchestra brings a composition to life, a united management team propels your marketing strategy towards resonance and impact.
|Building Allies: Credibility and Relationships||Establishing trust and rapport holds immense influence. Credible peers' recommendations carry weight, fostering support. Cultivating professional relationships amplifies your sway.|
|Empowering Participation: Collective Intelligence||Engaging team members as contributors fosters genuine buy-in. Their insights and ownership enhance collaboration across departments. Involvement creates a shared mission, fueling support.|
|Evidencing Value: Communication and Demonstration||Effective communication is key to securing endorsement. Clear, jargon-free communication resonates. Structured storytelling and a well-prepared presentation internalize your message.|
|Testing the Waters: Interest to Conviction||Progress from capturing interest to solidifying conviction. Test-driving your strategy showcases immediate gains and real-world impact. Analyze metrics like engagement, web traffic, and leads.|
To achieve management alignment, it’s essential to align your marketing strategy with your organization’s strategic goals, empower team dynamics, and unify vision. Foster trust and credibility within your team, engage team members as creative contributors, and communicate your strategy with clarity and impact. Engage in real-world testing to convert interest into conviction and ensure your strategy resonates and elevates your marketing strategy. By incorporating these strategies, you can create a collaborative performance that resonates and elevates your marketing strategy.
Team Huddle Photo via Shutterstock
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