Gini Dietrich is the CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm based in Chicago. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and, of course, co-author of Marketing in the Round with Geoff Livingston. This is the first of three follow-up posts related to the awesome Marketing in the Round Think Tank webinar that Gini presented for us as part of our Think Tank Summer Series. Get the recording here. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.
Today we’re going to look at how to build your business case and get executive buy-in.
As a middle manager, how do you bring your ideas forward and build enough trust to be able to adjust on the fly?
The best way to bring your ideas forward, is it build a business case for what it is you’re trying to achieve. For instance, are your competitors doing something you think would benefit the company? We have a client who we are pushing to do video. For the past two years, we’ve been trying to get them to do video. But it wasn’t until their competition began doing video that they thought it was a good idea. Another way is to find out which companies your executives would like to be like, as your organization grows. Find out what they’re doing and bring that information forward.
Then, because you’ve built trust around bringing those ideas forward, you’ll begin to adjust and improve on the fly. It may take a few weeks, or it might take a few months. Either way, be patient. It’ll happen.
Is marketing not often its own silo?
Sure, it is! That’s part of the problem. Every discipline is its own silo. Think about it this way: Let’s say marketing is doing a big push to raise additional funds in one particular month. Or you’re having a contest. The campaign begins, they’re using the social networks to talk about it, they’re sending postcards, they’re doing email marketing, they may have even bought some Facebook ads. But they forgot to tell the receptionist or customer service or IT and the website goes down from all of the extra traffic or people call or email to enter to win and no one knows what they’re talking about.
When you create a marketing round, everyone knows what the other is doing and there are no surprises. By no means are we advocating that you don’t go back to your desk and do what you’re good at doing. On the contrary. It’s more about communication and working together so there are no surprises and everyone is working toward one goal.
What if everyone else is annoyed by marketing pushing this?
They will be, for sure. I can’t remember who said it, but there is a great quote about creating change. It goes something like, “First they’ll adore you. Then they’ll fight you. Then they’ll join you. That’s when you will have won.” If people aren’t annoyed by your doing this, you’re not doing it right!
Re using market research to get executive buy-in – associations are often guilty of saying ” we’re unique, those examples won’t work for us.” What advice do you have for getting the right kinds of case studies?
Ah…the age old we’re different so we don’t have any competition. Baloney. You compete for dollars in some sense. Maybe it’s extracurricular activities or other associations, but you have competitors. Figure out who they are and build your business case based on what’s working for them and what’s not working. It may not be another non-profit organization or an association. Maybe it’s the park district or a school or, heck, Apple. Find a way to show your executives how you can be successful based on those types of organizations.
And that, my friends, is that. Three blog posts. Lots of really great questions!
If you’d like more context to these questions, I’m pretty sure Maddie and her team will let you download the on-demand video. You can find that by clicking here.
And, if you have additional questions, don’t be shy about asking them in the comments here. I’ll stop by a couple of times a day to see how I can help.