Let’s face it, regardless of the terrific ideas marketing might come up with, the chances of them actually being implemented depends on getting buy-in from the rest of the organization. This is of particular concern when it comes to pushing digital marketing ideas to an executive team that doesn’t fully understand the digital space. In my experience, half the work involved in marketing is the internal politics of managing change and mastering persuasion. So, I thought it would be good to devote a post to lessons and tactics I’ve used to sell marketing ideas internally. I hope that some of them help you.
Get other people involved and find your champions
Nothing in an organization gets done without organizing people. Before making any pitch to management it’s important to consult other stakeholders about your idea and see if it resonates. Talk to people you trust in sales and operations and sincerely consider their feedback. Consulting with others and finding supporters will strengthen your idea and the chance it has of approval.
Appeal to existing beliefs
People don’t want the truth, they want to hear what they already believe. Assure stakeholders and management that the idea is something to be done with as opposed to instead of what’s already in place. If management wants different results then they should correspondingly be open to try some different things.
Provide an example or concept cheaply
Be resourceful and pull together whatever you can with as little money as possible. The may mean putting in overtime or using personal resources to come up with a concept. Also, big plans don’t work – Start with a small initiative. Another tactic is to go ahead and just start working on it so that you have a little something to show – As the saying goes, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
Ask “what does success look like?”
In the legal world they have something called an “agreed statement of facts” that is evidence agreed to by all parties as true and correct. The equivalent in the marketing world is coming to an agreement of what success looks like for any initiative. This needs to be done in collaboration with management so that you can both agree whether something worked or not.
Under promise and over deliver
The best reward for good work is the opportunity to do more work. If you want to increase your chances of pushing more ideas through then you need to get some wins under your belt. The best way to do this is surpassing expectations by knowing you can over achieve what you suggest as an initial plan.
Ensure you implement tracking so there is empirical evidence and future decisions can be data driven instead of emotional. If there is no data, then use whatever anecdotal evidence possible. Data talks and bullshit walks.
Do you also struggle with selling marketing ideas internally? I’m curious to hear from you and what methods you have used to get ideas adopted. Please leave a comment below.