A typical organization has different actors to any play for any agenda. They are at different levels, roles and with diverse perspectives right from the professionals, the power players, those who make things happen and those who don’t!!
Each party comes with a bias based on their background that is highly influenced by their profession and many at times "power plays". As much as this cuts across all functions, we take a look at what Marketing needs to have top on mind as they desperately need everyone’s support and at the same time are most likely to conflict with them in more ways than one.
Typical is the usual conflict between Finance and Marketing yet if they both understand the bigger picture, the common goals will be more holistic and sustainable to the organization. HR has more recently become a critical stakeholder as Marketing & Communications need to be involved in their programmes and collaboration between the two is no longer an option. We have more to say about Sales, IT . . .the list is endless.
What about the leaders who are ultimately responsible for the numbers and the growth of the organization? Marketing plays a vital role in supporting them as gate keepers to the market and must be part of their growth agenda. However, these leaders have to play a balancing act to ensure all aspects of growth are well incorporated in their efforts.
From our experience across organisations, we have handpicked some low hanging snippets that you will help as you engage different internal stakeholders:
Ensure you have business leaders who are advocating for what you are driving. We have come across organisations where the leadership narrative is contrary to what marketing is advocating for - as you can guess their efforts are watered down. It could be as simple as following brand guidelines for consistency in your visual identity.
Sell it at the top and ensure they can advocate for you!!
So this is the fact – you cannot get 100% of the players 100% on-board, but you can get the critical ones to at least seem like they promote your efforts. This is possible when you understand how your proposition affects them, fits into their agenda and how it will best support them to get there fast!
What is your value proposition to them?
Just like segmenting, targeting and positioning is a critical Marketing strategy, you need to cluster your internal audience and align your message, campaign, strategy to them. Know who needs more time, training, more involvement, top line messages, etc.
Again it might not require everyone to be on board!! – align to your internal audience needs and speak their language
We have learnt that whatever you are doing out there, you need a replica / mock-up internally. As it has been said over time, “your first and best advocates are your internal people”. Engage them when the time is right, involve and enable them to give the narrative on your behalf.
Do not forget to have open channels of communication to allow for feedback and feed you with ideas that can support your agenda.
You will require other people to support you at some point so why not bring them along your journey? No one wants more work but everyone wants to know how you can make their work better by demonstrating your value in supporting them meet their and the organization objectives.
alericonsulting are Strategic Marketing Partners who help organisations accelerate their growth through alignment of their Marketing, Client Experience and Business development focus.