Want to try something new? Here are our three top tips to help you influence your management team (without them realising what you are doing).
Picture the scene: you’ve reviewed your marketing goals and KPIs with your line manager, but what you have been doing doesn’t seem to be working anymore (if it ever did). Or, it’s sort of working. You’ve done some research on new, content marketing techniques ‘out there’, and you think it’s time for a change.
So, you put together a (you think) dazzling proposal for a completely new way of doing things, which you present to your management team. You wait to be showered with congratulations on your brilliance and modernity. But then – in an unexpected twist, they all frown and say things like, ‘But this won’t work!’ And before you know it, you’re back to doing things the old way . The way everyone feels more comfortable with.
You wait to be showered with congratulations on your brilliance and modernity. But then – in an unexpected twist, they all frown and say things like, ‘But this won’t work!’
If this sounds familiar, don’t despair. You are not alone. Here are our three top tips to help make sure this doesn’t happen to your next big idea.
Tip #1: Do your research
This sounds obvious – but it’s worth re-iterating. It’s not enough to have a brilliant idea based on something you read in a blog once. Have a look for a few more examples, and make sure there are some relevant parallels to your industry.
Also, anticipate what your management team’s objections will be – because you probably have a good sense of them – and come up with some hard facts to help address their concerns. Trying to introduce content marketing techniques? Visit the ‘How to convince your boss’ site, from the Content Marketing Institute. They provide all sorts of tools, templates, stats and evidence to respond to concerns about budget, measurement, giving away secrets and even not having enough of an interesting message to produce content about.
Tip #2: Line up your supporters
If you take nothing else away from this blog, then let it be this: never, ever spring your new ideas on your colleagues without any preamble!
A much better approach is to think about who amongst your stakeholder group would be open to your ideas. Then, approach them individually and ask them what they think. They may have even had new ideas of their own that they’ve tried and failed to push through, and be keen to support you. Find out what their agenda is and see if you can help support it in any way.
Tell them about the proposal you’re working on – explain that you are at an early stage, but that you would like to involve them and get both their input and feedback at various stages before the big presentation. That way, when your big presentation day comes, you will have key supporters in the room who feel that your ideas are also partly theirs.
Plus there’s an added benefit: your colleagues’ input and feedback will undoubtedly help test out your ideas, strengthen any weak points and help you end up with a better proposal.
Tip #3: Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more
So, you’ve done your research, strengthened your proposal with the help of supportive colleagues and have been granted a small test project and budget to work with. Happy days! And job done, right? Wrong! Now you must prove that supporting you was the right thing to do.
Make sure you closely track and measure the results of your campaigns , and report any successes to all your supporters… and even to your detractors. Send out update emails and set up meetings to let your colleagues know what a great success your shared new project is turning out to be, and don’t miss any opportunities to re-emphasise how important their support was and how grateful you are for their continued input. Make sure they bask in any reflected glory. That way, the next time you have a new ‘big idea’, you can count on them again. Plus, you might get some more budget and a bigger remit next year too.
And there you have it – your three top tips to getting your new idea implemented in your organisation.
Happy pioneering out there, do let us know how it goes!