By Patrick Nycz
Long before the players take the court for the big game, a small group of people
have spent time studying the competition, strategizing strengths and weaknesses and developing a game plan.
Launching a new website, campaign, product introduction or other major marketing initiative is typically a significant investment for the shareholders and a lot of work for a few select people in any company. The idc team works very closely with these folks developing and executing the strategic vision and making sure all fronts are synced up to make the biggest impact.
Here are 3 ways a new marketing initiative gets better when shared internally with your team:
1. Your “Starters” are Strategically Aligned
Even if your team is on a winning streak, sometimes a catalyst is needed to get everyone’s attention.
Recently a new client engaged idc to help launch their first-ever campaign. They hired a pitchman and wanted to know how to make the most of their investment.
This young company has grown quickly through brains, business savvy, tenaciousness and among other things, consensus-driven leadership. Of course this last one works best when you hire smart, talented people—and you listen to them.
Our first question launched our first project. We asked how does the pitchman support the company brand? idc was invited to help strategically define the company’s brand and position in the market.
In the proprietary idc brand positioning process, we typically ask about the inner workings of the company and then move outward to the market. We interview key stakeholders, do our homework and process it all with our own special sauce to arrive at the firm’s new strategic brand positioning.
It was when we delivered our first draft of the brand positioning document that we touched a nerve. The meeting went well. We decided that they needed to try on the new positioning for a few days and then call us back with their input.
A week or so later, we got a call from the president. Turns out the draft of the brand positioning we delivered caused some intense internal discussions. It acted like a kind of corporate catalyst to gather all the top execs around the table to really dig into who they are, what they wanted to be and where they wanted to go.
Mission accomplished: this is not the first time this has happened and hopefully not the last. Putting something on paper and asking: “is this us?” is a great way to move toward the concrete strategic alignment of a firm’s top executive team, or “starters.” It may not be easy. There will (hopefully) be plenty of feedback by stakeholders deeply—and sometimes personally—invested in the success of the company.
2. Your Team Knows the Playbook
For a sports team, the playbook is the bible. In a marketing initiative, it is the marketing communications program plan.
From the board of directors to the sales force to customer service, an in-house, pre-launch marketing preview and plan review will get all the folks in the company on the same page.
It is often the first time the teams working on the launch get to see the the impact of their effort. They get to see and hear the reactions of the people that come to work everyday and contribute to the organization’s product or service offerings.
We have heard from employees in pre-launch previews say how great it is to see their company in the light of the new launch and how proud they are to be associated with it.
Buy-in leads can lead to excitement which can lead to, in the best of cases, momentum for the organization.
3. “Players” Know Their Roles and are Trained to Execute
Ever see a team come back after a timeout and take over the game? It is a cool thing to see…unless you are rooting for the other team. Each player moving in sync as a team, helping each other make stops on defense and executing plays to score on offense.
This works because everyone on the team has a well-defined role to play and when it comes together, can build momentum that may not be easy to stop.
When the new marketing initiative hits, your whole team should be in the know and ready to respond in much the same way as a well-coached team does in the example above.
Besides sharing the launch and marketing plan, it might make sense to supply anyone that touches your outside customers, prospects or partners with the tools to communicate the new launch effectively and efficiently. At idc, we find if all the players are reading from the same playbook, the better chance the plan has for a successful execution.
For the company executive team that has invested in it, and the small team that has worked hard to bring it to life, we see, more often than not, that the few extra steps it takes to build home team momentum can mean all the difference in successfully launching a major marketing initiative.