I’m obviously biased but….being in Marketing is one of the best jobs ever.

And everyone has an opinion on Marketing. We all interact with promotions, shop both online and in person, consume media and have an opinion on the latest ads.

Does this mean everyone is a Marketer or is there more to it?

I remember a conversation with the buying team at a large retailer about Soft Drinks ranges and it was decided to list a well known orange drink in a glass bottle because “people drink that skiing”. On another occasion an instant coffee product that came in a small tin was “perfect for picnics”
From experience, as soon as we start talking about picnics and holidays as main consumption occasions, we’re trying to create a reason for it to exist rather than a genuine need.

For marketers, presenting to a room full of colleagues who are bought into the brand and also have opinions on marketing activation can be challenging. There can be lots of opinions which might focus on tactical execution “let’s do buses/6 sheets/radio etc etc” rather than thinking about the behaviour change we are trying to enact.

But rather than a negative, this is a fabulous opportunity to bring everyone with you.

Rather than thinking, “I don’t try and tell supply chain how to do their job so why can’t they stay in their lane?”, as marketers, we are the voice of the customer and the guardian of the brand both internally and externally. When colleagues are proud of their brand and understand what the strategy is and why, they become brand advocates, sharing campaigns with family and friends and across social media – this is a gift and won’t eat into your marketing spend.

Tips for taking people on the journey

  1. Use data and insight. To help move into objective territory rather than being rooted in personal opinion or “we’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work” space, use data. My former manager and mentor Rich DePencier helped me navigate the challenges of bringing a US based coffee product into a market with different consumption habits. We cut through the conjecture with compelling data which supported our strategy and explained the nuances of our market to a team based in the US.
  2. Tell the story using other brands. It can sometimes be a stretch to show your vision. Using examples from other brands who solved similar challenges can help us relate to where we are trying to go and highlight proof points. Get everyone excited about the brand vision
  3. As marketers we want emotional connections to our brands. But this means that change can be uncomfortable if people feel invested and then change is dropped on them. Give people time to process and absorb what you are saying. If you present it as a done deal without consultation, this may cause adverse reactions so think about how you can have check-ins and knowledge sharing sessions or listening groups, so it feels like a whole team effort, rather than marketing inventing a solution in a silo
  4. Ask for feedback and ideas. The best innovation comes from the front line- the people that live this every day. The BA team in the lounge at JFK famously suggested that customers were fed before getting on the Red Eye, enabling them to maximise time for sleep and be fresh upon arrival.

For help designing your Marketing Strategy and landing it well both internally and externally, get in touch for a chat. 

Liz Forte

07971 154348