In my 7 years of marketing experience, I found marketing to be extremely challenging in terms of deliverable.
The fact that my mandates in marketing were qualified successes gave me tremendous insights in understanding what constitutes a successful marketing pitch.
It all begins with the MARKETING PITCH folks…and here is my take on the subject.
First, get over yourself. Marketing is about facilitating business; it’s not an end onto itself. If you can’t relate your project to developing market-leading products or increasing market share, revenues, or profits, then selling it will be infinitely harder and justifiably so.
Make stakeholders part of the process. As a marketing manager, your key stakeholders include product development, sales, HR, finance, and in many cases, executive management. Make them part of the process – bounce your ideas off them and get their input one-on-one before pitching to the group.
Don’t shove it down their throats. Instead, build a top-down story that relates your project to key corporate goals or business fundamentals. Explain using data and logic your audience understands. Think teacher-educator, not pushy salesperson. Encourage debate and grow thick skin.
Stick your neck out on tough metrics. Offer up aggressive metrics that will raise eyebrows. If you end up falling a bit short but the project is still a success, nobody will give you a hard time. That said, don’t go over-the-top or you’ll lose credibility.
Learn how to build consensus. Be prepared for a long haul, iterative process that may take several meetings and revisions. Still, you need to keep it moving forward toward a consensus plan. Learning to walk that fine line takes experience and maturity.