How many of us have experienced the disappointment of losing a brilliant marketing idea simply because we assumed that everyone else would see its brilliance too? I can personally attest to the sting of such a situation or as they say “ the higher the rise, the greater the fall”. Boy did I fall.
It all started with an exhilarating marketing idea that I firmly believed had the potential to revolutionize our company’s outreach efforts. The concept seemed innovative, fresh, and tailor-made to captivate our target audience. Filled with confidence, I approached the heads of different departments, assuming they would instantly recognize its value without needing further explanation or education.
As I presented my idea to the heads of departments, I eagerly anticipated their expressions of awe and immediate agreement. However, instead of the enthusiastic reception I had hoped for, what greeted me was confusion, skepticism, and a distinct lack of enthusiasm. It quickly became apparent that these leaders, while experts in their respective fields, were not naturally inclined towards marketing and didn’t fully grasp the vision I had in mind.
The Fall of the Roman Empire
To me, at that moment the fall of the Roman Empire seemed insignificant compared to my personal fall. This experience, however, taught me several valuable lessons that have shaped my approach to marketing ever since. And they are:
Leaders don’t know it all
I realized the importance of recognizing the diverse expertise that exists within our company. The heads of different departments bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, but their understanding of marketing principles may vary. To overcome this, it became crucial to educate these leaders about marketing concepts and involve them in the decision-making process. By doing so, I could foster understanding and gain their valuable support.
A targeted marketing plan is only 50% of the job
An external marketing plan alone would not suffice. While reaching our target market is essential, neglecting the creation of an internal marketing plan can undermine our efforts. I understood that to execute our marketing strategies effectively, it was imperative to educate the department heads about the proposed idea aligns with the company’s overall objectives. By providing them with the necessary education, we can bridge the gap between their expertise and the marketing strategy, fostering collaboration and support.
Education ensures that the department heads fully comprehend the rationale behind the marketing idea. They must grasp the underlying strategy, target audience, messaging, and desired outcomes. By clearly explaining these aspects, we can help them see the value and potential impact of the marketing initiative on their departments and the organization.
Furthermore, education allows us to address any misconceptions or reservations that the heads of departments may have. They may raise valid concerns about resource allocation, budget constraints, or potential conflicts with ongoing projects. We can alleviate their concerns and build trust in the proposed marketing plan by providing them with comprehensive information and answering their questions.
The power of collaboration and feedback.
Rather than assuming that my idea was flawless, I learned to actively seek input, ideas, and feedback from these department heads. This approach allowed me to tap into their expertise and enhance their marketing strategy. Collaboration fostered a sense of ownership among the leaders and led to a more robust and effective marketing plan.
Losing a brilliant marketing idea due to a lack of internal support was a humbling experience that reshaped my perspective. I now approach marketing strategies with a more comprehensive and inclusive mindset. I learned (the hard way) that the brilliance of a marketing idea can only shine when it is nurtured, understood, and embraced by the entire team. This requires a marketing plan of its own and should take into account any concerns and reservations and prepare in advance for an internal process with an internal targeted audience that should be approached as yet another market segment.
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