CIM Express Webinar: ‘Winning internal buy-in for successful marketing campaigns’

I attended a fantastic webinar this month led by Edwina Mullins, Founder and Owner of digital marketing agency SocialB.

Edwina introduced the session by stating the fact how marketing budgets are under more pressure than ever, we’re seeing more push back from senior leadership teams, but marketers have a competitive edge and have a core function to help develop the growth of a business.

The ‘6 Step internal engagement process’ was the focus of Edwina’s webinar and she took attendees through it being a crucial way to building a strong foundation to getting buy in from the start, getting the company on board which in turn will help with future campaigns.

Some will have zero awareness of your campaign proposals, some will have some, so it’s important to work out how to pitch at differing angles.

With every activity, start with the planning process.

  1. Business goals

This is a crucial starting point to show you are aligned with the organisation’s overall strategic objectives. Frame your campaign around this and show how your marketing efforts will contribute to achieving them. This could be increasing revenue, brand awareness or customer acquisition.

Focus on ROI and think about how you can How make senior leaders look better, such as improving their personal brand. Think about their key priorities and tick them off.

  1. Build relationships

Edwina flagged the importance of building relationships as part of this process. This includes stakeholders such as the project team.

As well as stakeholders, it’s worth considering champions and influencers in the organisation – the people who are well respected, a topic or technical expert in the room, a PA to a member of a board and in Edwina’s words can “make yummy noises” for you and get the enthusiasm going!

Those that are hardest to convert, go to the allies that are easier to convert. These can really impact campaign successes in a positive way.

Getting someone in your finance team to understand the benefit and directly feeding that into the senior leadership team will be a bonus.

  1. Data and evidence

A super important aspect of any campaign planning.

Get your market research up to scratch (what, how and why), compile industry data and consumer behaviour trends and use this to back up assumptions you have for your campaign outcomes and the reasons why. You could either your own or wider research for particular trends.

ROI projections – a great tip from Edwina: if you are asking for budget, be open and transparent about your projections utilising: ‘[if you give us £X, we predict you will get £X back.’

MVP/testing results – if you have a team hard to win over, or your campaign has larger risk, think about whether a test and learn process would work to prove legitimacy i.e. ‘I will need a large chunk of money but for phase 1, I am asking for 10% as a test and learn.’ Come back and ask for that 90%. ‘If achieve I will ask 90% as I am justifying it. This is a good way of moving towards the goal of getting a full budget through.

Take more seriously – performance and data driven background

  1. Communicate for success

Edwina shared some really useful tips on how to communicate for success:

  • Listening – listen to past feedback
  • Friendliness – a smile goes such a long way in terms of trust
  • Open minded – think about what this means for you within your own organisation. Different people and different money or comms narrative that can help you along that journey.
  • Getting feedback is key – this also includes tough feedback. Be open minded, take it on board and think how you can use this for next time. You are all part of one team and think about what you can do as one to be on the same page.
  • Confidence – this is much easier said than done and you may not feel confident. But smiling, having shoulders up and head held high gives off the right signals.
  • Non-verbal communication – eye contact is key! Be aware of how you project to an audience. Consider recording yourself (you may not like it, but it is a good way of referring back and thinking how you could do things differently perhaps).

Think about things you will say: what’s the story, who are you, what’s the insight, what’s the value to the business, how can you make them look good, utilise market research and competitive analysis and past campaign data to support proposed strategy.  

  1. Conflict

When attempting to get buy-in for your campaign, there may be difficult questions and objections, such as a lack of resource, timeline or general risk.

Think about different scenarios that you could be put in, what will people worry about and develop rebuttals with evidence.  

Encourage open dialogue and address concerns head on, promote yourself and deal with conflict in a positive way. This is a good way to build consensus and get things out in the open.

Use the opportunity to highlight the areas of agreement.

  1. SteadyState

This is all about strategies for collaboration and ongoing engagement.

  • Build relationships
  • Involve stakeholders
  • Celebrate success
  • Measure & report on results
  • Keep momentum up for next time - if it worked well, it’s another piece of success

I found this webinar incredibly insightful from Edwina and we hope to have her back in the future for more CIM East of England events!

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Lauren Wiffen ACIM
Vice Chair of CIM East of England Committee