A Q&A with Mike Gospe (Part 5): on tips for communicating your marketing plan

Recently, I was interviewed by the editors of DemandGen Report. Here’s part 5 of 5.

  • Many BtoB organizations struggle to communicate marketing plans internally. In the book, The Marketing High Ground, you offer steps for “socializing the output.” Can you expand?

Just because a marketer produces a plan doesn’t mean that anyone will know about it, much less understand it. This was a lesson I learned the hard way. Success requires that marketers to become internal evangelists for their plans and recommendations. Here are a few tips that made a world of difference to my ability to sell my plans (as well as my ability to earn a promotion):

1)    Three key slides: Marketing plans are lengthy, detailed, and boring to non-marketers. Rather than emailing or printing out the entire deck and circulating it widely, I focused on sharing only three slides: the persona, the positioning statement, and the message box (or elevator pitch summary). Three slides are much easier for sales reps and marketing peers to understand. If they want more information, you can always provide it. But let them ask for it rather than you pushing it.

2)    Go on the talk circuit: Ask to be invited to the regional sales conference calls or webinars. Get 15 minutes on the agenda to walk through these three slides. Also include a slide of the immediate marketing deliverables that will soon be available to the sales team. Sales folks only care about the program deliverables and leads. But resist the temptation to forego the persona, positioning statement, and message box slides. They need to know this, and the best way is to tell them in person.

3)    Rinse and repeat: Just because you’ve communicated the plan once doesn’t mean anyone remembers what you said. Look for opportunities to repeat the information. Better yet, look for opportunities for others to repeat your slides for you. For example, work with the sales leaders so they can personalize the three slides and use them in their own account plans. Once they adopt your material as their own, you are home free.

*** Read part 1 on the dangers of being seduced by new marketing tools

*** Read part 2 on why market success requires having a focusedpositioning statement

*** Read part 3 on a tip for discovering your competitive differentiation

*** Read part 4 on mapping messages to the customer’s buying process

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