Get buy-in for a marketing campaign

1. Identify key stakeholders and decision-makers within your organization who will be directly or indirectly involved with the marketing campaign.

Start with a comprehensive list of all possible stakeholders. Narrow it down based on the importance of each name on the list. Aim for an audience of no more than 15 key stakeholders.

2. Analyze and define the core needs and expectations of each stakeholder.

Expectations will vary depending on the stakeholders. For example: The CEO may be concerned about key business impacts. The sales team director will want to focus on lead generation. The CIO will need to know which software will support the campaign. The CFO will want to hear about the initial budget needs for the campaign.

3. Explicitly align your marketing and business goals.

A direct line between your marketing efforts and the success of the business significantly increases your chances of support. For example, increased brand awareness can help your company unlock a new market. Making these links explicit allows non-marketers to understand how the campaign will help move the business forward.

4. Identify data points that show a tangible connection between marketing and business success.

All tangible marketing objectives should be easily quantifiable. Ideally, achieving them should also lead to an easily identifiable impact on the business. Sample objectives include: Raising ecommerce revenues by X% in Y timeframe. Increasing brand awareness of target audience in X geographic area by Y%. Increasing customer retention among X demographic by Y%. Improving lead quality, measured by a lead-to-customer conversion rate increase of X%.

5. Create a streamlined presentation that follows the goals > execution > evaluation structure, touching on the needs of each core stakeholder.

Aim for a presentation of no longer than 20 minutes. Use the stakeholder needs you’ve defined as your guide for topics to cover, and follow a simple three-part structure: Marketing goals, including the metrics connected to these goals. Campaign execution, including audiences, budgets, channels, and tactics specifically tied to the goals. Campaign evaluation, including milestone check-ins and methods to determine the success of the campaign. After the presentation, allow at least 10 additional minutes for questions.

6.  Bring in an external expert to boost the credibility of your presentation, if needed.

After the presentation, ask stakeholders for their opinions of current and past marketing efforts and gauge their attitude towards the value of marketing in general. If you don’t believe you have achieved a reliable level of buy-in, invite a third-party expert to reiterate your key points and provide a more high-level marketing overview. Experts can come in a number of guises: A current or past marketing partner, such as your marketing agency. Your own professional contacts, especially within the industry. Professional marketing speakers and trainers, who can be hired to speak on your behalf for a fee. During their presentation, the expert should be clear about their relationship with you or the company. They should also disclose that their goal is to increase buy-in for your marketing plans.

7. Follow up with a one-page overview of key points and campaign milestones before the campaign begins.

This step serves as both a final bid for buy-in and an effort to keep your key stakeholders engaged throughout the campaign. This overview can be a reference point for decision-makers, should they receive questions about the campaign or need a reminder about evaluation milestones.