Your marketing team is on the hook to produce results. Departments, business units, or maybe even clients of your agency demand sales leads and revenue. But, you can’t achieve those expectations without their input.
You need key insights on new products and services–feature details, customer benefits, ideal customers and pain points. You might also need assets–images, demos, videos, early prototypes. All of which you need with enough lead time to build collateral, content, and campaigns. It’s the forever challenge of every marketing department and agency.
I can promise you I’m not going to end your frustration entirely, but here are a few tips that I’ve found at least easy the pain.
First, who am I?
I’m Bill Rice and I’ve owned and operated a marketing agency for over 12 years. In our world this is a daily challenge. Clients, distracted by so many internal priorities, they become the very worst at honoring deadlines. All the while, they still expect on-time, exceptional results.
Before founding Kaleidico, I held marketing roles in large, highly sales-driven organizations in the financial services industry. Notoriously, these are glacial-paced cultures. However, they always wanted more leads and marketing results, but getting stuff from sales and product people was almost impossible.
You can learn more about me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billrice/
Tips to get what you need for that next marketing campaign
Here are three specific tips I’ve repeatedly used successfully over the years. Each attacks a slightly different factor inherent in this challenge
It never makes their priority list (They Need Motivation)
Use case studies or data to motivate. When you’re building out a project or campaign try to lead with an example or case study to make the opportunity as clear and urgent as possible. This can either be an example of a similar project or just a data-driven example of where you’re getting beat in the market.
Using a competitor as a benchmark can often heighten the intensity to get it done quickly.
The ask is too complex or needs too much work (They Need it Simplified)
Make collecting what you need stupid easy: Asking busy stakeholders for data or assets can be nearly impossible. The fact of the matter is most of our requests are too general or complex.
The secret is to make this collection process as simple as possible. If you need structured data or simple inputs on specific questions use Google Forms and boil our request down to a few clear, concise questions or even to collect images and assets. People have become very efficient at filling out online forms–thanks eCommerce!
Send them a link to a form and tell them it will take less than 5 minutes, you’ll be amazed how often you get what you need. If the information is a bit more complex or strategic then we often offer a 15 min interview.
The secret is to do as much of the work as possible and then they only have to squeeze 5-15 mins into their schedule.
It slips their mind or there are “squeakier wheels” in the organization (They need reminding)
Automate your reminders: Simply giving other departments and even yourself enough notice and reminders to stay on schedule is critical. This problem cuts both ways.
Often the stakeholder has so much going on they forget about the task until the last minute. Meanwhile, we have the same problem and often realize we need things at the last minute and end up jamming up and frustrating our collaborator by reminding them at the last minute.
This is where a good project management system comes into play–giving us the opportunity to automate all of this in a good way.
I hope these help!
What tricks have you used to get what you want/need? Talk to me on Twitter @billrice and please include a link to this article for my reference.