Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Steps for Moving New Marketing Ideas Forward Successfully

Great marketing ideas and initiatives die by the dozens every day in law and accounting firms (and just about every other type of organization). How is it that good ideas can tank so quickly? The new client care program; the leadership program; the new website and branding.... So many wonderful ideas with "no future here".

No matter how fantastic my proposed marketing programs might have been there are some things I've always HAD to do to enable success. Otherwise, I did not start -- failure was certainly close behind.
  • The biggest fan of my project has to be the leaders of the firm: Not every project needs attention from the highest echelon but if it is a big program with far reaching implications, my highest leadership has to be the loudest cheerleaders. Never launch a culture-changing program until I've secured the best cheerleaders.
  • Keep the decision circle small and influential: Many projects fail because too many people were asked to be part of the decision cycle. It is imperative that I orchestrate any committee formation around my idea to include as few people as possible whom are as influential as possible. I have moved so many projects forward based alone on the influence of hand-picked partners.
  • Speed is my friend: The more radical an idea the faster it needs to move along. Nothing cripples a project more than offering people time to think (too long). I would definitely never hoodwink anyone, but, more time to think is equal to more time to consider fear.
  • Knowing the difference between programs parts that can be compromised and those that cannot: Having room to adjust is important, and knowing what would neutralize my program is imperative. Once a program is neutralized it is time to stop and move on.
  • Have external advisers: I have been so ready to tank good projects making good progress just because of my own self-doubt. Having good professionals on the outside of my firm to look over my shoulder have saved me time and time again.
  • I drink a little bit of my own Kool-Aid: Intelligent passion sells! Never be afraid to be your own biggest cheerleader, your own biggest believer, and your own biggest supporter. I am certainly ready to listen to reality, but in the face of an illogical argument, passion has often won over many a dissenter.
Not every project or idea that you push through will succeed, but success is almost not as important as to keep moving. A bad idea that puts people in motion is always better than long periods of time when no one moves at all.