According to Forrester, by 2023 companies will spend up to $150 billion on digital marketing. You don’t need to convince people that digital marketing is good for business. However, one giant hurdle company’s face is persuading company leaders and stakeholders what it can do for their business. How can you get them to commit wholeheartedly to digital marketing programs?
Rallying the troops may seem like an uphill battle. Change is invariably met with resistance. But enlisting key staff across departments from the very beginning is critical for success. You’ll need to gather plenty of support and resources to execute your marketing goals.
Essentially, you are selling an idea. It takes a certain finesse backed by logic to influence people to believe in your vision. Manage your expectations up front and substantiate your claims with data to persuade non-believers.
Here are 5 best practices to encourage team members to adopt Digital Marketing to take the business to the next level:
1. Set Yourself Up as a Digital Marketing SME
In his famous self-help book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
This is sage advice for building rapport. When achieveing ambitious goals, building rapport is critical. The first step is to understand the business goals and outlin management’s objectives. Then gain their confidence and support by acting as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) to help them support their goals. When you understand and address their needs, you set yourself up as an authority.
Once you gain their confidence, show them the cost of doing business the old way compared with how digital marketing will add to the bottom line.
Next, create a financial case that lines up with their business objectives. The key is to work backward from the main objectives that your executive team values most. If revenue is the main objective, make your case based on revenues. Instill your stakeholders’ trust and confidence by delivering your expertise with conviction! Once stakeholders look to you as the SME, you will find more support and people will tune in to the ideas you present.
2. Support your Claims with Data-Driven Digital Marketing Case Studies
How do you dodge the potential question, “This all sounds good in theory, but how do you know it will work?”
Demonstrate proof by sharing case studies. Dishing about their competitor’s success is a sure-fire way to persuade buy-in. Get their juices flowing by showing how digital marketing drove results for others. They don’t want to be left behind.
For example, illustrate how Digital Marketing helped reduce the cost per new user acquisition and back it up with data. This will kick them into high gear!
3. Recognize the Power of Small Wins
Get a few wins under your belt in a short time to gain momentum. Small victories cultivate stakeholder buy-in across your organization and increase your chances for long-term success.
It’s tempting to look at one top-level goal and go after that. However, by focusing on a few small wins first, you’ll impress them with results.
Try going for smaller campaigns where you can make the maximum impact and require fewer approval processes. This way you can execute your changes fairly quickly. It’s all about building trust. The real value comes in making an impression with small feats.
Overall, be realistic about what resources you’ll require to achieve your goals. Start small, gain wins, show value, then evolve to larger projects to gain notice and spark enthusiasm.
4. Show Digital Marketing Data to Persuade Buy-in
Everyone knows they need Digital Marketing, but not everyone has transitioned to digital to the degree they should. How can you convince people they can go digital without rocking the boat?
Outline a strategic plan to show how Digital Marketing leads to faster revenue growth. Set projections over the next 60 days, 90 days and 120 days. Illustrate how SEO, social media and content marketing can drive traffic and increase leads.
Show data and marketing analytics to prove how digital marketing can generate more leads and higher sales volumes adding to the bottom line. The data will help sell the idea and show stakeholders the infinite possibilities.
5. Bring Company Stakeholders Together to Pitch In
Select key people across departments to join your team so leaders and influencers within the organization feel a part of the process. Ask people to come on board and keep them engaged through emails, face-to-face meetings and conference calls.
Identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and encourage them to contribute their inputs or create content through writing thought leadership papers, articles and blogs. Invite them to participate in a webinar or podcast!
Create a Digital Marketing Culture
Follow these first steps to persuade people to buy into your plan. Communication backed by sound data and real-life stories will encourage people to invest in your ideas. Sharing strategies that show how Digital Marketing adds revenue is part of the equation. Leveraging the power of small wins to gain a circle of influence to drive it home.
Will your ideas always go according to plan? Of course not. But if you’ve set a good foundation for company-wide buy-in, you’ll gain the support you need to stay on track.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for creating company-wide buy-in? Want to know more about how Digital Marketing can deliver results for your company? Feel free to contact us. We love hearing from you!