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3 Ways To Convince Your Boss To Change Marketing Tactics

If you're in a situation where you know you can enact positive change in your company, here are 3 simple ways to convince your boss.

3 Ways To Convince Your Boss To Change Marketing Tactics

Posted Monday October 06th, 2014 by in Analysis + Strategy.

If I had to go back to business school to teach a class, the first thing I would tell young, talented businesswomen and men is that a person’s stature in an organization is by no means an indicator of progressive thinking. In fact, sometimes the Vice Presidents and other C-Suite Execs in the organization are the ones pushing the President or CEO for needed change, which unfortunately can result in a disappointing stalemate.

It’s true, change is hard – but too many opportunities abound in today’s marketing world to stay rooted in tradition. If you’re in a situation where you know you can enact positive change in your company, here are 3 simple ways to convince your boss to change marketing tactics:

  1. Make sure you’re sure. By that, I mean, make sure you understand the nature of your plan in context with where your company is going. Sometimes, only the top brass can see the view from 30,000 feet, and there may be politics, environmental sensitivities, or other forces at work that can explain why a certain strategy is being followed. If you can anticipate your context, you can be ready to answer any questions that come your way and prove that you really know your stuff.
  2. Be prepared. If your boss hasn’t changed her or his strategy in a while, it’s probably due to some sort of fear. The only thing that can alleviate fear is knowledge; so, bust out the PowerPoint deck, stuff it full of examples and metrics, and put on a memorable show. At the very least, the boss will see you as an innovative and devoted team player, even if s/he doesn’t buy your ideas.
  3. Bring in the big guns, and settle in for a long siege. Both bosses and employees can get complacent, particularly if revenue is flat or slightly up. Bringing in experts (consultants, branding agencies, etc) can soup up your presentation, shed an outside perspective on your brand, and shed perspective on what others in the industry are doing. Most likely due to the nature of organizational structure and the feeling of being “on the same level,” leaders can sometimes be more prone to trust the ideas of outsiders more than those of their own team. Just as fear will prevent change, fear can also spur change if used effectively (as in, the fear of getting left behind!). Remember too that change is about time and place – if you know your ideas are dynamite, settle in for a long siege, not a short battle. The respectfully consistent use of case studies, metrics and proof should finally pay off somewhere down the line.

Sometimes, leaders simply get stuck and nothing can get them out. We’ve seen leaders come out of the proverbial fog and into the light, and we’ve also seen otherwise clear-thinking leaders get hung up on a small detail and completely derail otherwise well-thought-out projects. Hopefully these 3 techniques will help you overcome the hurdles your leader faces and allow your company to move towards a more positive strategic direction.

Have you tried to convince your boss to move in a more positive direction with your company? Tell us about it, and keep fighting the good fight!


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