Archives for posts with tag: Alignment

You wouldn’t hire a marketer who was 30% efficient, would you? They don’t strike us as very efficient or effective.

Consider this though; as marketers we spend a lot of our time being creative, coming up with new ideas for a range of different things. We’re trying to stand out, to be different, and that takes effort.

We might spend some time putting together a proposal for something, only for it not to be selected by our line manager, for a host of reasons. Then it might get through the first gate and so we spend time – and sometimes money on a third party – developing the idea and finalising it for sign-off by the budget-holder. Sometimes the budget-holder might dismiss it out of hand, in which case the effort is gone. Or, they might ask for a few changes, and because they’re super-busy the revised version might languish in their inbox for a while, by which time we and they have moved onto other things. If enough time has elapsed, and we get back to it, the business has moved on and it needs extensive re-work. This is how it is working for a business of any size with lots of interconnected priorities and resources.

When I worked in an agency, we would be commissioned to come up with a campaign. We would brainstorm a bunch of ideas, work up the 3 or 4 best ideas, and present them. Only 1 idea was selected, or sometimes elements of a couple of them. You could argue that the other 75% of the effort was wasted, except that it wasn’t because it was part of the creative process that enabled us to get to the best solution.

I used to feel that when I was a marketing employee about 70% of my output did not end up being put to wealth-generating use. The other 30% was. This is the natural, organic nature of things in a business. It’s not unusual. That doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t strive to improve the ratio of successful to unsuccessful output.

As a consultant, I find the efficiency rate is good bit higher, perhaps because I’m better at what I do now, and perhaps because a company is more careful with the time it spends with external suppliers, and more profligate and cavalier with its own staff’s time.

When you think about it, then, the 30% efficient marketer is a lot better than we first thought.

Following hot on the heels of your planning work in the B2B product launch process is the need to get your people sorted.

The fifth B2B product launch process step is to align your people.

After you’ve planned the launch, you should get your protagonists together to review the planning, get their feedback, and make sure they’re comfortable committing to what you’re asking of them and their departments.

For this reason it’s wise to allow a bit of wiggle room time before executing the plan. This enables you to iterate your planning document so that all the key players are happy with the modified version.

Another useful step to build in is the consideration and incorporation of any feedback and experiences from those of your partners and customers who have had access to any prototypes or beta versions of your product. This work may have knock-on effects for your lead times and planning, so you’ll be thanking yourself for building in buffer before you hit the execute button. It’s also a good time to capture agreement from these early adopters to help with marketing endorsements and – in the absence of paying customers for the product – build credibility and confidence for the launch.

So, you’ve done your planning, got it blessed, and profited from the feedback loop on early versions of the product. You’re good to go.