While a significant percentage of you, our Demand Creator Blog’s audience, might be responsible for implementing the ideas and strategies shared here in order to help your organization reach its sales growth goals, many of you don’t always have the authority to decide when it’s time to implement new strategies or choose, in general, what’s actually done in order to reach those goals.
Salespeople, marketers, and business professionals of all ages, with all different levels of experience and authority, often ask me what they can do to get their management team to join them and get behind the ideas we share on this blog. Rather than answering this question from my perspective, I thought it would be more valuable to hear it from the perspective of someone who has experience with this firsthand, which is why this post comes straight from our Marketing Manager, Jackie Voutsinas.
So you feel that your company has some untapped potential that lies within its content marketing efforts (or lack thereof)… What can you do to get the decision makers within your company to see what you see?
Your office might seem like a bit of a jungle at times, and if there’s someone at the top of the food chain in your office who doesn’t seem too interested in your ideas, or just thinks their own ideas are superior, then you’re dealing with a HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion).
If you’re anything like me, you’ll bend over backwards to get the job done exactly how your HiPPO wants it to be done… But, you still have ideas of your own. You’d love it if your HiPPO would just hear you out for once, especially since you genuinely admire them for all of their experience and authority. So as a salesperson, entry-level marketer, someone who’s new to your company, or just a member of Generation Y who naturally “gets it,” how do you get your HiPPO to understand that they’re missing out by choosing to ignore the importance and value of content marketing? How can you get them to finally hop on the content bandwagon so you can stop missing out on opportunities for growth?
You’re on the same team
Whether your company has absolutely nothing happening on the content marketing front, or if your company has a content marketing strategy in place but you have ideas that you think could improve it, the most important thing you need to do is make sure you remind your HiPPO that you’re working towards the same goal. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s about helping your company reach their goals and make sales growth predictable, sustainable and scalable. Make sure you start the conversation by explaining your specific goal and how it aligns with your HiPPO’s goals and company’s goals in general.
If your company isn’t doing any content marketing at all….
- It might be a good idea to start off with some cold-hard stats. These facts alone should be more than convincing as to why you need to be creating content.
- The first thing 80% of people do when they confront a problem or have a question is to go online and search for an answer.
- An online search has now equaled or eclipsed advice from friends, family or colleagues in the purchase process.
- The amount of content sources reviewed by a potential buyer before being ready to engage in a buying process doubled from 5.2 in 2010 to 10.4 in 2011. (Just imagine what it is in 2014.)
- Most of the tools needed to get your content out there are free. It will cost you absolutely nothing to create a free blog, sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. and the ROI can be incredible if executed correctly.
- If you feel strongly about the need for content marketing, it might be a good idea to offer to take on some of the work yourself. While this might not be your ideal situation and you probably already have plenty on your plate, if you can execute and drive results, who knows… you could even end up looking like a bit of a hero. Or, at the very least, you’ll probably get the creative freedom that you deserve and your ideas will hold much more weight in the future.
There’s usually three ways the conversation could go:
- You either chicken out or get shut down: This is the worst case scenario, because now you have to carry on knowing that you’re working for a company that’s choosing to miss out on opportunities for growth.
- You agree to compromise: Whether this means you end up taking on the task as extra responsibility for yourself, or your ideas will be combined with whatever current marketing tactics your company uses, it’s a good start and the next section will teach you how to further implement your ideas.
- You hit a home run and your HiPPO agrees to start implementing a content marketing strategy ASAP. Whether that means to hire a content marketing team, outsource your new content marketing efforts, or create a team out of existing employees to handle this, you executed the conversation perfectly.
If your company already has any type of content marketing strategy in place…
If a content marketing strategy is already in place, then testing your ideas against the current tactics is a perfect way to get through to your HiPPO. Why speculate when you can prove how well your ideas work with actual data?
Ask your HiPPO to allow you to run an A/B test that compares the current content to your new version of the content, or start a free blog and track the blog’s performance (clicks, subscribers, leads, home page views, etc). Numbers don’t lie, and if you can show your HiPPO just how effective your content marketing ideas can be, there’s not much you can do that could be more persuasive.
So SPEAK UP! You know the value of content marketing and as long as you keep in mind that you and the HiPPO are on the same team, there’s plenty of ways to get your thoughts heard and bring your content marketing ideas to life.