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Today's Marketing Cookie - Get Some Real Work Done
"Cut through organizational impediments and get some real work done."
Today's fortune came from Maggie Seeliger of Houston, TX. Maggie is the Director of Marketing at Valerus where she oversees the global marketing strategy, public relations and marketing programs for the company brand and its products. She is the Past President and Membership Advisor for the award winning Houston Chapter of the AMA and served as the Director of Membership Retention and Development for the Women's Energy Network. Maggie is a great person to know and you should follow her on twitter: @mseeliger
Today's Marketing Cookie is asking for you to push, pull, run, jump, and take action, even when you're stuck. Although I have never worked in a giant company with multiple approval layers, indecision, creative sabotage, or "what if" sayers, "nay" sayers or "yeah but" sayers, I have had clients who do live in that world. I've seen their face twist around during a meeting when they look down at the latest "internal office email" that just buzzed in on their Blackberry during our meeting. I've heard them sigh on the phone as they call to inform me that they've been instructed to cancel the new killer marketing initiative that just couldn't get approval from the top brass.
It isn't easy.
While the bigger companies often have much bigger budgets, they sometimes have more opinions to include, more fears to quell, and will want to have more meetings. I've seen incredible "out of the box" creative ideas, be transformed back into "yawnville", and safely repackaged into the same-old box, with those little styrofoam peanuts. I've listened to companies beg us to "Please push us!", and "Don't let us get in the way of your creativity!", only to be foiled by the "constipation committee". I've watched the energy rush out of the conference room, in the eleventh hour, as the teeth are pulled form a wonderfully risky and a stand-up disruptive campaign, which is politely asked to sit-down.
It isn't easy.
I want you to know that there is hope. Even in the most stuckiest-stuck situations, I've seen marketers stand by what they believe in, and create enough wiggle room, just between the rock and the hard place, to prove their idea. After proving the brilliance of the idea, we had numbers to show the impact, and were not just allowed to proceed, we were encouraged to roll forward. True story.
You will always be tempted to do things "right", which is traditional market research, followed by a six month top-to-bottom branding and positioning exercise, and then a full blown twelve-month marketing strategy. Sometimes that is exactly what's needed. However, the top dogs may not have the patience for such things, and will start snarling, barking, and become restless. I've found that the secret to success in a big lumbering corporate world, is to plant little seeds that can germinate quickly.
You are amazingly smart and clever. Use your gut to try a few "pilots". Rather than trying to building consensus on ideas, concepts or theories, create a little test, and then you can build consensus on concrete numbers, analytics and revenue. If they agree that your little "test" is worth trying on a larger scale, they may help you cut through organizational impediments and get some real work done.