I frequently get emails and social media inquires from people who tell me that they’ve learned the ideas in The New Rules of Marketing and PR or one of my other books and are eager to implement the strategies and tactics, but somebody higher up in the organization says “no”. People ask: “What can I do to convince the bosses?”
Here are some of the things I suggest to people for how they can handle the situation. Depending on your position in the company and who the higher ups are, one or several of these strategies might help you.
Most of the negative reaction comes from fear of the unknown
Your first challenge will be to explain to your colleagues how the way that people buy has changed. People go to Google and ask friends on social media. Everyone already knows that of course, but many people are fearful that since they don’t understand the ideas of new marketing themselves, that they will look silly when you ask them to implement. So your task is to gently explain, recognize that the negativity is based on fear, and gain permission.
Ask how the naysayer makes purchasing decisions
One approach is to ask the person who is reluctant how they made their last few big purchases for personal or professional use. Did they go to Google and research that new car or vacation or set of golf clubs or their child’s choices of university to attend? Did they ask colleagues via email or on LinkedIn before buying that software service for your company? Nearly everybody answers “yes” to these questions so you can just say that you want your company to be in front of people when they are doing their research.
Point out that content creation and social networking is free
Sometimes people assume that new marketing is just another form of advertising and will require a big budget. Explain that content creation can be done in-house using available resources.
What to do if you still face pushback
I tell people that if there is continued strong resistance, you have a few choices to make. It’s up to you how to proceed, but do so by making a conscious choice among the following:
1) You can stick with the status quo, don’t make any changes, and keep collecting your paycheck.
2) You can quietly create content and implement social media without permission and ask forgiveness later. If you’re successful you might become a superstar in the company.
3) You can be a disruptive agent of change by continuing to push back. This could quite possibly result in you getting fired. Or perhaps you will bring the company down a new path of success and get promoted as a result.
4) You could find a new company to work for that supports modern sales and marketing strategies. Or you could start your own venture. Here in the U.S. it is a strong economy as I write this and there are many opportunities to move on.
Realize you have a choice. It’s up to you.