I can almost see it. There you are, Moses-like, standing heroically on the summit, looking out at the fertile valley of inbound marketing, waiting to descend to the shop floor to set your company free to tackle unprecedented business growth.
You've done your due diligence, read white papers until your eyes bled, decided that this was the right direction strategically, figured out how you're going to support the new capabilities required, made decisions on the technology needed, carved out a budget to outsource the things you can't handle internally, and now you're finally ready to pull the trigger and get things started!
There's just one more thing to think about to insure your inbound strategy achieves the kind of energy required to guarantee success: create an Inbound Marketing Workshop event!
I know right now some people are rolling their eyes and saying "Typical agency guy, wants to have an event every time there's a new initiative or strategy!" Well, first of all, there's nothing typical about me, but that's a different story.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how important commitment is as a predictor of inbound success. This kickoff event is all about gaining commitment across the ranks of an organization. Because most of us have, at one time or another in our careers, witnessed the incredible things that can happen when an organization gets committed behind one galvanizing vision or direction.
The Secret Sauce of Gaining Commitment
Just in case anyone doubts the importance of using an event to trigger commitment that can create energy and momentum, here are my top 5 ingredients to gain a team's commitment:
Getting started is a lot of work; people need to understand why this strategy is right and appropriate for your business and industry
We've all seen book-of-the-month initiatives that don't last 60 days; people need to see that senior management is committed to making this succeed so they can believe in the direction
Another way people decide to believe is seeing how something will work. Tangible proof of concept helps them accept it as plausible
People will only tackle difficult challenges if goals are clear, valuable and achievable, which then provides opportunities for progress reporting along the way
Finally, if you want people to change behavior, tell them specifically how their role is changing, and why that's important in the context of new direction
Building a Kick-Ass Kickoff
Based on these ingredients to drive commitment, here are the elements we would always want to include in an IM kickoff workshop:
Improved sales force productivity – working on high-quality leads only
Better engagement with customers and prospects
Growth and profitability exceeding industry norms
5. What You Need to Do
Participate in content planning and creation
Increase focus on understanding our customer value propositions
Support approved social media protocols
Get excited about progress and wins!
A company's culture, and the demands on the workforce, will always have an impact on how far you can take a kickoff workshop. We're planning one for a client right now that might start pre-dawn, and be repeated back-to-back so only half of the team is offline at one time. So while we're going to be watching the clock closely, we're still going to cover the five elements described above, because we know they all matter in delivering a committed team.
Because in the end, there's nothing a committed team can't accomplish once they're all pointed firmly in the right direction.
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.