Posts Tagged Engagement
Your company is launching a new product and there are several types of customers that could benefit from it. You need this product to be a success. It’s important to you, your co-workers, your boss, your board of directors and anyone else associated with your company. So what do you do? You are told to form a committee and so off you go. 3 months later, you find yourself at yet another 2 hour meeting with 30 different committee members, all from different backgrounds and agendas, and not a single theme, message or collateral piece has been agreed upon. You’re frustrated, your boss is annoyed and frankly your dog at home doesn’t like your new attitude.
Look, it makes sense. We want to incorporate everyone in our branding process and it’s important to get feedback from different people. Yet somewhere down the line we become so busy over-thinking what could go wrong and what we could miss, that we over-complicate the process and never end up making any decisions. It’s quite common and something we as marketers are all too familiar with. So what’s a marketer to do? Here are some tips I’ve found helpful to navigate the committee territory.
1. Be Honest
Do you really need a committee for the project you’re working on? Input is always important, but structuring a committee may not be the best way to go about the process. Sometimes it’s best to identify a list of questions or topics from different people and incorporate those points into the overall campaign or project. For a product launch that involves a new business partner or new market, a committee could be extremely helpful. Yet in cases where you’re just repackaging an item, it may not be necessary.
2. Be Selective
Make sure those that are invited to be on the committee will benefit the project. It doesn’t have to be a Who’s Who of the company resources, sometimes less is more. Make sure you have a varied background that can contribute to the overall success of the project, but don’t go overboard.
3. Set Definitive Goals
You have to know what you’re working towards. If you don’t have clear goals, it’ll be hard for your committee to rally around the subject matter. Everyone wants the project to be successful; they just may have different ideas on how to get there. Making goals and objectives as clear as possible (use actual numbers and metrics when possible) will help everyone to focus on the big picture and why you’re all there in the first place.
4. Set an Agenda
Having a clear agenda and sticking to it will help everyone to stay on track to accomplish the goals and tasks at hand. Be sure to recap the main points from previous meetings and have specific take away points from your current committee meeting. Everyone should have a task and a follow-up item to report on for next time. This ensures that progress is happening, which helps to energize everyone and also helps everyone to feel like they are part of the process.
5. Have a Clear Timeline
Make sure your timeline is clear. Give due dates and if you can avoid it, don’t modify the timeline. If there is a loose deadline, it’s much easier for people to mull over items and delay making decisions that need to be made.
6. Listen Up!
There are 7 billion people in the world so chances are there are a lot of great ideas out there (and yes, some of them may not even belong to you!). It can be frustrating to change direction in the middle of a project but if someone brings forward a compelling idea that could enhance the project overall, be open to it. Putting personal agendas to the side will help you to look at things more objectively, which can only help add to your success. If not everyone on your committee is as open as you are, be the example. Sometimes just seeing that someone else is actively listening and open to new ideas makes it ok for others to do the same.
So there you have it. Some simple, straight forward tips that can hopefully help everyone on your committee to feel more effective. Remember there is a value in forming committees when they’re done right. After all, there’s a reason why there are so many committees in the first place, right?
Have another idea or point to share? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to submit your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise I won’t even make you join a committee!