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Cliché your way to marketing success

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I decided to begin the quarter with a brand new campaign. Fearful that my marketing was growing stale, I decided I had to shift the paradigm if I wanted to move the needle.

I puzzled over my strategy, looking for the secret sauce that would allow me to push the envelope with a game-changing program.

I knew I was going to have to think outside the box if I wanted to raise the bar, but I was really bandwidth-constrained which meant that I'd have to work smarter, not harder. I decided to get really tactical and practical and reach out to my colleagues to bluesky some ideas. I wanted to be respectful of their time, so I proposed a pull versus push strategy that would let us go after the low-hanging fruit. My ask was that they help me operationalize the campaign so that at the end of the day we'd have a win-win situation.

First I had to touch base with them in order to leverage their expertise. I wanted to be able to give them 15 minutes back in their day, so I just gave them the 30,000-foot view.

In order to build a better mousetrap we would have to ID the silver bullet. After gathering their input, I decided we had to drink our own Kool-Aid and use a thought leadership approach.

I set about the process of calendaring the tactics and rationalizing the spend so that I could optimize the outcome. I knew that I had to build a scalable program, which meant I had to circle back. We wound up doing a complete 360. (Side note: Can a partial 360 still be a 360? And don't we really mean a 180 here? WHATever!)

Whenever someone pushed back, I told them, "That's fair," (which really means I don't agree at all, but I'm trying to be nice ).

Since our goal was organic growth, we knew the program would be directional. The plan was holistic, and as a value add we were able to eat our own dog food.

Ginger Shimp is marketing director for SAP America (www.sap.com). The views and opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily those of SAP. She can be reached at gingershimp@gmail.com.

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