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 ( The views and opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily those of SAP. She can be reached at

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