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COMMS – Marketing


“The aim of marketing is to reduce the need for selling”

I like this. It tells us that if you do your marketing brilliantly, you won’t need people to go and sell it for you.

I guess that depends on the skills and experience of your Marketing Team.

I’m not going to turn you into marketing specialists, don’t worry. There are some great books and experts out there, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re not professing to be those experts, but we do need marketing in our method and we need criteria for it.

The purpose of Marketing is to generate interest in your product and ensure the right people know what’s coming at the right time.

In Criteria you defined when you’ll be ready to deploy this thing. Then in Training, you acknowledged that you’ll need to get people ready for the new thing you’ve built. Now we come to Marketing.

You need a way of sharing this thing with the world, folks and marketing is what that is all about.

A tip (which can get sometimes get forgotten) is that Marketing is important for both internal and external people.

If your internal people don’t get it, how would you expect your customers to? Your internal people can be great advocates and salespeople even if that’s not their day job. Brand advocacy is a big deal in most organisations.

Marketing is many things

Think about what you see every day. Advertising, branding, image, emails, all with links for you to click. How organisations portray themselves using their products, and what those products say about those organisations.

All of that is Marketing. The rah rah and the launch events and much more. The important thing to remember is that marketing is for everyone. Internal and external.

Let’s go back to the three Ms we met in Training section of Comms: Market, Message and Media.

In Training we were trying to understand how to communicate and train people.

The same principles apply to Marketing.

Here we’re looking at who our different types of customers and people are. And remember, you want to market to your employees too.  You want to get them excited about what’s coming. It’s not just about customers. It’s about generating interest across the board.

You wouldn’t expect your operational colleagues to turn up to training tomorrow, but not to have told them anything about it first. And if you are not excited about it, frankly, why would your colleagues be excited about it?

We had better have a look at our old friend, Criteria. That’s the common thread running throughout the Comms of ABCDE. I said I wasn’t going to turn you into marketing people and I’m not.

Let’s take things back to our app

Remember the entry and the exit criteria we used for the app?

Example App Concept
Example App Concept

In the example, 10% of customers attended a demo of the new app.

Remember, you’re not actually demo-ing anything to anybody at this stage.

You are defining the criteria for that and you are defining it so that you’re ready for the next stage and you’ve got something for your marketing experts to respond to. They’ll need to develop a marketing plan for you and ideas that address these agreed criteria. That’s why you’ve got to come up with those criteria.

The results of all that will give you further evidence and confidence in your product.

Do you remember back in Aim when you were developing your idea and hypothesis?

We talked about getting evidence and confidence for that idea. Marketing helps to develop that further.

Can you spot a mistake on the picture above? It’s a bit of a trick question.

On the bottom right it says, “Go live. You need to get internal and external users excited.”

Well, I think that’s a very fine aim, but that is not SMART criteria.

There’s no measurement for that excitement level. So admirable as it is, that is not SMART criteria. And if it’s not SMART, how will you know you’ve got there?


There is an Approve element to all 5 sections of ABCDE

You use your criteria, meetings, governance to get that approval. Remember, you’re not the decision maker.

On that note, a reminder of RACI from the Manage section of Build.
Governance is not a dirty word. It’s about getting decisions made by the right people at the right time and keeping the whole thing forward moving.

It’s important that your Sponsor enters the next stage, knowing whether they’re ready. And in that next stage, your Sponsor is likely to be committing to a wedge of cash to deploy this thing and put it into production. The criteria that you agree in this Comms phase helps you make the decision on whether you go or don’t go live. It’s essential to walk and talk the right people through it as per the RACI and get that approved before you proceed.

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