Use Internal Marketing to Build your Pilot Program Buy-in


Share on LinkedIn

Our customers are leaving and franchisees are complaining. What can we do quickly to make a difference?

Introducing the Seven Rules of No Excuses Marketing

Part 3

Our retail client was “between a rock and a hard place” — the customer base was declining and franchisees were up in arms. The business was subscription-based; after initial sign-up, customers could cancel at any time with a 30 day notice. The CEO was upset and our client needed action NOW.

Here are the five rules that we have covered so far:

  1. Don’t complain about what you don’t have; use what you got.
  2. Data only has to be accurate enough for the decision that needs to be made.
  3. Make your spreadsheets work hard to make your project run fast.
  4. Challenge Conventional Wisdom with Data.
  5. Work from the Bottom Up.

Click here to learn about Rules 1 and 2, and click here to learn about Rules 3-5.

No Excuses Marketing Rule #6: Market to internal customers to insure you earn their “loyalty”

Designing and executing a successful pilot marketing program is one step toward success. But if you do not take the next step, you will still wind up short of the goal line as time runs out. This often-overlooked step is critical to the success of a quick-to-market, high impact initiative, often making the difference between failure and success.

It is called “The Roadshow.”

The Roadshow is an internal document that customers and clients will never see. It is the beginning of the internal marketing campaign, one that will never end, as you reach out and contact the key stakeholders in achieving your goals — Sales, Operations, Finance and Executive. Essentially, think of your internal stakeholders as marketing targets. They need to be convinced that your pilot marketing program actually worked and can work again in a roll-out fashion, across the business. The Roadshow is an internal marketing document that is tailored to the needs of each stakeholder specifically, demonstrating how the marketing initiative will help to meet THEIR business objectives, not your own. As you know, WIFM (What’s In It For Me?) is a critical question to answer to get buy-in from the teams that need to believe for your program to succeed.

The pilot program was successful; for our limited group of Franchisees, we had significantly reduced attrition during a 90-day pilot, both compared to last year and on a rolling basis. Everyone involved was pleased. But our work was not at all complete.

For our client, we developed a core presentation that presented the pilot program in summary with results, payout and projected results in a rollout scenario. We then created a series of customized sections highlighting ROI and control group results for Finance, increased revenue and traffic for Sales, and so on. For Executive, we showed the change in comp store sales (same store sales vs. previous year) and Franchisee feedback from a pre-post survey we conducted. Each time Marketing presented the results, we enlisted a representative Franchisee from the pilot program to participate, so they could present the results and talk about how the program was developed and executed in their own market. The “Voice of the Street” was critical to gaining credibility for our effort.

As the different stakeholders began to buy-in, we continued to involve the pilot Franchisees as an advisory council on the development of the rollout program. When it was time to announce and train the next phase of Franchisees in the program (we decided to do a phased rollout in order to manage execution and cost), we encouraged the pilot Franchisees to come out and do the training in person. Their street cred was incredibly valuable. When Marketing spoke, the field team watched; when the Franchisees spoke, the field team LISTENED.

Your internal customers may be as important as your external ones when you are bringing something new to the table. There were three simple keys to this rule:

  1. Select the pilot participants carefully — “Early Adopters
  2. Make them heroes in the organization
  3. Let them present to the rest of the organization to leverage their street cred

Build from the inside out to make your marketing pilots succeed.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Price
Mark Price is the managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting (, a consulting firm that specializes in customer analysis and relationship marketing. He is responsible for leading client engagements, e-commerce and database marketing, and talent acquisition. Mark is also a RetailWire Brain Trust Panelist, a blogger at and a monthly contributor to the blog of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here