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Marketing to the organization

If you can't persuade your peers and your boss, then your project is never going to have a chance. I've learned this the hard way.

Here are some of the principles of marketing that impact how you can get the organization to understand and to take action, because, as in all marketing, perception matters:

Permission: Do you have the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages about your project to the people you work with? Would they miss your updates and your insights if you didn't send them? How do you earn the ability to be heard?

Ideavirus: Do your ideas spread within the organization? Do people talk about your projects when you're not the one initiating the conversation, when you're not in the room?

Your story: Not the facts of your project or initiative, but the story of it… does it resonate with the worldview of the organization and the people who work there? If you're busy talking profit and they're busy listening for impact (or vice versa), how does that mismatch effect your ability to make change? (A key story element often overlooked by the internal storyteller: risk).

Remarkable: Are you creating work that demands to be talked about?

Tribes: Who's on your team–not because they report to you, but because you're in sync? Are you leading people who want to be led, helping parts of the organization move in a direction that feels right to them?

Idea diffusion: Are you bringing the boldest ideas to the early adopters, and socializing them gradually as they move through the organization to the majority?

Many of the books I've written (along with other post-advertising marketing books) address the idea of changing the status quo without interrupting strangers with ads. It's as important to do this inside your organization as outside.

Part of the job of the CEO or leader is to create an organization where good ideas are easy to market internally.

Internal marketing starts with this: do it intentionally, as intentionally as you would market your project outside the organization. Every memo, email and presentation you do inside is a marketing effort, and it should be treated that way.

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