Collaboration Is Key to Differentiation and Success

Steve Schmieder | Jul 02, 2015

Successful launches of new products hinge on the combination of insightful strategy, innovative creative and intuitive digital experiences, particularly in an already-saturated market. Throw into this mix social media acumen and smart, targeted delivery, and you have a recipe to elevate your campaign and differentiate it in a sea of sameness.

The most important thing to realize, however, is that if you silo any part of the process, chances are the whole thing will break down. To achieve optimal success, the individuals responsible for each element have to collaborate in one, unified effort. In other words, you have to tear down those silos.

This means beginning with a rigorous strategy phase that involves all key stakeholders working to understand not only who the audience is but also what their needs are and why they should care about your product, especially if several other options already exist. It also means arriving at that key insight that will resonate with the marketplace and make the product distinctive.

The overarching strategy that is developed then informs every aspect of the campaign. SMEs, creatives, digital producers, SEO and social specialists, and media strategists work in tandem to ensure the same messaging is used consistently across the board, conveying the very same product story at each and every touchpoint with the target audience.

For example, when an industrial lubricant manufacturer wanted to introduce new technology into an established marine market, they knew the key was to build trust among their target audience. The company needed to convey that their product was safe, reliable and complied with all EPA regulations. Another important goal was providing the needed information online and in an easy-to-find format. The team collaborated to ensure all messaging exuded confidence and staying power, and that it got in front of the right sets of eyes.

In another case, when an established asset management firm chose to partner with a high-profile fund manager to release a new income-oriented fund, the goal was to build awareness and attract funds to the portfolio. As the strategy was developed, it became clear that the reputation and personality of the CEO should be front and center. With this important insight in mind, a compelling, holistic campaign was created that featured this differentiating point and positioned the new fund for maximum impact.

In both instances, it was essential that everyone involved was sharing the load and pulling in the same direction. Here are some ideas for increasing collaboration and breaking down silos in your organization:

  1. Involve all key stakeholders at the kickoff of a project. This builds trust and fosters a sense of inclusion among team members. It’s also possible that someone can offer an idea or insight that is beyond the scope of their traditional “role.”
  2. Encourage ongoing dialogue between all team members. Try to avoid making overarching decisions in side conversations that exclude necessary players.
  3. Incorporate regular check-ins into your process. Use these check-ins to reinforce the main goals your team is working toward. This may help to right anything that has strayed off course and bring a renewed focus to the project.
  4. Identify and address any obstacles to communication. Take the time to meet with the team and discover areas where interaction can be improved upon, as well as processes to make that happen.
  5. Foster constructive feedback. Rather than focusing on what is wrong with a particular piece of the project, spend your energy on what would make it right or on elevating the existing idea to a better state. Communication flows when people feel safe to express their ideas.

Ready to put Blue Flame Thinking’s unique collaboration process to work for you? Contact Steve Schmieder at 312-327-5120 or sschmieder@blueflamethinking.com.

Steve Schmieder - CEO and Founder

Steve continually calls upon his 30 years of marketing expertise to help clients and their brands get to a better place.

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