Enthusiasm and passion are all fine and well when it comes to lightbulb moments and big ideas, but unfortunately – sorry, creative teams – they mean nothing when it comes to securing leadership buy-in for said big ideas. Successfully sharing or selling an idea is as important as the idea itself, and without being able to get this right, the idea will go nowhere.
Three factors play a pivotal role in getting the big guns to buy into your big idea: your organisation’s leadership, team leaders and of course, your client.
In most cases, it isn’t difficult to figure out what leaders in your organisation want. Look at your company’s website, press releases, internal memos and company newsletters. They are all indicators of what your company stands for. If your idea is in sync with the company’s ideology, then you are definitely in a good place. Use this to your advantage. Your idea will never reach your client if your boss doesn’t approve!
Your whole team needs to believe in your idea. You may end up convincing the boss or the client, but don’t forget that your team members are the ones who will bring your idea to life – so you need their full support. Find a champion in your senior leadership team. Someone who has influence and credibility within the organisation, and more importantly, who believes in your big idea.
This comes down to one thing and one thing alone: trust. And it’s something that cannot be abused. It is our job to be sure that our idea will truly help the client achieve their business objectives even before pitching the idea to them. Some of the most successful client-agency relationships I have been a part of have had complete transparency on both sides. The greatest value an agency can provide is a well-informed outside perspective that manifests itself across efforts in strategy, creative, media and technology – and to do this on a consistent basis. Trust is only built over time.
One way of building trust is to ensure that your client is part of the process. The agency can be fluent in a client’s business, but it will never know the minute details as well as the client does. If a client feels part of the creative process, they are more likely to champion your idea when it comes to selling that idea to key stakeholders in the business and getting those much-needed budget approvals.
Creativity truly is a team sport. Many of us can have great creative ideas, but almost without exception, it takes a team to bring it to life. (See how Isobar Kenya did this with pretty great success, if I do say so myself.)