In some regards, marketing a change programme is the easiest part of The Overall Model [TOM].
However, there are a number of aspects that you do need to consider. First, for the easy part.
The part that everyone focuses on and is a costly mistake to make:
Media and Tools: Take any marketing department, group or team; stick them in a room and ask them how to market a particular service or product and 10,000 ideas and suggestions will be the result. Normally, around the media and tools that will be used to market the programme, including:
Web sites, posters, videos, webinars, corporate branded slides, booklets, magazines, merchandise [T shirts, hoodies, coffee cups, pens, lapel pins (in the USA), etc etc]. One of my favorite desks that I see when I go to the corporate HQ of a company, is a marketeers desk covered with all of this stuff.
We all like the toys and trappings that marketing give out. Who amongst you has gone to a seminar, a conference or event and always, almost always got the pens, mugs and other stuff off the stands. It is that feeling of getting something for nothing, but rarely does it actually mean we consciously think of that company’s product or service.
Marketing the Programme: The correct approach is think of the change programme as the major product / service launch in the organisation.</b> You need to consider the following aspects:
Identity: You are creating an image and identify for the programme. What is it? What image represents the programme goals, its vision, where you are taking the organisation?
Branding: Are you going to brand the programme, the materials from the programme, even the change agents [not literally mind you!]. How does this tie in to the corporate logo, identity, and brand? Is it in potential conflict? Is this something you WANT to create? Do you want to challenge the status quo?
Consistent Messaging: Nothing creates more confusion and failures in any change programme, than a lack of consistent messaging. On average you remember something after it has been repeated to you approximately seven times. Yes, seven times before something sticks. So the next time you think that sending out an e:mail to the organisation is going to make the change reasons be understood, think again.
Instead, think of the “The RIP toolbox” as a method to help in this. This toolbox contains the three key strategies to help people remember key messages. They are:
repetition, imagery, and patterns (RIP). Many people believe that just reading something is enough. Often, that is not sufficient. We remember something best when it is organized and rehearsed. That it is repeated in different forms, that sometimes it is taken out of its normal context and appears new or fresh.
In the end, marketing the programme is as much a science as it is an art. I would even advocate you getting your Marketing group involved if it is a company wide programme. I leave you with a funny blunder a global organisation made on a product launch, just to show that even the best can make mistakes:
When breaking into the highly competitive consumer PC market, Panasonic selected a popular cartoon character as the brand mascot its new PC. To create a "theme," they named the device itself "The Woody," its touch screen feature "Touch Woody" ... and its automatic web browsing feature "The Internet Pecker."
I make no comment…………
If you want to read other blunders, check out: