What Marketers Can Learn About Stakeholder Buy-in from HBO’s Succession
First Published: 24
HBO's Succession has captivated viewers with its gripping drama and dark humour and its current final season has many on the edge of their seats.
For those who aren’t fans of watching the Roy family or watching their power struggles as they vie for control of their family business, that’s okay.
This blog isn’t to debate which sibling will ultimately take control. Instead, for business leaders everywhere, Succession is an important lesson in stakeholder buy-in.
Why stakeholder buy-in is important
While this show is probably a more extreme example of what happens when stakeholders aren’t aligned, it nonetheless reminds us of why it needs to be appropriately weighted when considering implementing a marketing agency into your business.
Although stakeholders are sometimes seen as obstacles to implementation, they can actually bring significant value when it comes to developing strategies. Stakeholders can offer valuable insights and encourage their teams to buy-in as well.
The best outcome is when you can get immediate buy-in from a stakeholder as they then become natural advocates and can encourage others to buy in.
By recognising and leveraging stakeholders' unique perspectives and influence, you can turn them into valuable allies in your marketing initiatives and increase the chances of obtaining buy-in across the organisation.
Identify key stakeholders
The first step in obtaining internal buy-in is identifying your stakeholders, which requires a comprehensive understanding of their roles, challenges, requirements, and objectives.
Consider the perspectives of stakeholders from all relevant departments and carefully map out how they fit into the broader marketing process.
t's important to recognise that marketing isn’t a siloed area of the business – it affects every revenue stream, hence why stakeholders are involved for a reason. You should consider how this will impact and benefit your sales team, your organisation’s culture, and even any internal marketing teams you have.
Buy-in doesn’t happen overnight and might not even happen on the first try. The best way to approach getting internal buy-in is to prepare for what the objections might be:
1. Teams that aren’t ready for change
One common hurdle to securing buy-in is a lack of enthusiasm or willingness to embrace change. Some may worry about the impact on internal processes, roles, and responsibilities or potential resistance to change from employees or other stakeholders, all of which should be considered.
2. Previous experiences
If a stakeholder has had a bad experience with a marketing agency, that may shape their response. In that case, you may consider working one-on-one with the stakeholder and the perspective agency to help work through and address concerns.
3. Understanding marketing
Obtaining buy-in always requires education.
Some non-marketing areas of the business may not fully grasp the value of marketing. To overcome this, it's important to highlight the relevance and benefits of marketing from each stakeholder's perspective, address their concerns, and demonstrate how marketing initiatives can positively impact them.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information, data is the only real thing we can rely on.
Data is one of the most effective tools for persuasive communication. When presented effectively, it adds weight and credibility to your proposals. Concrete data eliminates guesswork, preventing arguments based on bias or assumptions.
Identify the most relevant statistical data that authentically supports your claims. Present it in a visually appealing manner that is easy to comprehend. Additionally, ensure you cover data supporting both short-term and long-term benefits.
We can also learn from the Roy family the importance of communication (or the consequences of being truly terrible communicators).
To keep things moving towards implementation, ensure you maintain active discussions with your key stakeholders.
Organise collaborative brainstorming sessions with stakeholders and your external marketing team to generate new ideas and solutions. Encourage open and candid discussions, and create a space for stakeholders to voice their opinions and perspectives.
Incorporate stakeholders' input into the marketing strategies and show how their ideas have been implemented into future marketing activities. This approach fosters a sense of ownership among stakeholders and increases their engagement and buy-in.
Just as the Roy family jostles for power, businesses must navigate the dynamics of stakeholder relationships to ensure the smooth implementation of marketing initiatives, from identifying key stakeholders to leveraging data and fostering open communication through collaborative sessions.
After all, just like in the show, the stakes are high, and the consequences of poor stakeholder alignment can be as dramatic. Don't let your marketing strategy slip away. Craft a compelling buy-in approach and secure your marketing strategy.