Marketing

10 Steps for Better Change Management

In today’s turbulent times many organizations are experiencing change. The time comes when you realize that what got you to this point doesn’t work as well as it should. Competitive pressure, market dynamics, lost opportunities and many other factors drive companies and their brands into transition.

To help manage transition and the development of a new plan and strategy, we’ve listed a 10-step process to help you become the new you.

Identify the Catalyst

Describe the motivation for a new marketing strategy. Who is initiating the change? Is there a specific problem to be resolved?

Situation Analysis

Assess and evaluate where you are today. Consider conducting a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis noting implications to financials as well as company and brand image. Confirm that there is agreement from executive leadership on the current state of the organization. Conduct research if necessary to validate assumptions or gain additional insights.
Consider using a mapping grid (i.e., a two-axis grid comparing variables, such as Price and Quality) to plot the agreed position in the marketplace versus the competition. Define the problem to be resolved.

Vision

Analyze the current vision statement relative to the completed situation analysis. Ask yourself: Has the vision been realized? Is it still relevant? Does it indicate a logical course?

Marketing Objective

What specifically do we want to achieve? Consider revenues, awareness, image and other potential objectives. The marketing objective should be realistic and measurable. It should determine how you would evaluate success over time.

Positioning

Plot the desired new direction and note competitors on your path. How do we want to be perceived? Is it believable? Is it realistic? Remember to define what sets you apart. What are you selling?

Audience

Whom do we have to convince, both internally and externally? Identify the challenges, the preconceived notions and/or biases that should be overcome. What benefit do we offer? Are we addressing the right audience? Are we speaking their language?

Resources

List the brand assets that you have to help affect change (i.e., revenue, time, new opportunities). (Bonus: Here is every term you need to know to understand resources, from utilization to bill rates and cost rates.

Internalizing

Create synergy within the company and share the steps and process with all staff while seeking support for implementation. This will help you create the culture you need to succeed.

Implementation

The greatest plans and strategies can fall flat if not executed properly. Develop a creative strategy and tactical plan. Apply branding principles. Stick to the budget and the goals. Keep track of changes in the market that may require reevaluation.

Sell it

Remind everyone involved in the process about the goals and the results. Verbally celebrate each success. Merchandise the success through internal and external media. Consider developing a leadership or executive coaching program.

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The First Step in the Path...

Remember, each one of the ten steps noted above will take some thinking and some time. Some things you can do for yourself and others may require some additional resources. Some may stop you in your tracks while others may turn on the light bulb. Just remember it’s a process, not a magic wand.

To quote Artistotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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