Expert's Panel

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    How do you establish good, productive relationships with upper management? What are the effective ways to get them to buy-in to your marketing plan or roadmap?

  1. Let's start with one word: "Competency."
  2. When we discussed examples that were excellent marketing, we discovered that in each case the people who drove those projects were not the marketing people. Instead they were the senior management people. So you need to go find out the marketing vision of senior management you are trying to influence and find out whether that is something you can buy-in to and support. Then applications knowledge and understanding market requirements is always the path to success.
  3. I have the answer to this. It lies in the skill set of a good marketer--diplomacy, humility and passion. Intelligence is obviously another necessary ingredient. If you are passionate about your product, you are intelligent in presenting your views, and you have just a little humility, I think you can get along with upper management pretty well.
  4. All of what has been mentioned is important. Adding to that - when you carry out tasks and are successful with them, make sure it's known. You can't go around beating the drum all the time, but in some humble way without carrying banners, just make sure people do know that you carried this out well. If you are in a battle or antagonistic situation and you won, then you had a judgement that was endorsed on the battlefield - highlight it. Success breeds confidence in yourself, breeds confidence in you by others, and increases your influence or power. You accumulate this with time as each one builds on the other. It's a process that takes time.
  5. Along with the passion is a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the overall company's strategy and vision. Then, since you have to rely on so many ways to get your message across and be recognized, help other people to succeed. You may introduce different ideas from your knowledge base that help them to accomplish their objective. The more you get out of your own "box" and help the broader team, the more word of your ability gets around.