Manage dozens of opinions with an internal communications plan
The land border Duty Free stores are a group of 28 retail entrepreneurs who operate independently of one another. They share the market challenges that most Canadian retailers face, and our marketing objective was to determine the best way to communicate the common benefit of these independent businesses.
To do this, we needed to manage 28 different sources of knowledge, market intelligence and information; overlooking anything or anyone risked missing vital information. This complexity was compounded by the contributions of select outside experts.
So, in a strange way the “internal communications” was just as challenging as the “marketing”.
A process for all
We created a process where all voices could be heard at defined moments throughout the project. This ensured, critically, group involvement and participation in the program with the benefit of generating an understanding of the rationale and the benefits. Thus, creating buy-in was not the obstacle that it could have been.
Also, by defining when stages of the program were open for discussion, the creative process had the free space it needed for development.
A process for one
We also identified one point of contact to exchange information and communicate decisions. This ensured that contributions and ideas were organized and could be efficiently handled.
A simple process for a complex situation
Sometimes managing the contributions of multiple stakeholders is as large a communications task as solving the core marketing challenge. While every situation will be different, we learned that a complex marketing program requires a simple internal communications process in order to successfully, and sanely, reach the goal.