Getting sign off on creative ideas

Our recent survey of senior B2B marketers revealed that creative thinking was the number one trait that people wanted to bring more of into their team. One of the interesting ripples from this was a few reactions we received. Several people took the time to write to us saying that creative thinking wasn’t their issue, but getting buy-in for fresh creative approaches from the rest of the business and getting final sign-off was.

With this in mind we thought it made sense to share a few tactics that might help get your awesome campaigns signed off:

The collaborative one

Rather than presenting your new shiny campaign as a fait accompli, involve the other people who’ll have a say in the development process. Gather their ideas and insights early and be sure to record who said what. That way when you present your creative ideas back to them, you can credit them with originating some of the thinking behind it, implying a sort of tacit pre-approval that makes it quite tricky to then turn around and file serious objections to your direction.

The logical one

This is all about turning the pressures you’re facing into your advantages. You’re being asked for more/better leads, more sales, a better marketing performance on a reduced budget… whatever it is, you’re being asked to drive a change from the status quo. You can then turn to the age-old logical argument that if you continue to do the same thing, you’ll get the same result. Justification for trying a new, more creative approach. If the business wants different results, it needs to be open to doing things differently.


The analytical one

If both of the above have been tried to no avail, this one might just get you over the line. Offer to test your exciting new concept against the status quo in a low budget (ideally A/B split) experiment to see which gets the best results.

Aside from anything else this is a really sound bit of technique anyway, mitigating risk before you pour a tonne of budget into something new. But it also provides a virtually irrefutable argument for the business as to why you should be allowed to go with a fresh strategy or creative approach. Very few people will say no to something that’s proved to provide an X% uplift in results. And the few that do, you probably don’t want to work with anyway.

We’d love to know how you get on implementing these ideas and celebrate with you if they helped you convince the traditionalists in your business to try something new!