As a product marketer, your role is to bring the customer's perspective into the development cycle and use it to create products that customers actually want. It's a daunting task, and even if you do everything right (by, say, creating a compelling value prop), you might still encounter resistance from stakeholders with different perspectives—or who have more power than you. So what do you do when they don't share your vision? Here are some strategies for getting buying from your stakeholders:
Align your product's vision with your stakeholders' goals
Before beginning any project, you should share the vision with your stakeholders. You can do this in a meeting or over email as needed. If you share the vision with them before beginning a project, it's clear that everyone is on board and aligned from the outset.
If you are working on a major product update or new feature that will require new functionality from other teams, then sharing the vision at least once during the process is critical for channeling their efforts into building something that fits together well. This visibility also helps ensure that everyone knows what's expected of them at each step of the way towards launch – whether it's design mockups or code reviews – so that there isn't any confusion about what needs to be done next to move toward completion.
When launching new products/features (or even updating existing ones), sharing these goals with your stakeholders again ensures they are ready to support these initiatives.
Develop credibility and trust with stakeholders
Show them you are trustworthy. If someone doesn't think you can be trusted, they won't give your opinion much weight. Show them you are credible. Stakeholders will evaluate the credibility of information based on its source and the reputation of that source. They will also consider whether a particular piece of information is consistent with what they already know about the topic at hand.
Show them you are knowledgeable about product marketing and development processes, including how requirements get translated into deliverables.
Demonstrate your expertise by sharing stories from past experiences where your expertise has been valuable. But never boast or brag! The aim here is to build rapport through storytelling rather than trying to "win" an argument with someone when things don't go exactly as planned during project execution phases.
Reassure stakeholders by projecting confidence
Project confidence and optimism about the project. Have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of your project before approaching the stakeholders. You should be able to answer questions about the project without hesitation or uncertainty—this will help build trust with your team members, which in turn will make them more likely to support whatever decisions you make.
Be prepared to answer questions about the project's timeline and budgeting process so that everyone understands how resources are allocated during different phases of development.
Prove ROI before, during, and after the project
As a product marketer, you're going to be faced with a lot of stakeholders. They'll have different opinions and perspectives, and they'll all have something to say about the product you're working on.
How do you get them all on board?
It's simple: prove ROI before, during, and after the project.
Prove ROI before: Before starting a project, ensure everyone knows what the return on investment (ROI) will be for the team. That way, every decision made along the course will be based on that information.
Prove ROI during: Make sure that everyone knows how close you are to reaching your goal—and how much closer you are than if no one had done anything! It will give them a sense of accomplishment and make them feel like they too are working toward something meaningful.
Prove ROI after: Once things are over, show them what you did to move the needle forward so they can see exactly how much good work they contributed to! It will help them feel better about their time spent on this project.
Getting buy-in from stakeholders requires careful planning. With a thorough understanding of stakeholder needs and a few simple strategies for getting their support and trust, you can execute projects successfully.
Buy-in is an essential part of your job as a product marketer. You need to get stakeholders on board when you're working on a project and use their support to motivate the rest of your team.
As you can see, there are many potential reasons why stakeholders might not get behind your initiatives. By following the brief steps we've outlined above, you can ensure that you'll have all the information and resources you need to drive projects forward and guide stakeholders toward success.