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Why every marketer needs a champion and an enabler in their organisation

Why every marketer needs a champion and an enabler in their organisation
Not everyone in a position of power in your organisation is going to be of help to you when it comes to ensuring the longevity of your marketing content activities, so map out the landscape to find the people that can help move you forward.
It’s sometimes an after thought for marketers that are busy and snowed under with the day to day, but the importance of seeking out your champions and enablers can’t be overstated when it comes to bulletproofing your marketing operations.
Firstly, get to know the difference between a champion and enabler. The champion is a senior stakeholder who buys in to your vision and priorities and is eager to help you succeed by opening pathways and making resources available to you. A champion is typically someone whose sponsorship and endorsement of your program can be used to send a positive signal to the rest of the organisation.
An enabler is different to the champion in that they have the keys to unlock practical solutions for your marketing program and can help you gain momentum once the champion’s tick of approval has been given. An enabler is in the trenches with you and can see the value of your vision and strategy and wants to be ‘on the tools’ to help you bring that vision to life.
In both cases, you’re generally looking for senior stakeholders in the business who have significant decision-making powers and, a broad and deep set of influential relationships across the organisation and an understanding of your vision and priorities.
It’s very possible that these stakeholders are not directly in your line of sight, so think laterally about which teams and functions of your business might house these champions and enablers.
Having mapped out where these people are, it’s time to start talking to them with the strategy and materials you’ve developed in step one that make your vision easy to understand. The key at this point is to ask as many questions as possible to understand how and when that champion and enabler can help to support you, promote your agenda and, if necessary defend your program and team.
Once you’ve had a warm response from one of these champions and enablers, it can be tempting to cultivate dozens of these relationships across the business. However, this isn’t always ideal and, while you certainly need more than one or two influential individuals on your side, you should focus on building relationships with just a handful of those people that can really help to drive your agenda forward.
Ultimately, however, you should focus on creating ownership with one person rather than spreading it thinly. Tom Spencer, co-founder and Head of Services at Cooperate says that if you dilute ownership between more than one person, you can struggle to get new initiatives over the line.

says Spencer. “I’ve seen a number of programs stumble at key moments because multiple people, multiple business lines and multiple budgets were involved which makes the decision-making process that much harder.”
So, balancing your stakeholder relationships is vital to safeguarding the longevity and impact that your marketing activities can have across the business. The right mix of champions and enablers will help you achieve this.
Beyond getting the mix right, it’s also important to involve these stakeholders in consultation as you undergo your transformation or prepare to launch your new initiative. Asking for their input and expertise, sharing selected work-in-progress materials with them and even leaning on them to help remove blockers will strengthen the relationships you have with these team members.

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