Kirkpatrick Communications Kirkpatrick Communications
Another good idea? Build consensus first. 

I wholeheartedly agree with the old adage that there is never a shortage of good ideas. But in building a successful marketing or public relations campaign, the biggest hurdle is often gaining a consensus on what that idea should be. Consensus is the key word here.

Marketing or public relations is not a series of good ideas put into practice. Many marketing managers realize that building an image or an identity for a product to present to the marketplace first starts in gaining a consensus within the marketing department. From market research to marketing communications to advertising and public relations, all aspects of marketing have to buy into the identity for a product to have the best chance to succeed. And beyond marketing, other departments have to be brought into the consensus building process.

Before any product comes to market, here are just a few of the questions that have to be asked in building consensus in product definition.

  • Have you defined from the customer what they want in a product? (If you haven't, the rest of these questions might be moot).
  • What are the specifications of the product and can engineering make sure that manufacturing can build to those specs?
  • Can manufacturing guarantee the product can be built to spec and that the quality will be consistent?
  • Can sales sell the product as specified?

Once everyone buys into the consensus of what the product will be, then the marketing and public relations campaigns can look for those great ideas to identify and promote the product. If consensus isn't built, and the first good idea doesn't work, then people may not support the next good idea. Build consensus first.