To be successful, a marketing project needs to have the support of the right people within your organisation. 

Even the best idea can be snuffed out by a word from the wrong person. Any marketing project, no matter how well planned and conceived, can be killed in moments by a senior person with an off the cuff comment.

The way to prevent this is to be deliberate about who you have supporting your project. Build this community in the right way, make sure they share in your success and your project is much more likely to succeed.

Broadly, there are three categories of people you need to bring on board. The do-ers (for us in thought leadership this is expert authors), the supporters and the sponsors. 

Authors

Somewhat self-explanatory. These are the people that will be directly making your initiative work. For us, they are the experts within firms. Having a clear understanding of who these people are, as well as a select few you have a closer relationship with will help your project start and keep the momentum going. 

If you don't have the doers on your team, it's very difficult to pull out examples of when things go well, making it harder to demonstrate the behavior you want and the results when things work.

Supporters

These are the least obvious of the three types of people needed for a marketing program to be successful. A diverse group, this encompasses all the people within the organisation who will benefit from your initiative. For us, this is often the business development and sales teams, the junior professionals and account management teams. 

These people provide a wider reach for your efforts. In the case of thought leadership, they are sharing it with their clients and contacts. For other initiatives, these people are the ones sharing the word about what you are doing and why it matters.

Sponsors

Perhaps the most difficult to get right, but highly important, sponsors are the ones lending their authority to the project. These people are usually senior leaders in the firm, directors, heads of sector, etc. 

Without sponsors, your project is at risk all the time. Bring these people on board early in your ideation process. Frame your project in a way that makes it as relevant as possible for them. Finally, make sure that you have multiple sponsors and involve these people in sharing the good news around your project.