Marketing | Canvassing Communicators

I just thought this was appropriate. I unfortunately do not know where this picture is from

How do we market to MARKETERS?

My former company smashed our quarterly targets a couple of years ago, so we got to go on a staff trip. The organising committee proposed three options: Bangkok, Bali and Hong Kong.

I had only one option on my mind; Hong Kong, only because I’ve never been there — Bangkok you’re still number 1, never doubt that for a minute.

The company consisted of communication experts who regularly developed and executed campaigns that changed perception or drove sales for MNCs, SMEs and startups, so how do I convince them to follow my personal agenda.

The Results

To get there, let’s start at the end.

We overwhelmingly chose to go to Hong Kong. I believe it wasn’t even close.

The Campaign Overview

Through direct marketing and communication, I convinced the majority of a highly difficult demographic to choose Hong Kong as their preferred destination.


  • PR people are extremely difficult to convince to do anything. I really mean anything.
  • The Hong Kong choice wasn’t as luxurious as the resort in Bali and the 5-star hotel in Bangkok
  • I had numerous detractors in my own company who would not vote along with me even if I paid them

The Plan

  • Identify the influencers and engage them 1-on-1
  • Ignore the vocal minority of detractors and focus on those whom you can change, as long as you can get enough positive votes
  • Do not ignore your core constituency, even if they love you, you never know when they could change their minds
  • Identify what each sub-group wants and then create an individualised message for each group
  • Never, ever stop

Why it worked

I am admittedly very persistent to the point of really f*&king irritating. So I can commit to going on forever and I really wanted to go to Hong Kong.

My company was also very small, so I knew who could influence a few people and focused on getting them on board with my plan. Essentially, I figured out what each person wanted and then proceeded to convince why Hong Kong was the best place to get it. The main things people wanted were:

  • Food: Hong Kong is famous for delicious Chinese food and brunch (I hate brunch)
  • Shopping: Hong Kong is…. You know its true…
  • Not-to-work: this was the easiest and a common theme across multiple teams

Like I mentioned there were natural detractors, so all I did was smile and ignore them. More specifically I ignored their attempts at distracting me and focused on those whom I could influence somehow.

My friends became ambassadors, because they understood how committed I was and also because I may (I did…) have threatened them unless they helped me.


I got to experience Hong Kong, so absolutely no regrets. I also realised I dislike Hong Kong, so…


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