06/12/2013 07:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Acceleration: Success... at Scale!

So you've mastered your offer, you've gained some influence, and you are ready to ramp up your results. Hopefully you've found a point of leverage to slingshot you forward, but how do you actually drive the results you are hoping for? Whether it is influence, impact, money, power, change, or contribution you are trying to create, getting scale is the key to making sure you get more than enough of it. Certainly you haven't worked so hard thus far to land your idea with just a handful of people.

Now how do you make your offer magnetic to as many people as possible without having to build an empire? Ultimately, there are three very simple strategies to help you get scale to massively increase your impact. They involve tapping into mass media, fostering strong partnerships, and working with people willing to volunteer a portion of their time to elevate the purpose.

More specifically:
  • Mass Media - Start big, with the end in mind, and seek opportunities for mass exposure. The sheer magnitude of your audience automatically increases your chances that someone will be interested, so take advantage of any opportunity to do the work once and get in front of a bigger audience early. Wouldn't you rather make your pitch to a huge crowd rather than grabbing coffee with a hundred different prospects? Find out what your target audience looks at or uses and then use it to its full capability.
  • Partnerships - If you don't have the opportunities available to leverage mass media, could you get scale through partnering with someone who already has it? You'd be surprised by the caliber of reputation you can build simply through association. Beyond that, others will automatically perceive that you are worth investing in if someone else with scale deems you a worthy partner or even for the simple fact that you are investing to gain momentum.
  • Your Natural Evangelist Community - Make your idea viral by tapping into the people who already believe in your cause and letting them build it into something bigger. People will go above and beyond if they truly believe in what you are doing, so recruit and harness the energy of as many of your natural evangelists as possible!

While each strategy will on its own massively ramp up your ability to get scale and drive better results, you will only make yourself all the more magnetic if you can leverage more than one of them. Need proof? Well, consider the success of Integer who has mastered the power of partnerships and has harnessed the energy of their natural evangelist community to become a global leader in promotional, retail, and shopper marketing.


In large part, The Integer Group has found success through utilizing their 3 Lens Model - an approach that "uncovers that moment in time when the brand and the retailer come together to transform a shopper into a buyer." But to be able to uncover that moment in time, Integer has invested a great deal of time and energy into the research. They started with big thinking - asking which factors came into play to transform a shopper into buyer - and then dedicated themselves to finding the answer.

They began by partnering with M/A/R/C, ranked the #6 market research firm only a couple short years ago. Talk about finding a research partner with some prior clout. The partners ultimately came together to conduct their own research and engage a larger global discussion about the impact of shopping culture on brand strategy through their online publication 'Shopper Culture.'

But Shopper Culture is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their dedication to insight. Integer dives deeper, exploring more specifically the motivations for purchase in 'The Complex Shopper' along with a more meta-analysis of shopper evolution in 'The Checkout.'

The interesting thing about the research at Integer is that it has become contagious across their international offices. While the research started as more of an initiative born out of passion at HQ, as you begin to look across the global offices, almost everyone is doing some iteration on already established research or they are starting their own series based on the locality to dive in and understand their unique consumers. This is the culture at Integer - their employees are evangelists themselves, wanting to know their client's customers better than their clients. They want to be strategic partners to their own clients, and so are always looking on the horizon, asking what will come next and then actually seeking to figure it out.

Integer recruits people who care about their cause, and they recruit them not only to evangelize but to legitimately work for them. People are compelled by the research and seek employment with Integer, and once hired they are interested and eager to participate in the research themselves. For this reason, Integer never has to invest a huge amount of dedicated resources to the research - rather it becomes more of a part time role for people as they are enabled to work on the things they are passionate about. They have achieved organizational inclusion simply by recognizing their natural evangelists and hiring the right people - people who are naturally curious and dedicated to continual learning.

At this rate, Integer doesn't even need to borrow with mass media. On their journey to understand the different cultures of shopping, they have in the process developed an incredible organizational culture. Paired with a phenomenal partnership, Integer has been and will continue to be at the forefront of helping clients understand their customers.

So What Are You Going to Do?

I want you to create a list of the three partners who would massively increase your scale through distribution or brand credibility. Now develop a 12 week plan for getting in front of them, including exactly what you hope to achieve through the partnership, what would be in it for them, how you would see the arrangement working and so on. Be targeted and do your research.

And if your offer lends itself to it, consider how you might utilize the discretionary efforts of those who already love what you do. Think back to what got you excited about your idea in the first place. Now capture that energy and embed it into how you present your idea from here on out.

Acceleration - Getting Scale from Peter Sheahan on Vimeo.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Peter Sheahan on the topic of Making It Happen in Small Business, focused on turning those with the ideas into those with the influence. To see all of the posts in the series, click here.