It All Starts with the Employees
The key to successful external marketing is making sure that there is a strong internal marketing foundation. Not only does your company need to have a strong brand with a clear message, but your team also needs to be collectively working towards strengthening and innovating that marketing message. The only way to achieve this is to ensure that your employees have a deep understanding of your brand so they can reiterate it back to your customers.
Use internal marketing to help employees make an emotional connection with your company and brand. Whenever there is a company announcement or update, create a short document (in the form of an email or newsletter) or a visual presentation to inform your internal team about important changes with regards to new clients, database updates, office news or a rebranding initiative.
Condense the information in the most digestible way possible. You don’t want to overwhelm your team with all of the minute details that they may not need to know. The main point of the message is to help your team understand what is going on within the company so that they can incorporate the message back into their work. Take out as much of the complication and confusion as possible.
Everyone on your team should have a basic understanding of what other employees and the company are doing. If the marketing team is starting a new project, make the sales team aware so they can answer any questions that their clients may have.
Since different teams are often located in different spaces of the office or in different offices altogether, employees from different teams may have limited direct communication with one another about everything that they are doing.
If it’s easy to get different teams in the same place at the same time, then schedule an office coffee hour or lunch to encourage everyone to socialize and learn more about each other’s work. For more formal updates, put together a meeting led by the different teams to discuss these updates.
If you can’t get everyone in the same physical space, consider sending out a newsletter or make it more personal by conducting a video conference call. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that informing the entire team is part of the integration process.
Get Internal Feedback
The only way to ensure a connection between everyone and everything in your office is to see how everyone feels about other teams and the company’s brand as a whole.
Can the sales team adequately explain what the marketing team does? Can the marketing team do the same for the sales team? Does your company have an intranet where reminders, resources and calendars live? Does everyone in the office find the company website to be intuitive and informative?
The best way to gauge everyone’s understanding on these topics is to ask them. Send out surveys, conduct informal interviews or simply create a general dialogue with various colleagues in the break room. The more information you have about how everyone in the office feels about the company’s brand, the better you can enhance it.
Give your employees the opportunity to engage with one another on a more personal level. It can be as extensive as a company-wide retreat or as simple as a coffee hour on Monday mornings.
In this day and age, employees don’t want to sit quietly at their desks from 9 to 5 and rush out of the office to start their real lives. The new mindset that employees, especially younger employees, generally possess is that if they are going to spend large portions of their days in the office, they want to enjoy themselves and make connections with other employees while they’re there.
Making work fun can also increase productivity. According to a PGi study, 88% of millennials want a fun and social work environment. Encourage your employees to incorporate the “work hard, play hard” mentality into their workday by giving them the resources and freedom to do so.
Interpersonal relationships are the key to effective internal marketing. Creating an environment in your office where employees feel welcome to voice their opinions and concerns will increase the efficiency of the company as a whole.
Open dialogue creates a greater opportunity to brainstorm new ideas that could not only positively affect your internal marketing but also your external marketing and overall business initiatives.
From the Inside Out
Building a strong marketing foundation within your company will help to boost your brand, marketing messages and business initiatives. Ensure effective internal marketing by prioritizing your employees and the interpersonal relationships between them. After all, a brand is only as strong as the employees who are representing it – and that starts from within your company.