Billions are invested in advertising and marketing each year, in an effort to change perceptions and increase the bottom line. No marketing pro worth their salt would spend so many dollars and hours making and placing ads that tout less hassle, more choices or personal customer service without also ensuring staff was ready to respond, right? You might be surprised.
Most marketers work long and tirelessly bringing their campaigns to life. Ads do have the power to change culture and transform businesses. Unless of course, those ads deliver new customers to the clients’ door only to encounter employees or systems unprepared to deliver. Come again? Surely that would never happen!
It’s not that companies fail to announce to their internal teams what the marketing department is up to, or what the new company ad campaign will look like. It’s that they often fail to get them excited about how to actually deliver on it. At every level of the organization.
Today’s customers, exposed to literally thousands of commercial messages per day, can detect an undelivered promise as readily as a fake smile. In order for advertising to authentically build brand equity, companies have to meet customer expectations at each touch point. Marketing doesn’t only apply to those customers on the outside. Companies should be looking at how to market themselves from the inside out.
For that to happen, senior leadership must take what the marketing department is doing very seriously. They have to invest in ensuring that every man, woman and IT professional on the inside clearly understands what’s required of them to live up to marketing’s claims. In other words, companies have to prepare to walk their talk – and that takes as much internal planning, leadership and communication as external.
Employees need help seeing, from their customers’ point of view, how their daily contribution impacts the brand whole. It’s just human nature to respond to the most immediate pressures around you, like your co-workers or your boss and to lose site of that much-talked-about but often-forgotten creature – the customer. To make sure employees stay focused and inspired where it counts, here are a few best practices to help guide you along with your internal marketing:
If you say it, mean it.
Empower your marketing team by supporting them at the highest level of your organization. Make sure that what is being talked about on the outside is taken seriously and being executed inside.
Plan well in advance.
Great creative campaigns take time to concept, produce and make it into the public eye. You should be spending at least as much time determining how your operations will support what your marketing is promising. If it’s an easier customer experience, then make sure everything from customer parking to website loading times to your phone tree navigation really are easy.
Internal investment for external success.
Budget for internal communication efforts just as you would for external ones. You don’t have to spend the same amounts on each, but you should plan to invest in and budget for internal communications to ensure the success of your external messages.
Connect the dots.
Make sure that departmental leaders clearly understand what is specifically required of their teams to deliver on the brand’s customer promise.
Make it relevant.
We’re all consumers at heart. We all want to be spoken to in our terms, so next time you roll out a companywide marketing campaign, make it interesting, fun and relevant for your internal people. If they’re inspired, your campaign has a much greater chance of successfully winning loyal customers.