We often see marketing as an outward-facing function that is used to promote products, services and brand experience to our customers. It’s quite obvious for us to think of marketing that way but, focusing exclusively on the customer doesn’t fully cut the cake anymore; it’s equally important to engage and excite your own employees.
Marketing is all about communicating value and the experience your products/services can provide and who can communicate that better than your employees?
The good news is that this audience costs noting to reach and metrics on your efforts can be easily analyzed (that is, if you’re a PoliteMail customer!) It goes without saying, employees are too often overlooked or marginalized.
Don’t confuse internal marketing with employee engagement
Employee communications are less formalized and budgeted than other customer outreach programs. The HR team generally sends out most company-wide communications yet they rarely if ever collaborate with marketing teams to develop joint messages. Employees should be treated as your biggest brand advocates; each represents more than one social media channel so there’s much upside to consider.
Investing in people is the greatest investment you can make
According to research by Gallup, disengaged employees cost $450 to $500 billion yearly in lost productivity. Investing in people not only improves productivity and performance, but also brand image; brand is simply the sum of the interactions your company has with others. Any employee that is not drinking the Koolaid, not aligned to your brand’s promise, your company may convey an inconsistent brand experience each time an employee interacts with a customer or prospect.
Internal marketing is an opportunity
When internal marketing is properly executed it will enhance employee experience and outside advocacy simultaneously. Research by Hinge shows employee advocacy can shorten the sales cycle. In, fact, of those surveyed, nearly 45% attributed new revenue streams to employee advocacy.
What can marketers do to build an internal marketing practice?
Pretty simple. Apply the same strategy and tactics that you would to your customers’ promotional plan:
- Treat internal employees as your customers;
- Include internal marketing as a budget item in your overall marketing mix and launch plans;
- Appoint champions who can lead the internal marketing effort;
- Invest in an internal communications platform to streamline your efforts and draw metrics;
- Encourage leadership to consistently blast out company-wide marketing & sales priorities.
Employees that are engaged in your brand initiatives are more likely to have a positive experience and be more motivated. Reserve your best tactics for your employees and empower them with knowledge to build the business for you.