With all of the constant challenges B2B marketers face everyday; optimizing customer experience, lead generation, producing top-notch content, etc. we often forget a very important variable to success. While we’re so busy working on the outside matters we often forget about the importance of internal marketing and improving our communication from within our very own marketing team and other teams within the company.
What is internal marketing? Internal marketing is all about the process of educating everyone involved on the inside your company and ensuring everyone is on the same page. It’s essential, of course, that the marketing team is on the same page about your particular market, ideal prospects, and specific strategies, etc., and when the greater team as a whole is aware of these goals, we begin to see amazing results.
Why it’s important
When everyone is in the loop, we act as a more cohesive team. In B2B businesses, customers may be in touch with your business via your social media content, sales representatives, and customer service. It’s imperative that everyone has the same ‘story’ when it comes to the marketing plan and all internal matters to provide consistent service across the board. Ensuring everyone’s in the loop avoids over-promising and under delivering, and thereby encourages retention and loyalty.
Every employee of your company should be an ambassador. Whether you’re starting a new Facebook group or you’re trying to get more social shares on an article you should think of your teammates as a support group. Utilize this online activity to listen in on particular conversations your customers are having online. While your marketing team is all mighty and powerful, use the strength in numbers by rewarding them for finding things online that the marketing team might not be listening for.
This is definitely a two-way street, not only will this knowledge of the marketing plans help the other team members in their jobs and when interacting with customers, but it also gives the marketing team a safe ‘playing ground’ to try out new techniques and practice their pitches.
Ways to implement internal marketing
According to a study by the NKD group, employees that are engaged are 30-50% more productive than their unengaged counterparts. The ways you can engage your employees through internal marketing could consist of:
- Quarterly Team Meetings -> Weekly Team Meetings
Instead of meeting as an entire team only once a quarter, try making these team-wide meeting more frequent. By meeting weekly or bi-weekly team members not only become more cohesive as a team but everyone remains more up to date on the constantly changing whereabouts on the marketing front and on all fronts. While it’s best to hold these meetings in conjunction with the other methods, nothing portrays your message like face-to-face communications in terms of boosting team moral, forming interrelationships, and hitting your message home.
- Group Forums-> Mobile Applications
Even if it were possible for your entire team to meet on a daily basis, it would not be able to cover all of the bases that mobile apps do today. While group forums used to be a great medium for teams to discuss upcoming items in the company and new marketing strategies, today there’s no better place for teams to communicate in real-time than on their mobile devices. There are a whole slew of applications that encourage communication within teams providing different channels for different purposes and specific integrations to keep all of your team’s whereabouts on the same page physically.
- Private Goals and Objectives-> Public Goals and Objectives
While it’s important that each team maintain their own goals and objectives, it’s equally important that all of these ‘at large’ goals are posted in public for everyone to see. Try working with Google’s Secret Sauce, OKR- Objectives and Key Results. There are many tools out there your team can experiment with to see Google-like growth results. By keeping all of these goals public and sharing the key results with how you’re going to get there it makes for helpful competition and a more transparent workplace.
Each of these methods is equally important and works best when you find the adequate combination of all three. If you’re really looking to be alternative and creative with your internal marketing take Nextiva’s NexTV for some inspiration.
Nextiva is a cloud-based communications company that was experiencing high growth. While growth is a great thing, Nextiva was unable to keep up and the team was no longer as connected as they were before. Not only did employees not know one each other’s names, but they also weren’t in the know about team goals, about what’s going on in other locations, new product releases, etc. While newsletters are a common practice in B2B to keep teammates aware, they wanted to try something different.
The solution: A weekly internal video series called NexTV. Once a week, different departments would take turns creating a short video segment explaining what’s going on in their realm on the business. Sometimes they would work with people from other departments they typically wouldn’t work with to interact with a broader sphere.
The results: Impressive. Every Friday after this new requirement, Nextiva found approximately 74% of employees tuning in to watch the new episode on NexTV, with a 96% engagement rate. This internal process has become an essential part of their work culture, with so many participating and get engaged with the company.
Whatever methods you choose, internal marketing is a chance to improve your team’s culture and communication. When you have a happier and more cohesive team it shows inside and out, by numbers in sales, and appearances to clients. Make sure you know not only what’s going on inside your B2B marketing team, but inside your entire team as a whole.
Guest post by Liora Berner from Pepperi