Below CEO Today hears from Peter Hall, head of marketing for WM Reply, who shares his top marketing tips for disseminating and embedding brand values throughout an organisation.
When marketing is mentioned, it’s a common reaction to make the immediate mental leap to think about external comms, whether it is B2B or B2C. But with employee engagement and company ethos and brand values now a priority for companies of all sizes, the importance of internal communications can never be underestimated. However, adapting a traditionally outward-looking approach to focus on people within a shared organisation can be poses its own challenges, but the rewards are manifold if you get it right.
If you’re looking to tailor your marketing efforts for an internal audience, here are seven top tips to help you make the most of your messaging and truly embed your brand values throughout your organisation.
1. Be specific
“Efficiency” is not a value you can monitor or track. It’s ambiguous and can be interpreted in way too many different ways by both clients and internal teams. Be more specific. A more trackable value might be “To ensure we identify the root cause of a problem and can action a change which improves overall efficiency, all employees, regardless of level or experience, are expected to ask ‘why?’ 5 times when an issue is identified with an existing product, service or process”.
2. Be clear
One-word values can be a bit reductive, but you do need your values to be clear. Work on them to make them easy to say, remember and understand. Looking at the previous example, your value might be ‘Apply the 5 why’s whenever a problem occurs’.
3. Communication continually
Don’t assume that once you’ve told people about your values they’ll remember them or were even listening in the first place. Find ways to keep pushing your values out to them and reminding them what they are. Hi-jack a companywide event, include them in company literature, send out regular marketing updates with a section that reinforces your values.
4. Start from day one
If someone doesn’t agree with your values you’ll never get them to action them, so work with HR and set expectations early with new employees. Include your values in the job description, interview process and induction. If people agree with your values from the outset you’ll have a far happier team who are more likely to ‘live’ your values. This then translates to the work they deliver to clients and their willingness to support external marketing campaigns which align with these values.
5. Ask for feedback
Don’t be afraid to get feedback from the team on your values – it will give you a clear idea of how the values are perceived, or if they’re even known. The teams working with customers will also be able to provide a barometer to how your values are communicated and understood by clients. Evaluating how the values are being communicated can highlight a potential knowledge gap and give you the chance to tweak or adapt your approach.
6. Identify champions
Sadly, you can’t be everywhere at once, even if you need to be. A way to counteract this is to identify your value champions who are going to not only ‘live’ your values but enforce them throughout the company. Form a core group of individuals from various departments or levels in the company and set them as your champions with regular catch ups and feedback sessions.
7. Stay in touch
Deliver regular marketing updates to keep people up to speed on past, present and future marketing campaigns. What successes did we have from last week’s campaigns? Are we ranking better in Google which is driving more enquiries? Which businesses are attending an event in a few weeks’ time that people might want to network with? Is there a special offer coming up that people can take advantage of and offer to their prospects? Will a campaign deliver high traffic volumes to the site which IT support need to be ready for? Are you planning for the next quarter and need help with ideas? Make people feel involved by getting them involved!