Marketing is sometimes the Rodney Dangerfield of corporate functions (it gets “no respect”). Part of this relates to the topic of a previous post (“Pragmatic Marketing”) in which I suggested that marketers need to put more effort into quantifying ROI and tracking performance metrics. But, ironically, part of the problem relates to a lack of….marketing!
It’s a case of the cobbler’s children going without shoes. Marketing people are often too busy concentrating on the market to find the time to speak to their own stakeholders. This is understandable but nonetheless a problem for a couple of reasons.
First, as all good marketers (should) know, a brand is built from the inside out. A brand is a “promise” being made to the consumer and a company’s employees must deliver on this promise. So, it is essential for the health (and truth) of the corporate brand that the marketing department enables employees to live the brand. As the custodians of the brand, it is up to marketers to facilitate employee connection to that brand through internal marketing. Any marketer that is leaving all internal communications to the HR department is not providing the kind of leadership their company needs.
Second, in order to sustain investment in marketing initiatives, marketers must ensure that corporate decision-makers (those who control the purse strings) are aware of the impact that they having on the health of the company. This means making commitments (in terms of brand awareness, lead generation, channel development, product introduction, etc.), establishing metrics and reporting progress. The organization must be shown the return on investment from marketing activities if you expect that investment to continue. It also helps if you do your reporting with some flair. Remember, you do have a reputation to maintain and the medium is part of the message. One person’s monthly activity report is another’s internal marketing campaign.
Marketing the marketing can be motivational not just for marketing staff (everyone likes to show off their work) but for the entire company, including the executive team. It feeds the corporate ego and, provided your marketing is based on reality, reinforces success.
So, when was the last time you got on your soapbox and put some effort into internal communications?