When you hear the word “marketing,” what do you think of? You may think of how your brand appears in the market, attracting new customers, or promoting and selling your products or services. These scenarios are in fact great examples of external marketing, but there’s another market that’s just as important: your employees.
Your employees make your brand come alive. They are your greatest brand ambassadors. And if you don’t communicate to them just as much or more than you communicate to the market, then you’re losing out on a key opportunity.
Unfortunately, internal marketing is poorly executed at most companies, if it’s done at all. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve taken four tricks marketers apply to external marketing efforts to share how we apply them to our internal marketing at FirstPerson. If you keep these four concepts in mind when communicating to your employees, you’ll notice an increase in brand loyalty.
Stop talking, start listening
Marketers conduct market research to understand their audience, from listening to focus groups and conducting surveys, to analyzing data. It’s time to start doing this with your employees. Host CEO lunches where a group of employees have a chance to ask the CEO anything work related. Or hold small focus groups to get feedback on new programs.
It’s also important to utilize technology and other tools to help you gather and aggregate this information. Have you heard of TINYpulse? It’s an employee engagement survey tool that gives you data you can act on. FirstPerson uses TINYpulse to monitor employee engagement and happiness, gather thoughts and concerns employees have, and even enable employees to send cheers to their peers
Keep it simple
Just as marketers create concise, attention-grabbing ads, do the same with your internal marketing. Don’t put too many words into your communications; think bullet points instead of paragraphs. (Tip: If you read your message out loud, you’ll quickly know if you’re speaking clearly and getting straight to the point.) And don’t forget to ask yourself, “Would this piece catch my eye, or would I glaze over the text?”
Apply the Effective Frequency Theory
Marketers use the term “effective frequency” when describing the number of times a consumer must be exposed to an advertising message before the desired response is obtained. Remember, even though you’ve thought through the messages to your employees a number of times, they’re just hearing it for the first or even second time. Three to five times of sharing the message through various avenues is okay; it’s actually recommended.
Link internal and external marketing
At the beginning of the year, a marketer generally has a strategy or at least a focus on key messages he or she will take to the marketplace. Replicate this process with your employees. Start by identifying the themes or topics you want to address. And don’t forget to incorporate the same messages that are hitting the market to your employees. Don’t let your employees hear news about your company in the media before they hear it from you.
It’s time to give employees even more of a reason to believe in your brand. They’ll be motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company will skyrocket. It’s up to you whether or not your employees have a reason to care.
How will you get your brand message across to your employees?