How to get your point heard
Editorial

How to get your point heard

Delivering against customer needs and business goals is only one part of marketing’s remit. Next, marketers need to share the good news

So, your marketing activity is making a difference – it’s engaging customers, driving sales, and adding to the bottom line to help your organisation meet its business goals.

Is this enough? Not always. Because if no one in your organisation understands the impact marketing is making, it’s less likely that the insights and prospects it creates will be able to drive longer-term business resilience.

It’s like that old adage: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound? Or its modern equivalent: if you go somewhere, but don’t post about it on social media, did it really happen?

Internal marketing

The impact and value of marketing needs to be talked up within your organisation. This means turning your attention to internal marketing. Internal marketing should be an ongoing process for all marketers in companies of all sizes and in all sectors. But internal marketing done well is not a self-serving exercise in gaining recognition. Its objective is also to motivate and empower employees across the company structure – from the boardroom down – to work together to deliver a better experience for the customer. In essence, it means that you need to place the customer, and not your department, at the heart of any internal marketing strategy.

Bring the brand to life

Connecting the wider world of the consumer, customer or client with the organisation’s brand vision and goals is a sure-fire way of bringing the brand to life in the minds, and day-to-day experiences, of employees. It validates and contextualises your strategic and tactical marketing plans, and reacquaints colleagues with the original brand purpose. This sense of purpose is a powerful tool in marketing, and can be used as a foundation from which you can authentically reassert marketing’s role within the business. 

Consistency of message

Your colleagues in other parts of the organisation – and especially those with a seat in the boardroom – need to hear what the marketplace is telling you, in order to understand your plans and actions. But this is also something of a two-way process: you need to make sure that the message you deliver to the consumer or client is one that chimes with the capabilities and interests of the wider organisation. In other words, communications plans that are imbalanced towards one side or the other are less likely to deliver. Messages that demonstrate an aligning of the needs of all stakeholders, are more likely to show the value of marketing.

Getting the word out

Now, consider your internal communications routes. Is a whiteboard chart or email round-up of your Q3 results really the best way to let your company understand marketing’s impact on the business? Would a get-together of departmental heads constitute a better forum? Could a regular one-to-one with a board member be arranged? Or what about a more creative route? A WhatsApp group or internal company comms app can work as a modern-day version of an intranet – and might be a more involving way to get your message across.

Evidence-based results

Finally, while philosophising about vision and purpose, and finding novel ways of engaging that internal audience can prove inspirational, it’s facts and figures that still add most sway. From market research, customer surveys and social media engagement analytics, to the real deal of sales and other conversion statistics, marketers must learn to play the numbers game and back up their arguments with easy-to-understand statistics. Can you show your finance officer where marketing activity has directly impacted your business’s revenue and retained earnings on its income statement? If you can’t, what other figures are available to justify your marketing spend? Internal marketing, backed up with evidence, is the best way to ensure your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Discover more about the value of marketing to business in CIM’s latest research report.

Martin Bewick
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