Used at B2B Marketing's "The Evidence" held in the Royal Institute of Great Britain, London on 20th March 2013. Presentation supported B2B Marketing's "The Evidence" report which looked in detail at the winner success stories from the B2B Marketing awards. The category covered in the chapter of the report linked to these slides was "Best Internal Audience Campaign".
How do we align and guide B2B brands internally?
Whether to achieve consistency across sales and marketing or to instil the brand values into the mindspace of a wider employee base, the common themes throughout the entries for the Best Internal Audience Campaign category stand out by a country mile – collaboration, inclusion and dialogue.
This is marketing like we've always known ... we just haven’t been very good at seeing our colleagues as a target market with needs, desires and interests that have to be satisfied in return for engagement.
As soon as we start to view our colleagues as a target audience with rational and emotional needs we can begin to communicate with them in the way they will respond to.
When it comes to employee engagement the lines between HR and Marketing are blurring in a big way and more than ever B2B Marketers are being asked to ignite an emotional connection between the brand and its ambassadors.
There is a clear difference between our role as marketers and that of HR’s. Our efforts internally are to ensure our external customers and prospects actually get what the brand is promising. It’s very easy to end up clashing with existing employee engagement activity and not consulting with HR can lead to problems. We have to form strong relationships with our HR managers and ensure all work is collaborative. Most importantly, we have to remember that while the work we’re doing will contribute to improving overall employee engagement and morale, this isn’t our main focus. We must keep clear by setting objectives for change within the business that directly tie with our brand strategy and marketing objectives.
There are four key stages to achieving internal brand activation that, when executed well, will take a B2B brand from misalignment and confusion amongst its employees to solidarity and consistency aiding successful delivery of the brand promise.
The internal activation process aims to define the behaviours that will enhance the brand, which is achieved through the creation of a clear, simple and motivational understanding of the brand strategy. This leads to effective mobilisation and deployment providing the architecture upon which with the external positioning, messaging and brand values can be delivered consistently across the business. While this process supports HR employee engagement it is not aiming to replace it and it will work very much in parallel to existing employee engagement activity. The role of employee internal activation is to ensure employees are representing and delivering on what the brand is promising.