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Most CMOs favor external communications (demand generation, content marketing, etc.) over internal communications.
Why? Because these external activities seem to create more measurable ROI. However, with the modern workforce, internal communications are now more important than ever to motivate and activate people within the organization to be a channel of communication.
My guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, Mark Derks, has great insights about how much effort marketing should put into internal communications.
Mark is the CMO at BlueGrace Logistics. Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest-growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full-service third-party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry-leading technology, high-level freight carrier relationships, and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry.
Listen to our conversation to learn the pros and cons of allocating resources to internal communications versus external communications.Super insightful episode of the @MMEnginePodcast about how internal communication drives marketing ROI w/ Mark Derks from @mybluegrace & @bernieborges - #contentstrategy #seo #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
Five Pillars to Develop a Profitable Internal Communications Strategy
1. Develop your strategy/goals.
Any successful program must identify the goals it is trying to achieve and the strategy and tactics to get there. Ask yourself these questions about your internal communications:
- Is it going to be multi-touch?
- How frequently will I communicate to the organization?
- At what velocity will information be shared?
Some examples of goals are:
- Having 100% of your internal resources know and being able to recite your mission, vision, and values.
- Having your internal resources know your company revenue projections and targets and your gross profit targets.
“I think that our own internal resources and our own people are a marketing channel for the company,” Mark says. “You should build a strategy around and goals around things that bring strong results. So there has to be a metric if you’re going to engage in a robust internal comms plan. What are the key factors to success and what are the metrics that you as an organization are going to agree on that you can either identify as a success or identify those gaps where you need to continue to refine and improve.”
Mark says that case studies have shown, organizations who have stated missions, visions, and that drive stated values are higher performing than businesses that do not, because they build a strong culture around those pillars.
“We’re empowering our employees to share public information that they’ve learned through internal communications to our external customers,” Mark says. “And to be really successful, you have to make it easily accessible to all employees. We need to make it available in multiple places, on our website, in our hallways, and on the signage and our offices.”Fantastic! This @MMEnginePodcast comes with five pillars to develop a profitable internal communications strategy thanks to Mark Derks from @mybluegrace & @bernieborges - #contentstrategy #seo #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
3. “How does my job contribute to the company’s success?”
“We have to look at our organizations where every employee adds value and it’s our job through internal communications to tell them how they do that, to make sure that they know how their specific job leads to company growth.”
Highly engaged employees are those that understand how their contributions help the company grow. And when they know that, they become more creative, more productive, more innovative, and they’re more successful in their own professional goals and what they’re trying to do.
Content is at the intersection of external communications and internal comms, sharing content between teams and channels.
Not all internal communications can go externally, but almost all external communications can be shared internally. You can take the content that you share with your customers, partners, suppliers and share it with your internal teams through an employee advocacy program. Mark says that will make them better service providers, better salespeople, better marketers.
Listen to the whole episode to learn some great ideas on how to repurpose marketing content for internal comms.Now I understand the importance of my job to contribute to the company's success, thanks to this @MMEnginePodcast ep. with Mark Derks from @mybluegrace & @bernieborges - #contentstrategy #seo #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
5. How does the CMO lead the internal communication strategy?
“Make sure you have a solid strategy and stated goals that you’re pursuing and that everybody knows,” Mark says. “So when we measure our efforts we can clearly come back and see if we’ve been meeting our goals. So be a leader of strategy, focus on what’s important, communicate that strategy, clearly measure the impact and ROI.”
As the CMO you don’t do this by yourself. “You’re a leader, but you have teams, so consider allocating headcount as a resource to internal communications. Consider adding resources around culture and standing up things like diversity, equity, and inclusion programs within your company. Make sure that you’re communicating critical attributes of your ideal customer profile.”
Your employees are one of our best external marketing channels, but they’re only good if they have internal comms that have educated them on messaging, target customer profile, new products, new customers, changes within the organization, mission, vision, and values.
Don’t miss this episode to learn more about finding a balance between external and internal communications and how to develop a profitable strategy.
3 thoughts on “How Internal Communication Drives Marketing ROI”
Thanks for the opportunity to tackle episode 298 of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast. My discussion with Bernie on the value of an internal communications strategy and the role of the #CMO was second to none! Hope to have more more comments and thoughts on the podcast from both internal communications and marketing professionals.
It was an enlightening discussion for us as well. Thank you for joining us on this podcast episode, Mark!
Thanks for sharing your thought leadership on this important topic. As I mentioned, you’re the first marketing leader in nearly 300 episodes to discuss an internal communication strategy. My listeners appreciate your valuable insights on this topic. I look forward to learning of the continued success of your internal communications strategy at Blue Grace Logistics.
– Bernie Borges