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Last week, we completed a year of our journey as Talkd, celebrating our achievements of 2017 in an annual gathering. An evening of fruitful discussions and the outlay of our plans for 2018. Not only was the event a highlight of our journey ahead but it also brought a sense of fulfillment, like filling a glass that was half full.

How so? We celebrate the fruits of a year of hard work, fulfilling challenging projects, and many amazing deliveries, supported by our marketing and advertising initiatives. Yet that’s only half a glass of wine. Complete fulfillment comes from witnessing your people bask in the success of your brand, every employee then becoming its ambassador. That’s Internal Marketing filling the rest of the glass. The outcome — happy employees, happy customers, stronger brand reputation, and greater trust.

Internal Marketing — The ‘I’ and the ‘M’:
What does internal marketing help us accomplish? Is it just letting employees talk positively about the brand and the work? Not quite. The core objective is keeping them together, retaining a team of ‘motivated and energized people’. Internal Marketing is the key to creating an environment that strengthens employee brand relations, in turn, enhancing marketplace branding. After all, happy campers ‘in here’ means happy customers ‘out there’. Motivated individuals will work harder and deliver to your customers a better service.

Taking It Ahead At Talkd:
Through our journey as ileadfarmers as well as 365 days of Talkd, we have been actively focused on internal marketing, a fact evident from our social media postings. Beyond showcasing success stories, marketing, and branding initiatives, it also becomes necessary to bring to the spotlight the faces behind your successful brand, even interact with them at times. Our internal marketing brings our people to the forefront. Empowered, and highlighted, they become the new owners of our brand marketing, and ambassadors of the Talkd journey. In the ever-increasing complexity of the digital era, they along with our management lead the Talkd strategic support, design thinking, and digital solutions, addressing the business problems of our clients.

Internal Marketing — The Rise vs. the ROI:
The last decade has seen internal marketing rise as a practice within almost every mid-size organization, besides major corporations that were already doing it. Internal newsletters, social media, engagement programs — companies have invested significant time and efforts into them. Many plans, a multitude of activities, yet many a time an important question has remained un-answered — ‘Is it generating the desired ROI?’. It is indeed hard to quantify the returns on internal marketing. However, there are always opportunities to optimize your internal marketing strategies. Streamline the process and enable cost and time saving with better outcomes.

Optimizing Your Internal Marketing Bucket:
Filling half the glass of red wine with white isn’t what you would do. You need to have the same red wine — the same level of excellence that you bring to your customers. Look at your current internal marketing activities. There are ways to leverage them effectively –

1. Often small wins talk louder — Don’t ignore the potential of small wins. In the process of communicating your social and cultural insights for business outcomes, even the smallest of achievements becomes a critical value generator. Who knows, your team member who played a big part in that small win, tomorrow might enable a much bigger achievement, motivated by your action today.

2. Channels, the most obvious are the best — Goes without saying that you should leverage those channels for internal marketing wherein your business stakeholders and internal members frequent. People frequent those mediums they are more familiar with, rarely venturing into new platforms unless it’s becoming trendy. So, whatever you post, whenever you post, ensure that you post where you have the maximum reach.

3. Nurture your enablers to be champs — As mentioned earlier you need ‘motivated and energized people’ who will take the mantle of brand enabler driving marketing through word of mouth. To keep them motivated, it’s not good perks or benefits, it’s the involvement that counts. From stakeholder meetings to involvement in the right conversations to taking the lead on initiatives — that’s what truly empowers.

4. Culture your culture, let it speak — As a leader, it is a must to communicate the right value that your organization stands for. It’s a challenging process but rewarding nevertheless. Your people won’t be attuned to the established culture from day one. It takes months for them to sync with the value that is delivered to the external and internal stakeholders. But once in sync, with the proper motivation, your people advertise your brand to the market. Your culture speaks and lets your employees speak in turn.

In The End:
Your internal marketing is another half of the coin to external marketing. So don’t just toss and wait for either side to flip but look at both. Let people know you and your organization and interact with your target groups directly and in real-time. Sustain and retain the most integral part of your business, your people. Give them an identity, a thing to be proud of, and a thing for future employees to look forward to, through Internal Marketing.

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