August 21, 2014

Internal communication and marketing automation?

Posted by Fifth Ring

Well-defined messaging to your customers has always been vital to brand success. But could we do more? The answer could lie a little closer to home. 

You could fill entire libraries with the vast array of information on marketing automation and its merits in increasing marketing efficiency – and ultimately generating sales. As a result you might be surprised to see an article about it in the internal communication issue of Five, but please bear with me for a moment whilst I explain.

As we’ve discussed elsewhere in this issue, building and maintaining a strong employer brand is critical to the success of any organisation. In the energy industry the importance of establishing yourself as the company people aspire to work for takes on even greater significance in the face of the global skills shortage.

It is against this backdrop that a shift in stakeholder priority becomes evident. Traditionally, clients have been the most important audience, but should we now be considering employees an equivalent audience with similar communications needs?

By thinking of our employees as customers, marketing automation for internal communications begins to make sense.

Offering clarity

In terms of your internal communications, marketing automation and other analytical technologies can make it clearer which digital channels your employees are engaging with. It allows detailed analysis of interactions with multiple online touch points. We can then answer any number of questions which can help us guide them in the right direction, such as:

  • What content have they viewed on the company intranet?
  • Have they completed the employee satisfaction survey?
  • Have they viewed training videos?

And this is just the beginning. Techniques such as this open up a world of opportunity by allowing companies to speak directly to the workforce by providing bespoke messaging at each stage of the employee life cycle.

Content is king

For decades communications specialists have spoken in grand terms about the value of relevant and timely content, singling it out as being the key to success. And despite the revolutionary changes within the industry nothing has changed and the same old tired rhetoric about content being king is being peddled to the masses.

At a superficial level the statement holds weight, but it throws us a whole host of questions, not least what content should be used? Where? And when? And to whom are we talking? 

Concentrating your efforts on producing content without fully understanding what your employees want to know is entirely counter-productive.

Essentially, internal communications is about engaging with people but to do that you need to open up a dialogue, not continually bombard staff with content distributed through a top-down, one-way communications process.

Striking gold

The lines between how you communicate with internal and external stakeholders are becoming increasingly blurred. For both audiences it is critical to ensure messages are tailored and not generic. Ensuring the content and medium grabs their attention, enables improved engagement and allows companies to develop a strong culture and identity.

Marketing automation is a tool that can help you achieve this across all of your stakeholder audiences. Internally it’s the tool can help inform decisions about how to approach internal communications in a way that ignites passion and builds excitement. After all,
if you can achieve this you’ll increase retention rates and generate an army of advocates for your business – the holy grail of internal communications. 

Building and maintaining a strong employer brand is critical to the success of any organisation

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