When the rules and regulations undergirding how businesses operate suddenly shift, it’s a communicator’s time to shine.
That’s what happened at Deloitte, when the regulatory landscape governing corporate taxes for companies across the economic spectrum changed fundamentally.
For Deloitte’s marketers, we knew our clients—and our tax professionals who work with them—had lots of questions.
In short order, our marketing team had to not only educate the marketplace about the capabilities we could bring to bear, but also equip our professionals to deliver that message to clients. We knew we could master the first task, with the help of our in-house agency. However, equipping our professionals required developing a truly integrated approach that melded marketing techniques with internal communication tactics.
A replicable model
Ultimately, we embedded a dedicated internal communicator alongside the marketing and public relations team to engage our employees and help everyone understand the changing landscape.
Through the process, we learned that focusing on internal “marketing”—instead of only education or the dispensing of information—can engage employees as brand ambassadors and build a bridge between marketing and internal comms.
We believe any marketing organization with similar aims could benefit by applying the following three principles to its internal marketing efforts:
1. Start small, and then test and expand.
With limited internal communication support, you can’t just open the floodgates to marketing.
After an initial pilot success, start making the shift from reactive, market event-driven support to proactively working with select marketing teams. Assess impact, rinse, repeat.
2. Shift your talent mindset.
Put the right person in charge of the internal marketing focus—someone with a foot in both the marketing and communication camps. Then pull in internal communicators to support the prioritized efforts in a flexible capacity. They should also work to strengthen existing connections—or make new ones—with marketing colleagues.
When it comes to internal marketing, you want people who are creative, influential, diplomatic, charismatic and highly flexible.
3. Empower employees to engage with clients.
Helping your employees understand the motivations behind external marketing efforts can open the door to more-productive engagements with clients.
Consistently explaining the “why” behind your communication and marketing strategies helps equip and empower a squad of knowledgeable ambassadors—who can assist with internal and external queries.
Ultimately, marketing and communications share similar goals of changing minds, influencing decisions and motivating behaviors. The more you combine and harmonize the two, the more you’ll create a versatile, informed, engaged workforce—and boost your bottom line.
Kim McNeil-Downs leads Deloitte’s Green Dot Agency, Deloitte Services. Kelly Campbell heads up internal comms within Deloitte’s Green Dot Agency, Deloitte Services.