Host: Jen Spencer

On the latest episode of SmartBug On Tap, I talked about the importance of internal marketing. 

You’re probably thinking, "Seriously? I have a big enough job already marketing to prospects, customers, investors, and job candidates. Do I really need to also market to my fellow team members?"

Well, if you truly want to get your message across, I highly recommend it. 

Here’s why.

The Rules of External Marketing Apply Here, Too

Remember the rule of 7? 

If you're an old school marketer like me you'll remember learning that an individual needs to come in contact with a message 7 times before they will fully understand and engage with your brand. 

We typically keep this in mind when we’re working on our external marketing initiatives. 

But we often forget this rule when it comes to communicating internally.

There’s another fun rule, too. 

The 21/90 rule.

Do you know this one?

If you commit to a personal or professional goal for 21 straight days, after three weeks the activity that's related to that goal becomes a habit. And if you can continue for 90 days after that, that habit becomes a permanent lifestyle change. It becomes as much a part of your routine as breathing. 

So, why am I sharing these rules with you?

Well, because we're human beings and sometimes we're overwhelmed or distracted or focused on an initiative. 

And yet in our business lives, we expect to share something once and be done with it. 

But that’s not an effective means of achieving the outcomes we’re looking for.

When you’re trying to get a message across to your colleagues, you need to share that message enough for them to truly internalize it.

Case Study: SmartBug Media

Let me share a very specific example of something that we do here at SmartBug related to these internal marketing efforts. 

Like any good, intelligent inbound organization, we've researched and documented our buyer personas. This documentation was then shared company wide via an employee company meeting. It was also emailed to the entire team, and the presentation is permanently available in our online knowledge base. In addition, when new team members join the company, reading the buyer persona documentation is part of their on-boarding. 

But is our internal marketing work done? 

Not even close. 

Every time a team member is responsible for creating a piece of content or a campaign asset we use Google document templates. And the template includes a task to review our buyer personas along with a direct link to the information. 

We also have an internal campaigns — meaning only people who work for SmartBug can see these campaigns — that features our buyer persona documentation with a link to the resources. 

So, not only have we shared information about our personas in every form we can think of, we also have internal team members consistently educating each other via internal email messages without anyone having to lift a finger. 

Remember, you can't share a message once, twice, or even three times, and expect your audience to consume it, understand it, and remember it. 

So, before you send a snarky Slack message to a colleague about someone “not getting it”, really think about what you've done to communicate your message. 

Are you giving your teammates what they need in order to be successful?

The Power of Celebration

Now beyond education, I also believe in the power of celebration to really support internal marketing efforts. 

There's quite a bit we tend to ask of our fellow teammates , so it's important to remind everyone of the impact they have on company initiatives and of how grateful you are for their support.

I find that people generally want to help you, but they need to know that you want their help and that you appreciate it. 

So, keep the kudos flowing. 

The more your fellow teammates are educated and thanked for their efforts, the more likely they'll be to embrace future messages and to volunteer to support your efforts. 

Soon enough, getting on board with marketing initiatives won't feel like extra work — it will be part of what it means to be on the team. It will be as natural as breathing.

Are you ready to start utilizing these internal initiatives? Tweet me or SmartBug about your success at @jenspencer or @smartbugmedia.

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Jen Spencer

About the author

Jen Spencer leads SmartBug's sales, marketing, and brand strategy. Over her career, Jen has built several demand generation and sales enablement programs from the ground up and has experience working within tech startups, publicly traded companies, mid-market organizations, and the not-for-profit space. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch. Read more articles by Jen Spencer.

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