Failure to Launch? The Importance of Internal Communications for B2B Marketing Success
In the marketing world, a new product launch or campaign should be a big deal. You’ve spent months contacting media outlets, getting client emails ready and creating social calendars — all so your message can be seen by the masses. But, did you take a moment to think about sharing the big news with your internal team?
B2B Product Launch? Get your Internal Team Onboard.
Clients are usually the focus of your everyday tasks, and most B2B companies do a decent job of training their outside sales force before a launch. But the remainder of your internal team could be one of your greatest assets. You won’t find better brand advocates to share your work than your own coworkers and teammates. Not to mention, it’s extremely important for your internal team to be knowledgeable about the work you’re doing. If employees are educated and on board, you’re more likely to be successful. Internal communications improve trust and productivity among your team, and if you’re good at internal communications, you’re 3.5 times more likely to outperform your competition (Lexicon). An inside sales force or customer service team that’s informed and knowledgeable about your business can have great conversations with prospective customers and even create lasting business relationships.
But, when your team is completely in the dark? Your customer’s experience could be severely impacted. Imagine an organization that is unable to effectively support an inquiry for a quote, an order processing question or worse, is unable to accurately or expeditiously engineer an order because they aren’t fully plugged-in. If all the focus goes to external B2B audiences, the company misses an engagement opportunity and risks a poor customer experience when the inquiries and orders start arriving. Lost momentum. Failure to launch.
Internal B2B Marketing and Communication Channels
Employees spend nearly 20 percent of their work week searching for internal information, so improving the communication process can have a huge impact on your business (McKinsey). When you inform your employees, you're able to draw on their energy, allowing them to embrace product launches. Doing this ensures a great customer experience and a stronger market reception for your new product. Not sure where to start? Launch Solutions offers a helpful checklist to help you spread the word:
- Email: This one seems like a no-brainer, but communication through email is a great place to start, but email is something that sticks with coworkers on their phone, desktop and smart devices. Day-to-day communications go through email, so your announcements should, too! Just remember not to overload their inbox with too many messages; HubSpot reports communication overload as the biggest hurdle with internal audiences. Keep it short and to the point!
- Video: Most of us are visual learners — who doesn’t like a quick video? Video can be a creative way to share marketing or sales updates and is an extremely shareable media. Inspire and entertain your team with a video announcement. If you have a lot of information to share, capture it visually to make it easy to understand. It’s a convenient way to communicate to recipients who can pause, play or revisit whenever they have time. Yes, this applies to business-to-business too.
- Team meetings: Face-to-face engagement is a great way to start a conversation with your team and make sure questions are answered. Team meetings give you a chance to learn about other projects happening, too, and to dialogue about what’s working and challenges facing the team. Remote team? Try webinars and virtual meetings to give people the chance to interact.
Promotions: One of the most proven, effective ways to communicate internally is through promotions and promotional products (PPAI). Providing branded items centered around your launch is an engaging advertising method that works across all generations and channels, including internally. Showering employees with apparel, cups, bags, tech items and quality swag makes for a quick connection to the campaign and to cultivating brand advocates.
For your next launch or campaign, consider thinking inside-out. Your internal marketing and communications plan is just as important as any external efforts. Whatever method of communication you choose for your team, your goal is to engage and educate. Be clear, concise and make it fun and exciting. If your own team is engaged, you’re more likely to have success.