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  • Writer's pictureLyanne Campbell

Inside-Out: How Internal Alignment Powers Successful Marketing

Updated: Jul 8

image of a line of yellow pencils and one blue one with the words Power successful marketing with internal alignment

I recall an experience several years ago when I was working in a non-marketing role and speaking with a senior marketing executive. I suggested an idea where the employees could provide feedback and insights on the campaign and its effectiveness. The idea was immediately shut down with the response along the lines of 'We can't have everybody telling us what to do, or we'll never get anything done'.

 

To me, this was a great mistake.

 

While it is true that you can't have everyone telling you what to do, knowing and understanding how marketing impacts your internal teams is important. How else do you know if the initiative or campaign is working to help solve problems or meet the needs of the people it serves? This is applicable in any industry.

 


So, if I could reach back out to that executive today and provide guidance and recommendations on how to foster and build that bridge between marketing and retail, here are the tips that I would recommend:

business people in a meeting

Gather the gang. At the onset of campaign planning, include all key stakeholders who will be the decision-makers, champions, and advocates for the marketing initiative. These are typically individuals in a senior or key role who oversee and influence others as it relates to the marketing initiative. I will spark communication with a project or campaign plan, which includes a definition of what we're doing, the link to the corporate goals, any applicable research, some recommended corporate metrics (if applicable) and the timeline.

 

To further illustrate, if you are promoting a service or product, you will need all leaders to agree on the campaign's direction, set success goals/metrics, and get buy-in from the start. This is important because they will influence others to support the initiative to maximize the efforts and investment. You will also learn other factors influencing or impacting the teams' ability to deliver on the marketing promise. This will allow you to be realistic in goal setting and the asks required from your internal team members.


I never include creative at this point because so many people can get hung up on it. At this point, I need buy-in on the strategy and direction, not how the creative looks or sounds.

business woman smiling and pointing to a document with a pen

Gather feedback and make edits. Following the initial meeting with your key stakeholders, make edits and realign as appropriate. At this point, you may find you have more research to do, you may need to adjust your timelines, you may need to change your expectations, and, in rare cases*, you may need to change the campaign focus altogether.


*I recall one time when I had done a tremendous amount of research, recommended and proposed a campaign to be in the market for several month for a significant topic. Upon meeting with the key stakeholders and presenting my idea, it was determined that this was much heftier than a short campaign period would allow; additional time, research, and resources were needed to go into this initiative. As a result, the original campaign was redrafted. However, the concept and idea of the original campaign took flight. This resulted in additional resources being applied; it became a KPI for the organization; and was then reported on the corporate scorecard.

While the original campaign didn't take flight, the concept far surpassed the short time period and had a tremendous impact on the organization and the people it serves. This is an example of how marketing helps to solve a business problem.

business woman reviewing document

Send for final approval. Once you have your project plan in place, send it to your key stakeholders for final approval. At this point, you can now include an outline for your theme and creative. This will articulate how you are using the insights and research while aligning it to your corporate brand. Waiting until this point to reveal some of the creative helps bring your key stakeholders along the ride with you. They can see and understand the reasoning behind the theme, which inspires greater buy-in for the campaign overall. Their buy-in is significant when asking them to influence your internal teams.

image of team meeting

Internal communication. We often focus so much on what we will send out in the world, but we need to remember that internal communication is as important, if not more important. This is worth saying again - internal communication is as much, if not more important than what you send out into the wild. When communications go out to the public, it is so unfair for an employee to learn about it at the same time as everyone else does. That puts the individuals in such a tough position, making it very difficult to inspire support for the marketing function and initiatives of the organization.

 

Here are a few tip's on what internal communications can look like:

image of video meeting

Present to everyone. A week or two before the campaign goes live, using your campaign or project plan as a guide, bring the entire internal team along the ride with you. Pull out key research highlights, articulate the corporate priority this initiative will support, share what channels and when the marketing collateral will go out, provide ideas of how they can use the marketing pieces to help meet their goals, and ask them for their support. I recommend doing this in person and/or through a virtual meeting.

image of laptop and notepad

Follow up. Recognizing that not everyone can attend the call or meeting, be sure to share a recording and slide deck with everyone on staff. This will give them a resource to look back on when needed.

image of phone and icons

Don't stop there. Unless you're in a marketing role, marketing is probably not the main focus of day-to-day work. Provide regular support and reminders throughout the entire campaign or initiative. This could include conversation prompts, fun quizzes, product or service training (here, you will align with the experts), 10-second tidbits, asking for ongoing feedback, and encouraging team leaders to include the marketing campaign in their regular meetings. This is only a handful off the top of my head; the possibilities are endless.


Your marketing is a core engine for the business. Bringing in your internal teams to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders is a POWERFUL way to ignite your marketing.

 

I hope you found this insightful and helpful.


Keep on being amazing,

Lyanne

 

Image of Lyanne Campbell, founder and consultant of blue dragonfly Marketing Strategies Ltd.

With a drive to accomplish high-quality results, the marketing work Lyanne has spear-headed in business has been recognized and awarded nationally on several occasions. In addition to this, she proudly holds the Chartered Marketer designation through the Canadian Marketing Association.

 

After serving 28 years in corporate finance, she emboldened into new territory by striking up a business marketing consulting practice that exists to lighten the load of marketing leaders. Having been a leader in marketing, she appreciates the complexities of the job and the many demands that come with it.

 

Whether you are interested in learning more about how blue dragonfly can help your business, are interested in joining or learning more about Mastermind groups, would like to chat about a speaking engagement, or just want to meet with Lyanne, this is a great way to get started. Connect today.

 

Cheers to the beginning of a great relationship.


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