Internal Evangelism as Part of Your Branding Strategy

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Do you practice what you preach?

What about your team? Do they practice what your company preaches?

Evangelizing your team about your company’s message and values internally is equally as important as evangelizing them externally.

John Rougeux is the VP of Marketing at Skyfii where he has two main priorities: 1) Build his company’s presence in North America and 2) Rebuild Skyfii’s brand with a clear position in the marketplace.

John knows that he can’t accomplish his second priority by only marketing his company externally.  He has to be walking the walk and getting his team excited internally as well. It’s crucial to their success.

John joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about internal evangelism as part of a branding strategy.

Internal Evangelism is More Important Than Ever

John believes that “It’s not sufficient for marketers to focus on externally promoting a brand.”  In order to reach the potential for growth, your team needs to be fully onboard internally first to know where you’re headed.

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It’s not enough for your company to compete on features and benefits.  To embark on long-term relationships, customers must be interested in who you are and what you stand for.

The same absolutely goes for your employees and partners. As a marketer, your job is to continue to focus on external promotion, but your role should also include an often equal focus on promoting vision with your internal team and partners.

Competing on price and features is prevalent in the B2B space and B2B companies are over marketed to.  People in this space crave human relationships. If you say that is what you provide, but you fail to evangelize internally, your values will be inconsistent.

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How Your Team Can Demonstrate Consistent Values

John believes there are four pillars that demonstrate consistent internal values at your company:

  1. Recognize that marketers can’t work in a bubble.  You can’t just focus on traditional external marketing.  Your role has to be broader. If you start there, things will stem naturally into your external marketing.
  2. Leadership involvement is key.  Values need to be discussed and bought into at the leadership team level.  If employees see leadership disregarding values, they will soon follow suit.
  3. HR and marketing need to speak to each other.  This is especially true when it comes to hiring.  Competency is important in a candidate, but superb character and values are the most crucial elements in hiring.
  4. Lead by example.  There is a temptation for leaders to just write down processes in a document of how things should be done.  But they have to show other people on their team what it looks like to live out your company’s values.

2 Great Examples of Internal Evangelism

Here are two great examples of companies who internally evangelize their marketing in genius ways:

  1. Terminus plays in the enterprise space.  Their Chief Evangelist, Sangram Vajre, is hyper-focused on Account-Based Marketing.  He’s always looking for more authentic connections and talking to people on LinkedIn.  He’s living by example; his outward values are the same ones his brand stands for.
  2. Drift plays in a broader market space. But connection and authentic human branding are essential in their marketing as well. Dave Gerhardt has an off the cuff approach and he is always talking about the brand.  It’s not always perfectly polished with a high production value, but it’s conversational marketing. You can see it evident in his company as well as other people on his team make videos in the same vein.

…And 2 Bad Examples

  1. Enron had their fair share of problems.  While you might think that was just limited to CEOs or salespeople at the org, John points out that their values were reflected even in the accounting department.  It’s not just salespeople or customer service people that have an effect on customers, or employees. It’s anyone who makes a decision on behalf of the company.B2B_Revenue_Acceleration_-_9_John_Rougeux-04
  2. Uber didn’t have much of a value system to begin with, and things have not really improved.  They did a great job focusing on growth marketing, but they have participated in some things that were not culturally above board.  It’s unfortunate because Uber is so innovative and disruptive and they may have avoided many of these pitfalls they’ve found themselves in if they focused on these internal values before marketing externally.  

Marketers have a choice to make. They can either choose to promote their values internally like Terminus and Drift, or they can watch their culture (and profits as a result) crumble like Enron and Uber.

A marketer’s job no longer begins and ends outside of company walls.  Internal evangelism is the first step toward a company that is fired up about the direction in which they’re heading!

This post is based on a podcast with John RougeuxTo hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

Posted August 22, 2018

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