Three Ways Marketers can Establish an Internal Brand

April 13, 2022

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“Brands are two things: promise and performance” – Scott Galloway Oftentimes, businesses face the challenge of establishing an internal brand, without knowing how to do so. Internal branding plays an integral role in establishing the marketing function at a business. Rebecca Orelanna, AVP of Marketing at League, recently ran a OneEleven Masterclass on “Building Your Internal Brand”. In her session, Rebecca outlined some of the main ways that marketers can establish and build a strong internal brand.  So why is an internal brand important? Firstly, a strong internal brand allows you to supply your team with the right resources to do your job well. This can include headcount, budget, attention – all things that make your life a lot easier. Here are three things to consider when building out your internal brand:
  1. Address Three Key Challenges to Showcase Value
Most start-ups struggle to establish their internal brand and the role marketing plays as they grow and onboard new members; Team members will come to the table with more tactical requests – deck design, product naming requests, etc. versus understanding the value and benefit marketing can provide.  As a newly found marketing team, there are three main challenges you need to address to show value at your company:
  1. Time: you may be the first marketer on the team, and you might get various requests thrown your way until you can prove yourself and your efforts.
  2. Priorities: The possibility that you may not be emphasizing the right value-add areas, or you’re not dedicating your resources to the right places.
  3. Measurement: Perhaps you are delivering value, but you haven’t found a way to quantify it and display the value to the business.
Successful marketing takes time to build. Most channels will take between 1-6 months to start seeing measurable results, so be sure to communicate expectations clearly. In terms of priorities, the promise of value may be mismatched with what your organization is looking for. For instance, you can’t prove your value if the organization doesn’t value the things you’re working on. Measurement is also a big challenge for our function, especially in the early days when trying to quantify impact. However, priorities and measurement are two things we can control. We can also identify where and how we spend our time and our value proposition within the organization. 
  1. Define Your Marketing Role In The Organization
It’s important that your role is clearly defined within the organization in order to establish a successful marketing function as you continue to scale. There are a number of different brand archetypes that you can leverage based on your role and organization.  Three main archetypes that we should consider taking on as we build out our internal brand: 
  1. The Hero: Solves key pain points for the organization, and delivers a ton of value
  2. The Caregiver: A caring teammate, generous with time and energy. 
  3. The Sage: Committed to helping gain deeper insight and wisdom
As you continue to define your role, you may see some characteristics of each archetype overlapping each other.
  1. Establish KPIs
Once you’ve established your role at the company, you need to determine if you’re a Product or Sales-led organization. For product marketers: ask yourself, “How can I embed myself in the product roadmap?” For sales-based marketers: ask yourself, “How can I fuel demand generation for our product or service?” You’ll need to establish initial benchmarks and metrics to help quantify your value. Your first 30 days are critical, and quick wins will help you get some points on the board. This might mean bringing on contractors to set up channels, create missing content, or to set up tracking. Here are some other examples of KPIs include in your marketing efforts:
  • Lead grading model
  • Attribution models
  • Generated
  • Influenced
  • Touched
  • CVR
  • CAC % of Pipeline
  • % of ARR
  • Deal Acceleration
  • Website traffic
  • Awareness
As you start to build your internal brand, it’s important to be true to your brand promise and ensure measurement is at the core of your strategy. The first 30 days are critical for any organization; any quick wins will go a long way in setting up the marketing function for future success and educating teams on your role within the organization. And don’t be afraid to say “no” in the early days. You’ll get a range of requests, and it’s important to be strategic about the tasks you take on. Lastly, be sure to promote your accomplishments internally – be your own cheerleader, and educate members on how you can benefit and drive value within the organization.    This article was contributed by Long Story Short, the full-service marketing and advertising agency


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