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Published August 3rd 2017

Selling Yourself: Internal Marketing Tactics for Consumer Insights Professionals

Dinah Alobeid speaks with Forrester's Cinny Little and uncovers some top advice on selling yourself, and your insights, internally

Insights are taking over as the most useful weapon in a brand’s knowledge base.

It only makes sense that there is a rise in Insights Centers of Excellence — a hub-and-spoke business model in which consumer insights professionals gather and analyze all sorts of data and deliver it to the right people, at the right time all throughout their business.

The most recent blog in our Insights Center of Excellence (coE) series showed you how to educate and convince C-suite stakeholders on why an insights CoE is a good idea. There are many more departments and a ton more individuals within your org that could use convincing. I want to help you sell yourself.

Internal marketing is valuable for any department that wants to be taken seriously, to prove ROI, and to share important insights. Whether it’s customer service, HR, or legal. Yet it’s not a priority for most of us as we are trying to hit deadlines, evaluate past work, and frankly just hustle to get the day’s work done.

With businesses jumping on the “customer obsession” train (and rightfully so), consumer insights professionals have to be marketing their efforts and insights internally.

Senior Forrester analyst Cinny Little knows the ins and outs of customer insights professionals; their challenges, daily routines, and what exactly makes them tick. We put it to her to find out what she thinks are the best ways to make the case for your insights center of excellence within your business.

Cinny, what are some practical internal marketing tactics you would recommend?

Given competing priorities and stretched resources, social and insights teams usually don’t view internal marketing of social insights as a top priority. That’s backward thinking. You must build awareness of the value you’re delivering, or you’ll continue to struggle to build the business case for increasing resources to do more.

To use internal marketing effectively:

First, don’t overlook the power of communicating small wins — start small to go large. In organizations growing their maturity in turning social insights into business outcomes, creating visibility about even small wins is critical to proving value.

Second, use internal marketing channels that your audiences already actively use. This may seem obvious, but research shows that stakeholders and internal audience members are very unlikely to go to yet another internal platform, site, or tool that they have no other need to use.

Third, cultivate your champions — don’t focus on doubters or detractors. Your goal with champions is for them to be an informal but important enabler of your internal marketing, as they will mention to others what customer and business value they’re driving from social insights. Word of mouth is a key internal enabler, too.

I know you want specifics, so I went on a quest to search for them in our own Brandwatch teams.

Let’s address all three of Cinny’s key areas for using internal marketing effectively.

  1. Communicating small wins – it may seem like a waste of time. But it most certainly is not. Sharing the impact of insights from social and other data sets to executives and key players within your organization will keep your department (and its value) top of mind. Example: sending an email to leadership when your team uncovered a brand reputation crisis situation. Explain how your team surfaced the insight. Also be prepared to address the issue and the action and resulting outcomes that came afterwards.
  2. If your company best communicates in Slack and you know leadership is most responsive there, share your wins and important insight team updates in the appropriate channel. Know that your CEO and CMO prefer having details laid out clearly in a short email? Shoot one over with a bulleted, easy-to-read note on how marrying web traffic with social data revealed that late-time internet perusers are your untapped customer base. If you’re a Vizia user, create a dedicated scene tile to showcase insights as they happen, in real time. What better way to spread data-driven gems than through the power of visual data.
  3. Cultivating champions sounds like a training program for gladiators. Really, it’s a similar idea to employee advocacy; just because they are fellow employees and not customers does not mean they aren’t highly influential and integral to your insights team’s success. Internal networking is important to internal marketing so make sure that you’re part of the right conversations, meeting with important potential stakeholders and advocates and leading with a help-focused initiative. Showcase how you can help other teams through the power of data-backed insights.

That’s three burning questions answered, and two more articles to go until we complete our blog series.

Next time, we’re zeroing in on how to factor social into your insights center of excellence and the specific measures your team should be selecting to share across your company.

Don’t worry about waiting for the next article. If you want more information on all things related to insights CoEs, the complete Q&A is available to read now.

Now, go get to work marketing yourself at your next company meeting.

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.