As marketing department budgets become tighter, companies are looking for new ways to increase their return on investment, as well as spend less capital than the following year. Leveraging the company’s intranet portal allows for office processes to be streamlined and automated, which could just be the effective solution needed to get more bang for your marketing buck while reducing those nasty overheads!
Streamlining Your Way To Success
Streamlining office processes using intranet software involves creating faster and simpler working methods, which results in an efficient and productive workforce. The marketing department is a hub of information that is constantly flowing internally and externally to other departments, so it’s one of the key areas that can benefit from streamlined communications.
Developing a new campaign from an idea to the final product for public consumer consumption is just one of the standard tasks most marketing departments undergo. As an example, let’s take a look at how optimizing the intranet portal can streamline this process:
Getting To Know Your Market
First things first; before employees can start brainstorming innovative and out of the box ideas, the department first needs to determine where your market is spending their time and what they really want – and therefore where marketing activity (and in fact, the activities of the whole business) should be focused.
Market research, both primary and secondary is an essential function of a business as it allows for an in-depth analysis. By studying and generating data based on the current market trends, the desires of the target consumer segment and the competitor’s future strategy, the company can develop superior products (or services) that satisfy consumer’s wants and needs and market them accordingly. Furthermore, conducting market research within the initial stages of the product launch helps managers identify new market opportunities, assist in the product refinement and redevelopment process and aid in the employment of marketing techniques.
Once the data has been published, it is all too often shared only with a limited number of employees, mostly those who the data immediately concerns. However, the collected information is relevant to everyone throughout the business. Publishing the market research results on the company’s intranet portal means that everyone from the CEO to the receptionist can view the information and use it to inform their daily work and receive important news and updates via the company intranet newsfeed.
Marketing is all about new and creative ideas that a company can implement to have a unique competitive advantage of their competitors. Generating ideas is a collaborative process. Therefore, co-authoring is an effective technique, which allows multiple staff members to edit and comment on one common document. Think how much time employees will save from not continuously sending emails back and forth, or spending a huge chuck of time developing an idea that another employee has already completed. An intranet will not only save time during this process, but will also reduce coordination costs – a win for making that marketing budget stretch further!
The marketing department doesn’t solely work alone during a new product launch. The input of several other departments from accountancy to production is required to accomplish the mammoth task. Numerous individuals working on one project generate a lot of conversations, and there’s nothing worse than having long, tiresome meetings or coming back to your computer to a plethora of email updates. The intranet offers a collaborative workspace where all the relevant data can be shared and discussed among departments in one central platform without pesky notifications every second throughout the day.
When a new product is launched, suddenly a lot of news and information seems to flood the office. To avoid employees, especially customer service personnel, missing vital pieces of information and having an influx of emails being sent by those out of the loop, a simple solution of a shared marketing intranet calendar is what your company needs. Employees can view all important information related to the launch and they can provide immediate responses to client enquiries.
Product Information & Marketing Material
You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t have a strong sales team, these products may not get used by the audience. By implementing intranet software, a sales team is easily able to access product information and marketing material to help foster leads and close sales more efficiently. One of the key issues that sales users face is that traditional file/folder style storage systems can become complicated and less intuitive over time. This inevitably leads to them sending an email to colleagues asking “do you know where the file for product X is located?”. This is where a strong intranet search solution can pay for itself alone. Matched up with product category pages created to assist with the navigation to any information that the sales users are looking can be an invaluable solution for your team. Compared to paper-based marketing material it most certainly beats scrambling through a stack of paper the size of a small mountain!
You would have noticed that customers like to talk; usually about two polar opposite points of view. Either customers inform you when they’re extremely happy, or when they’re extremely unhappy about a product or service. With the popularity of social media as well as more traditional methods, this feedback can be shared on a multitude of channels including by embedding them in your intranet pages.
In addition to feedback, customer data can also include case studies, testimonials, and purchase histories. Collecting and storing this data in one central database on the intranet ensures that you have a comprehensive profile of each customer that is accessible to relevant staff members.
Data is a vital part of any company and is expensive to purchase from external sources. When a company develops their own internal customer database, they are essentially creating a resource for future research, which will aid in the subsequent projects that will follow.
Additional Department Intranet Benefits
Launching a new product or service is just one of the many tasks that are completed within the marketing department. Other tasks such as strategy development, customer service and customer management, and advertising and promotion creation can also gain improvement from an intranet system. This list is not exhaustive and the benefits of streamlining processes using an intranet portal are not confined to the marketing department alone.
Other departments of a company could benefit equally from the intranet’s capabilities and the advantages it offers, such as:
- Improved internal communications.
- Sourcing and updating organizational information becomes more efficient.
- A more collaborative, integrated team.
- Increased workforce productivity.