With increased pressure on corporate marketing budgets, companies are looking for new ways to increase their return on investment. Leveraging the company intranet portal will help your organization to get more for its marketing buck. From streamlined businesses processes, better dissemination of information, to comprehensive customer information and market research, the intranet portal will help to make your marketing budget go further. Plus, you’ll find that there are additional businesses benefits to be had from the company intranet, making it an all-round solution.
Streamlined Processes Through Your Intranet Portal
Automating office processes on the intranet is a great way to reduce overheads. Let’s look at a standard marketing work task of preparing a product launch and see how the intranet portal can streamline the process.
Data Gathering And Analysis
Often requiring the input of several teams or departments, this first phase of a product launch can be easily accomplished on the intranet with a collaborative workspace. All the relevant data can be shared and discussed in one platform without the need for long meetings or emailed updates.
Developing Marketing Materials
Brainstorming of ideas can also take place in a collaborative workspace. And the actual development of marketing content can be achieved through a system of co-authoring which allows several staff members to work on a draft at the same time. Think for a moment about how much effort goes into collating responses and comments on drafts and the amount of email this process generates in an organization. The intranet portal will reduce these coordination costs and provides an overall speedier process.
Advising staff of imminent product launches (or indeed other key events) is simple with the intranet corporate calendar. All staff can be alerted to an actual product launch through a ‘hot news’ button on the intranet home page. Publishing product or service information brochures on the intranet mean that customer service personnel can provide an immediate and knowledgeable response to any new queries from clients.
So whether it’s a product launch or a new marketing strategy, it’s possible to see the savings that can be achieved by more streamlined and collaborative processes on the intranet.
Better Dissemination Of Information
We’ve already touched on this; however, as the marketing department is a repository for critical company-wide information, the savings possible from better dissemination of information are significant.
The intranet portal makes it possible for marketing to share corporate branding and company-wide marketing information including graphics, logos, adverts, email templates and case studies. A document management system coupled with an advanced search functionality, enables staff from around the organization to source the information they need directly from the intranet. This frees up marketing staff from having to respond to such requests for information, meaning that they can get on with other important marketing jobs. Also, the intranet will hold the most up-to-date version and, therefore, eliminates the possibility of embarrassing or costly errors with staff using incorrect or outdated branding materials.
As we’ve already seen, a company calendar that contains key information around corporate events and deadlines is a great communication tool. We’ve all got scenarios such as the one when a marketing department plans a major push for a current product only to discover at the eleventh hour that research and development are planning to release a new version next month! These scenarios arise because of a breakdown in communication and the absence of a central alert system. The company calendar on the intranet portal is the mechanism to prevent these costly errors from happening.
Comprehensive Customer Information
One of the key tasks of marketing departments is to undertake market research and to be the voice of the customer in the organization. The intranet is another obvious place to store relevant customer information. So whether it’s customer feedback, case studies, testimonials, future needs, or the latest contact, all the relevant data concerning clients should be accessible on the intranet. Such data can be manipulated to reveal information on different products and services, geographical areas or individual customers and so will inform the work of a number of teams within your organization and not just marketing.
In addition, customers provide important feedback on your products or services. And they do so through a range of channels: it could be via a Facebook comment, a tweet, a phone conversation or email. Collecting all such interactions in one centrally held database on the intranet ensures you have a comprehensive profile for each customer that is accessible to all relevant staff.
Publication Of Market Research
Furthermore, the marketing department is responsible for conducting market research on behalf of the business in order to gain a clear understanding of what customers really want. Market research helps managers to identify new market opportunities as well as informing the process of product refinement and redevelopment. It also involves studying the organization’s competitors so as to develop superior products and employ more efficient marketing techniques. Market research is, therefore, a critical function for businesses, but all too often the results are not widely publicized throughout the organization. Knowing what customers are thinking and what competitors are doing is relevant for every member of the organization: from the receptionist through to the CEO.
Publishing the results of market research on the intranet portal means that all staff can access the results and use them to inform their daily work. Any important news or updates on market research can be publicized through the intranet news feed.
Also, positive customer feedback and market research is a great motivator for staff and provides a sense of purpose especially for those staff that perform more supporting rather than customer-facing roles.
Additional Business Benefits
The ideas and scenarios that we’ve looked at in this article are not exhaustive, nor are they confined to the marketing department alone. Other parts of your business will benefit equally from the intranet’s capabilities and the advantages it offers. These include:
- Increased workforce productivity.
- Improved team integration and collaboration.
- Improved internal communications.
- Less time spent on sourcing and updating organizational information.