Gitte Nørgaard Grytli brings a wealth of experience in the marketing and communications field to her new role as Senior Client Director at Spoon Malmö. We asked her for the three most important lessons she has learned from a long career that includes a variety of roles at Egmont, plus IKEA.
Change management: for internal, think external
Often when companies are going through a change process, there is too much top-down perspective. Messages are pushed down from above, based on what is important from the leadership team’s perspective, at the expense of the receivers’ – the employees’ – perspective.
What I’ve learned is that one effective way to approach this is to use the same models you might employ for effective external communications. My new colleagues at Spoon have this mantra that “people don’t care about you and your products, they care about themselves and what you can do for them”, and you can actually apply this to internal communications too.
So when it comes to communicating change, put the focus on your employees’ interests and concerns, rather than pushing out the messages that are most important to those driving the change.
Without the employees on board no changes will happen. You need interaction, transparency, and a two-way dialogue. That way you can create understanding, engage employees and bring them along with you on your change journey.
I should also like to point out that too often change is perceived as something that happens in a set period of time, that has a clear start and a clear end. But change is an ongoing process. We are always in a time of change, and so change management should be an “always-on” project.
Always-on never goes out of style
Speaking of always-on, it is perhaps understandable that marketers prefer activities in campaign format over always-on activities. Sure, from the planning and budget perspectives, campaigns are more convenient to execute in limited bursts. They are easier to tick off your to-do list, and can be easier to measure.
But there is a lot to be said for always-on campaigns. For a start, you don’t have to constantly restart the whole “awareness, interest, desire, action” process with each new campaign.
But more importantly, if we are in the business of building long-term relationships with our customers, shouldn’t we show them respect by maintaining a running dialogue with them, rather than just showing up on our terms, when we have something to say?
With the people who are dear to you, your friends and relatives, I think we can all agree that regular contact is better and more meaningful than just a visit every now and then. And that is how it should be with customers and prospective customers.
A campaign isn’t a relationship. It’s more like showing up unannounced – and possibly uninvited. An always-on campaign, done right, is a healthier and more satisfying relationship for everyone, with regular contact that shows that you’re there, that you care, sharing what is going on in their life and checking in on theirs.
And through measurement and analysis you can take the temperature of the relationship, listening to what your customers are saying and doing, and adjust your behaviour to make sure you are both happy and that you understand each other.
Why you should find your ‘why’
There’s nothing original in stating that companies need to find their ‘why’, but it is still surprisingly common that their marketing and communications efforts lack a clear and defined purpose.
Companies know they want content, but they often struggle to articulate why they want it. They want traffic, but why? They want a film for social media, but why? Content should never just be a placeholder.
If you don’t know the purpose behind your communications, how can you expect the person on the receiving end to understand what you are trying to say? And this applies to both internal and external communications.
People often get bogged down in the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, but you really need to be clear on the ‘why’ before you do anything else. Working on a thorough strategy can help you find the purpose of your content.
Like Albert Einstein said:
“If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.”
And if that approach is good enough for saving the world, then it should be good enough for creating content.
How can Gitte and the Spoon Malmö team help you with your internal and external communication challenges? Contact her at email@example.com