How the “one voice” approach disrupts marketing
June 30th 2017, Editor: Hannes Beierlein, CCO Evernine Group
Every marketing division has to question its own strategy from time to time: What has changed within the company? What about the market set up? Is it necessary to reconsider internal competencies and external service providers? Find out more about the “one voice” approach which can help you answer these difficul, structural questions.
You might have already realized the following, particularly if you’re part of the IT industry: The whole field is changing completely. This especially concerns the area of communication, but also the operations segment. IT and management consultancies buy digital agencies, digital agencies consult regarding IT solutions, and so it goes on and on.
Thus IT service providers are nowadays often the last link in this chain and “only” deliver hardware and / or software solutions at the end of the decision making process.
Today the same thing applies to marketing divisions. Marketing is seen to be an earmarked tool rather than a self-sufficient, business-relevant department. Sales persons do parts of the advertising material creation, the IT department recruits employees online using its own budgets and product managers use own blog articles and success stories for direct communication with the client. So what remains for the marketers?
New market changes, new chances
Especially in the B2B environment the potential of marketing – nowadays mainly digital marketing – is not yet fully exploited. In terms of “self publishing” there are now completely new opportunities for self-marketing including lead generation and sales tasks. These opportunities incorporate e.g. sponsored posts, target-specific social marketing, shifting budgets to the best channels and more digital activities concerning modern targeting. Today it is easy to attract the right target group to your own landing page and content, no matter if the topic is sales, HR or winning business partners.
The benefit for marketing divisions: With digital tools and channels, you can “snatch” the entire communication back into your hands – with the least effort possible. The decisive point is the increasingly prominent “one voice” approach.
Top down solution: What’s behind the “one voice” approach?
By following the “one-voice” approach one fundamental decision becomes obsolete: Outsourcing versus in-housing.
The well-known advantages of outsourcing are increased flexibility and market-related know how of external service providers or agencies. They have the required expertise and experience to deliver quick results.
Moreover, external partners can help you to connect with your industry – particularly if you are a “freshman” in a specific area. This is especially true to many companies in the Digital Marketing Field.
Concerning in-housing, there are many aspects which call for building a specific internal competencies. As a marketer you are responsible for interfaces and processes which influence your department. Simultaneously you are at the top of departments and defend your territory with knowledge. Your department determines the channel-specific goals, KPIs, success evaluation and monitoring. However, this also means: You have to perform in advance, acquire know how from all internal departments and the industry, set up a team and identify channels and strategies for all segments of your company. Do you have time and resources for this?
That is where “one voice” ties in. The approach is intensively used for digital marketing, for example by the Munich communication and innovation consultancy Evernine.
The basic idea of “one voice” is to set up a new position which is superior to the marketing division. This position is named Chief Communication Officer (CCO) in the following. Following a “one voice” strategy, the chief communication officer combines strategy, skills, responsibility and communication both internally and externally. He is best described as follows:
- The CCO will establish the position of a (usually external) communication consultant in the company and train selected internal / external persons.
- The CCO has fixed budgets available for internal and external communication. These budgets are determined and accounted for at eye level together with the CCO’s board colleagues, who are CTO, CFO und CEO (all are on the same level).
- His communication consultants (external as well as internal) and communication teams are assigned to specific roles according to the company’s strategy.
- Together with his team he creates a new corporate culture for the use of digital media and later on also for the correct usage of communication channels – internal and external.
- He is living the “one voice” strategy and establishes it as a pleasant model to generate specific business deals, which are in line with the corporate vision. Thereby he combines sales, HR, PR and marketing.
- Internally he establishes central lead registration and marketing automation tools and creates an open and clear KPI mindset across all major communicators.
Convert your marketing into an inbound experience, unify in-housing and outsourcing, and secure your department the leading position in the company. You want to get more information about “one voice”? Then please contact the author of this article, Hannes Beierlein, CCO at the Evernine Group.
Source image: iStock / Andrew Rich