Got the message? Desktop promotional marketing for staff
Customers and staff are starting to return to work, so businesses of all sizes are gearing up to welcome staff back safely, and launch new initiatives for the recovery. This month we are looking at ways to change staff behaviour, and how branded merchandise can help you get the message across in the workplace.
Why should I be interested?
Internal marketing is a cross-functional role, bringing together HR, Learning & Development, and Marketing. It is a powerful form of communication in a business used to deliver a huge range of outcomes. Three scenarios customers have asked us for help with recently are:
- Changing workplace behaviour to reduce the risk of infection
- Launching a new product or service
- Helping staff to adopt long-term changes such as reducing carbon footprint or improving IT security.
There are a lot of other reasons for doing internal marketing, so these are just 3 examples to illustrate the point.
What should I be doing?
The first rule of internal marketing should be “don’t just send an email”. If emails were enough to get us to do something different, life would be simpler. But the fact is that they are not. Staff inboxes are flooded with internal and external communication. Joe is probably more interested in agreeing whether he and Jack will have sushi for lunch than the latest all-staff email blast.
- Be clear on your goal: do you want staff to adopt social distancing rules in the office, understand and promote the new app, or pick up improved IT security habits? Set clear goals that you can measure.
- Work out how to measure it, then measure it! There is no point investing in a campaign if you don’t know whether it has achieved its goal. Observe staff using communal areas, ask staff about the new product features, and conduct sample audits on IT kit.
- Communicate well and often: we are all busy with lots of information flying at us all day long. “Selling” a message to staff is no different to selling to customers. The more you do it, the more likely they are to hear it and, more importantly, understand it. We usually work on the principle that we need to communicate 7 times or more to get a message across.
- Face-to-face is highly effective! Consider nominating “champions” for your campaign, and include all managers with regular briefings in advance. A champion could be a team member who gets extra training on reducing infection risk and can be responsible for ordering more sanitiser. Or they might be given in-depth training on the value proposition for your shiny new service, so they can educate team members.
- Reinforce the message with physical reminders. Signage is a great way to nudge behaviours in your communal spaces. And desktop merchandise provides a permanent nudge to remember and adopt new practices. When I worked with Microsoft, during my agency days, their approach was that their staff were all customers. Their first audience for marketing a new product was internal, complete with launch events and promotional gifts on every desk.
How do I choose the right branded merchandise?
Branded gifts for staff should follow 3 golden rules:
- Engaging: By this we mean that staff will interact with the gift. Useful gifts are more common, like stationery items, and show your internal marketing message to staff every time they use the item. But novelty items can also be powerful, depending on your campaign, and will be used intensively by staff for a short period and generate conversations about your message.
- Relevant: Choose branded merchandise that can carry the message you want to convey. That message should be simple in order to be an effective reminder (but your other communication will give them the detail). Ideally the product will be linked to the message e.g. a re-usable bottle to reinforce reductions in plastic waste.
- Appealing: Everybody makes judgements about products based on quality, and you want those judgements to create a positive association with your department and your message. Make sure your gift is visually nice, will be appreciated by your staff, and will uphold your brand!
You should also consider:
- Budget and quantity: Your budget might be affected by a range of things like the number of staff, and the overall cost of time and materials for getting the message across. Promotional gifts increase message retention and memory significantly more than reading a leaflet, so your budget will achieve better results. And if your office canteen needs new mugs anyway, why not use the opportunity to communicate your message!
- Is it permanent message? If you are running a campaign to raise awareness of IT security then you should choose a corporate gift that will last like a mug. If it is a temporary message, then consumable promotional products are better such as sticky notes.
Here are some of items that we have found successful with clients in the past…
Pens & Stationery
Always popular because they are so useful. And printed stationery items give you a lot of flexibility in terms of print and design. For short-term behavioural campaigns, printed memo pads and personalised sticky notes are excellent consumables.
Lanyards & Badges
Lanyards are one of those office items that are in constant demand. Print up your lanyards with your message and see staff carrying your campaign all day.
Mousemats and desktop gadgets
Every desk becomes a campaign tool with the right promotional merchandise. Mousemats are essential in offices and need to be replaced frequently anyway. And a simple gadget like a mobile stand will be used every day.
Mugs & Flasks
Mugs and flasks are classic promotional gifts which are perfect for getting your message across. With a large print area and room for great designs, your staff will have your message front of mind at all times.
The more fun and engaging you can make your message, the more it will resonate with staff on a human level. If you want to communicate with video then try one of our Magic Cube products: high quality 4 colour print and an Augmented Reality video through the user’s smartphone. They get a sensational response.
The COVID-19 pandemic means we will all have to change workplace behaviour. As well as introducing new rules in the workplace, you could offer staff branded products to help get the message home.
IT Security is vital for any organisation to protect customer and staff data, and reduce the risk of damaging attacks on systems. Products like the data blocker and web-cam cover help to drive the message home whilst giving staff the practical tools to engage in best practice.
85% of our customers say that corporate responsibility is critical to their business model. But you need your staff to work with you as you try to improve your company’s practices. Printed reusable water bottles, eco promotional pens, or even a selection of branded desktop herbs will make your message real and reduce impact on the environment at the same time.