By Steve Olenski February 6, 2019

A self-proclaimed massive coffee-imbiber, Steve has been writing for Forbes via his own column for 10 years. His diverse background—ranging from creative director and copywriter on the agency side to director of marketing and other roles on the marketing side affords him a very unique perspective on the world of marketing today. No one is more attuned to the state of marketing than Steve. On top of all this he is one of the most prolific content marketers and writers today.

Effective internal communication helps ensure that all members of the organization are working collaboratively towards a common goal. It develops a cohesive culture and empowers employees to make the right decisions in line with the organization’s goals.

That’s not my line. It comes from a 2015 piece in Business Matters Magazine. No sense in recreating something that’s already spot-on, so I figured why try and come up with my own way to describe internal communications?

No matter what way you define its importance, the fact of the matter is that it is important – vitally important for the long-term health of a given brand. Today, it is more important than at any point in history.

Hyperbole? Perhaps.

But there is an undeniable and irrefutable need for brands today to provide the aforementioned effective internal communications that, in turn, develop and foster a cohesive culture.

However, just as there is an undeniable need, there is an equally undeniable shift that is going on across brands all over the world as we speak.

The Consumerization of Everything

As I was writing this piece, I Googled the term “The Consumerization of Everything” and I got over 270,000 hits. The stories and articles and white papers mostly dealt with the term in the context of one of the following:

  • How B2B brands need to be more like their B2C counterparts and provide a consumer-like experience.
  • How IT departments in a given brand need to realize that employees in a given organization will want to use the same apps/tech/UX while working as they do in their personal lives.
  • I even read a piece entitled “The Consumerization of Learning” which very aptly pointed out that “businesses must understand that people’s learning experiences at work should mirror the way they learn in their daily lives.”

Today, however, I want to talk about the use of the phrase “The Consumerization of Everything” as it relates to internal communications and the shift that is happening right before our eyes.

Marketing Is Marketing

As one who has interviewed literally hundreds upon hundreds of CMOs, I can tell you without hesitation that you will begin to see more and more brands hand the reins of internal communications over to the CMO.

It’s already happening. I know of at least 4 brands where this shift either has occurred or will be occurring very soon.

As to the why, the answer is simple if you think about it.

Put yourself in the CEO’s shoes for one minute. Assuming you trust that your CMO can create campaigns and strategies that will engage consumers, AKA people who will create a solid relationship with that brand – why would this same person not be able to create the same desired result when it comes to your employees?

Marketing is marketing, right?

The only difference is that instead of creating campaigns and telling stories outwardly for consumers, they’re now applying the same logic and creativity inwardly.

Kind of makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

I know many HR pros will be up in arms upon hearing this kind of news but, this is not meant to imply or literally say a CMO is taking over the HR role. Not in the least. What this means is the CMO and their team can take all that vital HR information and present it in a manner that will engage and even entertain while also informing.

If a CEO is truly serious when they say their employees are their most important asset, they will realize that they’re not just employees but people, first. Yes, I know that is incredibly obvious, but trust me when I say: very often, the obvious gets overlooked.