Getting HR and marketing to work together

When it comes to motivating staff, HR and marketing can learn enormous amounts from each other.  But all too often, they seem to be speaking completely different languages. What’s the best way to get the two to work together to get the best out of staff?

Nobody questions whether HR and Marketing should work together; their individual skill sets work perfectly when creating a motivation programme. Marketing have the skills to engage people and to influence behaviour while HR develop an HR strategy that works for the business, whether that’s benefits, reward or training and development.
This is where HR should work closely with Marketing to identify the best ways to communicate and how to segment their employee audience. Don’t treat them all the same, tailor your message accordingly to these different audiences and don’t forget to communicate using different media. Successful Marketing campaigns utilise a mix of media to get the message across in different ways and at different times. This technique should be used to when developing internal communication plans – you’ll see far better results.

In our work with a range of companies we find that our services, whether they be employee benefits, recognition schemes, incentives or communication of key business messages, have vastly different results which is invariably due to how closely HR and Marketing work together.

In our experience the best way to get the most out of HR and Marketing is to appoint a programme manager for each initiative who is then responsible for the success of the programme and therefore getting key stakeholders, decision makers and influencers involved. Whether that is through face to face meetings, conference calls or one-to-one meetings with each department to pool ideas and knowledge involvement from each department is key. Agreeing a set of key objectives which links into both teams’ performance assessment is also effective; that way both teams look to support each other where possible. Finally, Marketing can reach out to HR by offering to test new marketing techniques on their internal audience. This is a great way to drive employee engagement (employees are asked to be involved to help test the marketing tool) and test the results of different techniques / technology in a controlled environment.


  1. Many companies say they have a “brand,” but when push comes to shove they are failing to act like one. Brand is more than a simple marketing campaign or fancy visual identity. Brand, when it is executed properly, drives everything a company does, at every step, regardless of the conditions.

    Brands are made up of people, are created for people, they are about people and yet often we find brands, forgetting about their humanity.

    Companies like Apple have built their following and business with their brand at the heart, they have considered both inside and outside in the process, ensuring that what they stand for is embodied in the very fabric of the organisation – its culture, its strategy, its systems and processes. To our mind, this critical internal dimension of brand tribalism has been largely overlooked by corporates, and it is one of the things New Brand Tribalism is designed to address.

    At our launch in Nov 2009 Tim Pointer HR director at Diesel shared his view that HR and Marketing function would one day merge. You can check it out on the videos here at

    we believe the winners will be those businesses that grasp the value and importance of brand tribalism and harness its power to build strong communities both inside and outside the organisation. Those that succeed in bridging the gap between their communities, based on a transparent demonstration of what the brand stands for, will have discovered the most important natural barrier to competition in the 21st Century – an authentic and charismatic brand for which people believe there is no substitute.

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