The In-House Department Review is probably our most tailored service in that we shape the engagement based on what you are facing, and every corporate setting is unique. In essence, though, we help in-house departments of very large corporations operate more like a business, in terms of what they do, how they do it, who they do it for, and how they track the results. We've done that for Toyota, Hallmark, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Verizon, Whole Foods, Hartford Life, Hannaford, Northwestern Mutual, Compassion, Adobe, Vanderbilt, and others.
In-house departments face unique issues. Many exist for the wrong reasons in the first place: to save money and to be accessible. Both of those reasons are important, but if that's what leads the relationship you have with internal clients, it won't be either satisfying or effective on their behalf.
These are the main issues we deal with when crafting an in-house engagement. We help you:
- Understand how to be a brand guardian in an organization with reluctant acceptance of the need for that.
- Become an educational source for the entire company on the role of marketing.
- Move upstream, away from the dog's tail, to be more of a strategic source...and to be given the time to put your feet up and actually “think” instead of just “do” as a pair of hands that pushes buttons.
- Assign and measure the value for your work.
- Find the right place between collaboration and independent guidance.
- Work with outside independent shops in a way that enhances your own role.
- Structure roles for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
- Implement systems that benefit both you and the client.
- Say "no" without developing a reputation for being hard to work with.
The specific engagement is accomplished in four stages. First, we ask for specific materials and conduct both qualitative and quantitative surveys. Second, the on-site data gathering portion helps us learn about your department so that the recommendations made are appropriate. Third, you receive a written evaluation, replete with specific suggestions about how to get from “here” to “there” at the close of our on-site portion. Fourth, after prioritizing the recommendations, implementation begins to bring about the changes that are necessary. You will begin to see these changes early in the process (the “unlimited remote implementation guidance” period lasts for six months).
The data gathering itself is a helpful portion, even before the recommendations are made. Aside from the external input, the focused time spent taking stock of your department goes a long way toward needed improvements. In addition to surfacing new information and solutions, a review will confirm...or correct...the instincts you already have.
The typical review unfolds as follows:
- Discuss your department's condition briefly by phone, gathering sufficient data from which to prepare a specific proposal.
- Choose mutually acceptable date. The on-site portion is usually 1-3 full days, depending on what we need to accomplish.
- Accept written proposal by signing and returning one-page agreement along with deposit of roughly one-third of the total.
- Complete tailored surveys and data gathering in preparation for on-site portion. The data requested is usually at hand and simple to collect.
- Conduct on-site review consisting of interviews, discussions, listening, etc. Work in the department can generally continue without disruption except for the specific individuals involved. The atmosphere is relaxed and helpful, though there is sufficient structure to ensure that we get the entire picture. Generally you learn as much from the questions as from the answers.
- Review the recommendations before departing.
- Expand on recommendations where necessary over the following weeks. You'll also receive digital versions by email so that edited portions can be distributed to employees.
- This is followed by phone and email contact during which we begin to prioritize specific strategies to accomplish your goals.
- Cement positive change through implementation guidance and mentoring for six months, included at no additional charge.
Location. Your office and then remotely.
Duration. From 1-3 full days on site, depending on the size of your department and what you want to accomplish. This review can usually be scheduled within 2-10 weeks (we have a strict limit of only 1 per week).
Deliverable. Hours of industry leading advice that follows written agenda; written summary recommendations; later expansions as necessary.
Unlimited Remote Implementation. 6 months.
Participation Requirements. Manager gathers materials for 4 hours. Employees answer survey for 30-60 minutes. Managers participate for roughly one-half of the on-site time. Selected managers and key employees participate for 2-4 hours. Selected employees participate in 20 minute interviews.
Cost. $15,000-$50,000 fee plus expenses (depends on distance and number of trips), estimated in advance.
Terms. Fee and expenses are added together and are due 2 weeks before on-site portion.