Involve Employees in e-Business Launch

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As e-business emerges in the technology industry, more companies are gearing up to highlight their e-business products and solutions. To be successful, companies must understand that modern marketing calls for more than making e-business products and solutions accessible to target customers. Building enthusiasm at home among employees and getting them involved in the launch process is key before you announce your solutions to the world.

One way to accomplish this is by setting up departmental meetings in which awareness about the e-business mission is built. It's a time to build credibility by explaining the company's e-business proposition and by viewing the meeting as an opportunity to stimulate employees into action. Each person within the company must be challenged to find themselves in the launch, identify their roles in the launch, and focus their responsibilities on e-business. The more involved everyone becomes the better the result.

The one thing that is essential in securing success is building companywide excitement. Everyone must be motivated to participate. To get everyone in the spirit of e-business, it's essential to communicate the company vision to all employees in a way that reaches them and prompts feedback.

An effective way to accomplish this form of communication is through the company intranet. Since the intranet serves as an in-house information tool, it should be easy to access and should provide key information about the launch. An announcement about the upcoming e-business launch needs to be one of the first things employees can see. It must be bright, bold and fun so it captures everyone's attention.

There also needs to be an interactive

e-business site on the intranet that highlights the key benefits and features of the launch. Employees are busy performing their jobs, so unless there is a compelling reason for them to visit the e-business site, they won't. That's why it must be enjoyable and rewarding. A way to make the site worth visiting is to post interesting facts about e-business and the world of the Web. Sponsor quizzes and offer prizes for those who answer the questions correctly.

To keep the interest level among employees high, the site needs to be updated regularly. In addition, everyone should be given the opportunity to make online suggestions about the launch. This promotes cohesiveness and true teamwork.

To stimulate group participation and get employees further excited about the

e-business launch, come up with ideas that are unlike anything that has ever been done in the company-something the company wouldn't expect.

One idea a company came up with was a "Think-e" room. It is a 60s and 70s retro room with a multicolored motif, games, toys and books that helped get people into the spirit of the launch. The room can be reserved by any group for meetings and conferences. The purpose is to inspire creativity and to encourage employees to think outside the box.

As launch time approaches for your products and solutions, it's important to go through an internal trial run of what is going to be said at the launch and how it's going to be announced. An internal launch gets everyone geared up for the real thing and allows employees to practice their roles. If there are any glitches in the presentation, it's better to find out as soon as possible.

Once the internal launch has been completed and all goes well, reward employees for their participation in the success of the launch. Give them a book about e-business, a T-shirt with the e-business slogan on it, or cater an e-business wrap-up party.

Whatever is decided, get buy-in from the employees first and make them part of the evangelizing team. This will go a long way toward guaranteeing the successful launch of a company's e-business solutions.

Valerie Delgado is corporate marketing writer at BMC Software, Houston.

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