When most people think of marketing visibility, they think of external visibility: getting your marketing out in front of the right people. That’s quite important, of course, but there’s another kind of marketing visibility that’s important too, and is more frequently overlooked: internal, operational visibility.

Internal marketing visibility is how well your marketing is seen and understood inside your organization, be it across different marketing teams or across the company as a whole. For marketers at small and medium businesses, this is usually not a problem – the org is small enough that everyone can be aware of what everyone else is doing. At larger enterprises however, where marketing departments may include dozens of teams across multiple lines of business, internal visibility can be an issue.

The need for external marketing visibility is obvious. The entire point of marketing, after all, is to get your message in front of your audience, and build awareness and demand for your offering. If that’s not happening, then your marketing efforts need to be reexamined.

The importance of internal marketing visibility isn’t always as obvious – as long as you’re visible to your audience, does it matter if your work is visible to the rest of your organization? Recognition is nice, but it’s results that actually matter, right?

It is results that actually matter, but there’s more to internal marketing visibility than just getting recognized for your hard work. Lack of internal visibility can actually have a serious negative effect on your external results as well. Here’s how.

Internal marketing visibility keeps everyone on the same page. One of the biggest challenges of large marketing organizations, especially ones with geographic separations, is keeping everyone aligned on strategy, message, and execution. Without sustained, proactive efforts by leadership to ensure visibility, it’s easy for all those things to slip out of sync across large, distributed teams. 

This can cause significant problems in the market. Misalignment on messaging can result in brand damage, as confusing or conflicting messages turn off potential customers. Misalignment on each others’ execution plans can lead to prospects being bombarded by different communications from different teams – often making it painfully obvious to the customer that those teams don’t talk to each other.

When the teams across your marketing org have visibility into each others’ calendars and content, they can ensure that they’re all telling the same story, at the right times.

Internal marketing visibility prevents inefficiency. With all of the demands placed on marketers today, there’s no room for wasted time or resources. All too often, however, that’s what happens in large organizations, when a lack of internal visibility leads to unnecessary re-work, or creation of duplicate or conflicting content.

We’ve talked before about how to tackle this, but suffice to say that you need to make internal marketing visibility a priority. Many marketing efficiency problems ultimately stem from a lack of communication among teams, and you’ll need to solve for that in order to make progress.

Internal marketing visibility helps increase value. This one is quite simple – marketing can’t do it alone. 

Marketing can do quite a bit, of course – advertising, social engagement, email nurture, events. But at least in the B2B world, there comes a point where Sales takes the baton. When that happens, making sure that sellers are adequately armed with enablement materials can make the difference between moving forward or a missed opportunity. 

What does this have to do with marketing visibility? Well, if Sales doesn’t know what Marketing is doing, the sales team can’t make use of the content and other sales tools the marketing team might produce. In order for marketing work to be used to its fullest potential, you need to ensure visibility across departments for what marketing is doing.