On the morning of May 16, 2019, hundreds of marketers gathered in New York for Elite SEM’s annual Digital Growth Summit. What they didn’t know, was that they also had a front-row seat to witness one of America’s largest independent performance marketing agencies reveal their new brand, Tinuiti (pronounced tin-NEW-ity).
The name Tinuiti draws its inspiration from the words acuity, ingenuity, and continuity. The new name for Elite SEM and its recent acquisitions – CPC Strategy, Email Aptitude, and OrionCKB – was a better reflection of what makes Tinuiti unique and differentiates the agency in the marketplace.
Tinuiti is North America’s largest independent performance and data-driven digital marketing agency. The powerhouse agency manages more than $1 billion in advertising spend to grow the digital market share for clients across online players like Facebook/Instagram, Google, Apple, and Amazon.
The rebranding not only set up Tinuiti for increased growth, said CEO Zach Morrison, but would enable them “to write the next chapter” of the company.
Critical to the success of the rebrand itself, would be generating market awareness of the name change for the four companies, and keeping the new brand top of mind.
“In order for the rebrand to be as successful as possible, we knew that we had to activate our employee base as brand champions,” said Dalton Dorné, the Chief Marketing Officer. “Beyond their adoption of the new brand, we wanted to empower them to be brand advocates within their own networks.”
Their voices would also help Tinuiti stand out in a crowded field by providing clarity around the rebrand, demonstrating the organization’s expertise as a digital marketing leader, and highlighting its focus “to grow happiness” for clients and employees.
“What you learn about a company is much more genuine when it comes from the employees rather than a corporate voice,” added Yasmin Interlandi, the Communications Manager at Tinuiti. “By providing our employees with content, we’re able to tap into their personal brands or even encourage them to start their own – all while amplifying our thought-leadership and service offering.”
For that to happen, Tinuiti needed a technology platform that would enable employees to confidently share that story.
Tinuiti partnered with Dynamic Signal to make this a reality.
Tinuiti and Dynamic Signal
Dorné had seen at a previous company how the Dynamic Signal platform contributed to a thriving employee experience while increasing brand awareness. She recognized the potential of what the platform could bring to Tinuiti.
“Employees here are just very engaged,” Interlandi added. “They want to get involved and spread the message about Tinuiti because they’ve had such a positive experience as employees. This platform was exactly what we needed to amplify what our employees are already talking about internally. We are simply giving them the chance to extend those conversations to a wider audience.”
Choosing the right technology is just one piece of the puzzle, though. Just as important is driving adoption. Getting employees to use a new technology platform is a challenge for every business. It’s simply not easy.
For instance, a 2018 global survey by Microsoft found that when organizations aren’t promoting the value of new digital tools to employees as part of their company culture, the likely result is the unintended consequence of creating conflict rather than drive innovation.
Tinuiti designed a thoughtful approach to achieve widespread adoption of the Dynamic Signal platform to ensure the agency – and employees – achieved the expected value.
A key part of that process was taking part in an innovative training program – Essentials Workshop.
The Boot Camp
The intensive, two-day session teaches new Dynamic Signal customers how to use the platform so they can launch quickly and smoothly. Program managers learn how to configure the platform to create the best experience for their employees. They also talk through engagement strategies that are based on best practices from the more than 350 Dynamic Signal customers.
“When you’re just starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know,” Interlandi said. “That’s why the program was invaluable and so helpful. It was such an immersive experience where I was able to get specialized attention to answer all of my questions.”
Interlandi and another customer were able to bounce ideas off one another as Sara Altman, a Dynamic Signal Professional Services Consultant, coached them through the capabilities of the most robust, agile, and secure Employee Communication and Engagement platform on the market.
“The real benefit is that for a few days, your undivided attention is focused on setting up the program,” Altman said. “It really can fast-track the implementation process. Our sole goal is to make sure that you’re successful.”
Added Interlandi: “It was such a help conceptualizing what the program could look like so we could get great engagement from the get-go. I left feeling confident and enthusiastic about launching our program.”
What happened next was remarkable.
Shortly after the Tinuiti rebrand, the new advocacy program powered by Dynamic Signal was launched: Communiti. Within three weeks, 80 percent of the nearly 600 employees had registered.
“The adoption rate is really a testament to our culture,” Interlandi said. “It can be a challenge to get that immediate buy-in for a new platform, especially with the amount of technology people have access to these days. Our people want to be involved. They want to spread our message, and they want to show why they care for the company. They want to engage with each other and others in our industry.”
The early results also were eye-catching. Tinuiti saw a 2,400 percent increase in social media impressions generated through content shared from Communiti. Traffic driven to the website via social media more than doubled. Overall, there were two million social media impressions.
Also, in the first six weeks, the team was able to track an increase in new subscribers to their email list, and even generated an increase in Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) passed to the sales team from Employee Advocacy efforts.
In the weeks that followed, an astounding 84 percent of Tinuiti employees have been active on the platform – including 55 percent in the most recent quarter alone.
Communiti is configured with categories that direct employees to what they want to know – such as Company Buzz, Industry News, and Events. The HR team contributes with a Hot Jobs category, so employees can share open positions with their personal networks. Also, the Dynamic Signal integration with Slack enables Interlandi to easily post high-priority, shareable content on that channel as well.
Interlandi’s goal is to post a couple of pieces of fresh content each day. That way, employees know there will always be something new waiting for them when they visit. Among the most shared content are thought-leadership pieces about industry trends and posts where Tinuiti is featured in the media. Employees have begun submitting their own content, too.
“We can see that it’s already working,” Interlandi added. “It’s all very exciting for our people.”
With a planned Salesforce integration, Tinuiti will be able to more accurately measure the direct impact the platform is having on generating leads and driving business.
Tinuiti also sees possibilities for Dynamic Signal beyond Employee Advocacy. Interlandi has experimented with the platform’s Quick Polls functionality to get immediate feedback from employees. Communiti also uses Dynamic Signal’s Quick Links, so employees can access commonly used resources.
Finally, while the vast majority of posts on Communiti are shareable, some are intended only for internal eyes. Adding this element of employee communication makes Tinuiti’s use of platform a “hybrid” approach, allowing employees to access important internal news in multiple places.
“The more I heard about the internal communication component during the training program, I couldn’t help but think that was another direction we should incorporate into the platform,” she added. “The best way to encourage employees to share information is to get them to engage with our content first. Not everyone wants to share, so we needed to have additional features for people who just want to stay up to date with the latest company news and content. Our approach is to give employees good content that they want to read, and if they decide to share it – that’s great! I think the hybrid approach is a contributing factor to the success we’ve had so far.”
Dynamic Signal has been so incredibly helpful not only from a technical perspective but also simply on the best ways to get the most from the platform. They have been a great partner and are always on hand to be our sounding board and provide support on ways we can enhance our program.”
Yasmin Interlandi, Communications Manager