Make money from your intranet like BT does

In a recession every penny spent investing in BT’s intranet is closely monitored.  So the chance to generate some revenue is very welcome.  Whenever I say BT makes money from its intranet to people they raise their eyebrows and ask the obvious questions “What?” and “How?”. 

Here are two examples showing ‘what’ and ‘how’ BT’s intranet has made money.

External advertising on intranet

BT allows external organisations to advertise on one intranet site only.  This is our corporate news site, BT today.  People in BT have accepted for years that adverts appear in the magazine as they do for other newspapers.

We extended advertising to the BT today news site in a way that didn’t distract users from their main purpose for using the site – finding the latest news – while encouraging them to click on the adverts.  It brings in valuable revenue – tens of thousands of pounds each year.

We haven’t had any complaints about adverts being too invasive or distracting.

Sponsored links on search engine

BT has a business partnership with Yahoo!  Intranet users have a BT Yahoo! internet search option.  It means Yahoo! gets more clicks to its internet search and BT gets a % of the sponsored links people in BT click on when searching.  This has come to several thousands of pounds over the past year.

These internet search links appear on BT Homepage and Search BT, our intranet search engine with a short message promoting the benefits to BT.

7 responses to “Make money from your intranet like BT does

  1. Way to go, Mark. I chuckled when I read this, thinking, “It’s so simple, it’s brilliant.”

    I’ve never even thought of in intranet as a source of revenue. Of course, you need a big intranet to rake in “…several hundred thousands of pounds each year.”

    I wonder about affiliate deals? It would be a great way for big sellers like Amazon to give a bulk discount to organizations.

    • Harry,

      Thanks. Obviously the size of your intranet is a key factor to the revenue you can generate but maybe the marketing can influence the amount raised. For example we only have one site that has external adverts minimising user distraction and dissatisfaction while maximising the clicks to the links.

      Affiliate deals sound like a great idea especially with organisations in the same industry like pharmaceuticals, insurance or even telecommunication companies.

      How could we try this out?


  2. A fascinating concept, but what about concerns that if staff are looking at adverts they’re not doing their job, and therefore losing the company money in lost efficiencies? Not necessarily my concern, but one which some in senior management are likely to raise. We’ve already seen many organisations get very nervous about social media and potential time-wasting, for example.

    • James,

      I agree that it could be a concern for senior managers in some organisations. In BT we decided advertising would only be on one intranet site, our corporate newsite, BT today. The adverts would be along side the news on the right hand side of the screen. We have closely monitored users behaviour and views and haven’t found anything which translates into lost productivity (there is a maximum of 2 adverts at any time which change over a weekly basis normally).

      I agree it could have a net negative impact if not implemented carefully but so far that hasn’t happened with BT. The revenue generated IS significant and very visible! 🙂


  3. Pingback: What’s the full value of your intranet? « Mark Morrell

  4. Pingback: 8 Tips for advertising on your intranet | Ellen's Digital Workplace

  5. Pingback: Is external advertising on your internal intranet a good idea? - Two Hives -

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