Marketing can’t just be the job of the marketing department
Four ways all employees can get involved in contributing to the company
Marketing is everyone’s business. When a company’s marketing is firing on all cylinders, it attracts new business and generates more revenue, and everyone benefits from the glorious time of plenty that ensues. That’s why marketing needs to operate in such a way that you have everyone taking ownership and contributing for the good of all — under the watchful and strategic leadership of the marketing team. If it sounds like a form of corporate socialism, well, let’s not get caught up in semantics. Direct your attention, instead, to these four ways that staff can get involved.
We’re all familiar with the idiom of the plumber whose taps are always leaking. Similarly, an agency knows the power of content marketing for their clients, but what about its own brand? Every specialist in the agency is a thought leader. Those people should feel empowered and encouraged to lend their expertise to social media posts, webinars, media articles and more. As the marketing department, we should be on the lookout for those expert voices, but they need to understand the value they can add simply by sharing their expertise.
Engage with the company on social media
When staff tag the company in work-related posts, it’s a source of user-generated content that taps into different areas of the business. When they share company news on their personal social media, it can go a long way towards boosting a business’s reach and share of voice. For starters, often the people in the business have bigger social media profiles than the business themselves. But there’s more to it than tapping into Lerato from traffic’s loyal makeup tutorial community. When people share news about the agency where they work, it shows that the business has happy workers who feel proud to be associated with the business. That’s the kind of agency clients want to work with, and talented people want to work for. It starts at the top. Creating a culture where people feel seen, valued and respected turns employees into brand champions.
We’re all familiar with the idiom of the plumber whose taps are always leaking. Similarly, an agency knows the power of content marketing for their clients, but what about its own brand?
Exercise bragging rights
People need to be encouraged to share their successes. Great work. Glowing client testimonials. Awards. Personal achievements. All of these are marketing opportunities that can benefit the business. The problem is we’re working against a lifetime of entrenched values that encourage humility. Good, wholesome, frustrating values. One way around this is to create a forum where colleagues can celebrate each other’s wins. In our agency we call these shout-outs and they exist primarily for people to receive due recognition and feel valued. Providing material to be mined by an opportunistic marketing team is a bonus.
Prioritise marketing requests
Here’s the conundrum: when marketing is doing its job well and business is flying, people are busy. And marketing becomes that line item on the to-do list that just keeps rolling across the diary as days become weeks and weeks become months. Until eventually you just quietly dump it in the shallow grave also known as the recycling bin and hope no-one goes poking around in there. And chances are, they won’t. Because opportunities such as media appearances tend to be time sensitive. The fact is, people need to treat marketing with the same priority as their other work. We need to create a culture where marketing is top of mind all the time. As the marketing team, we need to make it as easy as possible for colleagues to contribute — something as simple as voice note interviews instead of written Q&As can make a big difference — but people also need to hold up their end.
Agencies, above any other business, are really good at marketing. We just need to start directing a little bit of that talent towards ourselves.
Ben Wagner is chief marketing officer at VMLY&R South Africa.
The big take-out:
The big take-out: We need to create a culture where marketing is top of mind all the time and where people treat marketing with the same priority as their other work.
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