I recently spoke to a group of marketers about our need to internally market the marketing function. Before we can begin to develop brand ambassadors or marketing champions, we need to engage ALL employees in what marketing does since each employee impacts delivery of the brand promise.
To better engage employees with our marketing programs, it’s important to understand how we inadvertently sabotage our own marketing efforts.
- We fail to recognize that marketing is perceived as creating extra work for employees. I learned this lesson earlier in my career as a bank marketer. Whenever the Marketing Department would launch a new deposit promotion – offering gifts to customers for opening new accounts – most branch people were less than receptive. On top of their regular duties of meeting daily operational standards for efficient transaction processing, business development & sales goals, customer service standards and customer retention goals, we expected the tellers, customer service reps and branch managers to display, process, distribute and control inventory of whatever premiums that marketing had sent their way (stadium blankets, golf umbrellas, toaster ovens, VCRs, etc.). No wonder they wanted to bar the doors whenever they saw Marketing coming!
- Just because the Marketing Department is part of the organizational chart doesn’t mean that employees know who we are and what we do. We forget that we need to continually educate others within the organization as to what Marketing really does … other than sitting around having a good time creating work for everyone else.
Our challenge is how do we engage employees who deliver on the brand when they have no clue as to what we really do and we have little/no authority over them?
As marketers we know how to develop and strengthen customer relationships; it’s not a stretch to apply this skill set to develop and strengthen employee relationships. But we’re so busy taking care of everyone else’s marketing needs that we neglect our own.
In what other ways does marketing sabotage itself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience on this topic.