We spend a lot of time here talking about the finer points of digital marketing and content marketing in general, but those things only work when built on a strong foundation and that foundation is your company’s employees. Are your employees engaged and committed? If not, you’re wasting your marketing dollars.
One bad experience with customer service can undo your careful campaign and alienate a customer for life. Build your foundation before your walls. Keep your employees happy and engaged and you’ll have access to the ultimate secret marketing weapon.
You may have a sales department, but in reality, all of your employees are part of your sales force. Do they know your brand story? More importantly, do they believe it? If your employees don’t know your brand story, how can they possibly recommend your products/services to their networks? If your employees don’t believe your brand story, why would they ever want to recommend your products/services?
You have to brainwash educate your employees about your brand story and then live out your brand’s values everyday. Your ideal employee is one that lives and breathes the brand. Those employees become brand ambassadors and carry your message far and wide and into places you can’t reach, no matter how large your marketing budget is. And just because you’re a B2B company, don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you! This rule applies to all businesses.
Have you ever considered buying a product and asked a friend who worked for the company if it was a good deal? I have—I feel like I am skipping the marketing schlock and getting the inside scoop. Have you ever had that friend tell you the company they work for is terrible and recommend a competitor instead? I have—and let me tell you, that sort of recommendation has a way of cutting through all the glossy marketing material and making me run away from the company!
On the flipside, I’ve also asked a friend for advice about the service they sell, and then, because they believe in the brand so much, been convinced to purchase the service—or even a more deluxe version than I was originally intending to buy.
Take good care of your employees and engage them and they will take care of your brand and bring in new customers.
When your employees feel taken care of, they’ll start to believe in the brand. Engaged employees who believe in the brand are the ones who go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service to your customers. Marketing brings new customers to your company. Great customer service keeps your customers coming back for more.
Great customer service and word of mouth advertising is not all your employees are good for. When your employees are engaged, it will be easy to get internal buy-in for your content marketing efforts. Your PR department can help you with your storytelling. Production engineers can give you information and explain the technical aspects of your products. If they are engaged, they’ll be more than happy to let you pick their brains for information so you can write an ebook (or maybe they’ll even write that complicated whitepaper for you!).
Great marketing starts with your employees and ends with your product/service. Don’t forget about your employees in your marketing!