For many years, I’ve worked with executive leadership teams for organizations and executive boards for associations, and I’ve made this observation: Being the marketing person is tough! If the sales team is struggling, it’s because there aren’t enough leads. If customers are dwindling, it’s because they aren’t being marketed to correctly. If an event fails, it wasn’t marketed enough, or not to the correct audience. Marketing is a challenging business. So, why not get all the help you can get? Get everyone involved in your organization’s marketing efforts.
“But wait a minute,” you say, “everyone is busy and has their own job. How can you get them to all work on marketing?” The answer is by making it simple for them. In fact, they normally don’t have to do anything most organizations aren’t already doing. The trick is to think about how to turn everyday activities into marketing activities.
Let’s face it, most folks are checking in on their social media at various moments during the day. Why not give them something to post? Your marketing department can create a weekly, one-page document with posts and associated links. These can be broken up by social media app or by topic. All that your employees need to do is cut and paste these posts into their social media app of choice. Include a tag in the posts so that you can track the number of hits they get and incentivize your employees by rewarding the most likes for a post with a gift card.
Do all your employees know how to describe your business in a few sentences? Would they phrase it in such a way to drive interest? If not, provide an elevator speech for them. Post samples in conspicuous places. Have them practice at team meetings. Make it a requirement that when any new team member comes on board they deliver their short speech to the team. Make it fun, but ensure that everyone knows how to talk up your company.
Employees love free company-branded clothing. Distribute T-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, nametags, and the like with your logo and a marketing slogan that will spark interest. Give these out once a year, when new team members come on board, as a prize, or as part of an event. That, along with an elevator speech, is a wonderful way to drum up customers. Be sure to have guidelines in place for wearing company logo items that includes where they are and aren’t appropriate, and outline proper behavior when wearing.
Get involved in the community. Encourage your employees to get involved by offering paid volunteer hours. Sponsor a Habitat for Humanity house build, set up a night of sorting food at the local food bank, encourage employees to volunteer at Goodwill or United Way, have a team do a charity walk, or come up with some other type of fundraiser. Invite your clients and customers to join you. Make sure everyone is wearing their branded apparel and get the word out through social media and press releases.
Most businesses have a corresponding association for their profession. Pay for your employees to join. Have them wear their branded apparel or nametags. Ask them to post on social media and take photos for the marketing department to use in promotion.
These ideas work best when there is a strong positive culture in your organization. If you are unsure whether your employees would represent the brand outside of work or in social situations, you have some other work to do. Be specific about the elements of your culture that matter, such as development, recognition, and coaching. When employees are happy with their work and company, you simply have to provide them opportunities to get out there and interact as brand ambassadors and they will become an extension of your marketing team.
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