Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Who are you marketing to?

Start Point: You have something to say
Step 2: you identify who you want to say it to
Step 3: You start to ask what is the best way to reach those you're interested in marketing to, and how best to language or present you efforts.
Step 4: You actually speak to/ phone/ email/ tweet/ Facebook/ etc the person(s) in question repeatedly and in a number of ways because we know leadership is often saying the same thing over & over again in different ways until it really sinks in.

Sounds simple.
Turns out it's a never ending process, and the reason why marketing consultants can cost a lot of money.

The fact is you can save time, frustration, money, even your business - if you can remember one important lesson.

Even if you haven't identified you target market properly...
Even if your languaging, branding, logo, and website need work...
Even if you get it all right...

In most companies the people responsible for most of your marketing, good or bad, don't have 'marketing' in their job title.

They are your employees... the lot of them. The ones who interact with customers every day, especially.

How do you market to your team?
Really, truly ask this question.
You cannot (and of course, should not) attempt to brainwash the team into saying what you want.
You cannot allow your team to trash the company in front of your customers if you happen to have disgruntled teammates working in the front lines.

So, what can you do?
Well, for starters, invest in your people. If they are to be invested in the company, the company must be invested in them. It must be a 2 way street.
Next, develop your people to the best of your abilities. Work with your team on their reasons for working with the company, their goals, and their talents, and make sure each is being developed to the best of your capabilities within your abilities & resources.
Next, develop your team to the best of the capabilities of those outside your business. Lululemon uses Landmark Forum. Even bringing in a guest speaker who is skilled in an area you are not is a great initiative.
Lastly (in the space we have today) make them part of the process. A good idea that has the momentum of the team is always better than an idea of equal or even better quality that has no legs. Not to mention - who's to guarantee the boss has the best ideas?

The more heads the better
The more mouths (saying the same thing in different ways) the better
The more opportunities for success as a result of both of these, the better.

Let your team do your marketing for you. Traditional marketing mediums do not carry nearly as much weight. An ad that runs in one paper on one page one day is nothing compared to a bought in teammate who is willing to tell a thousand stories to a thousand prospective customers.

So, who are you marketing to?

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