This guest post is by Jeremy Epstein, founder and chief marketing navigator at Never Stop Marketing.
If you found a pile of cash in your house, you would do something with it, right? Buy something. Invest it. Whatever.
There are a few, cutting-edge marketing executives out there who have discovered there is a pile of cash sitting in their budgets. There’s probably one in your budget, as well: It’s your employees and co-workers.
The arrival of social media tools means that everyone can now be viewed as a voice of the company. (Dangerous. Bad. Scary. Too difficult to control.)
The arrival of social media tools means that EVERYONE can now be viewed as a voice of the company. (Awesome! Scale. Cost-effective reach. Innovation.).
We all know that social media tools aren’t going away, so let’s embrace it.
Making Everyone A Marketer
The results were encouraging.
After a crash course in marketing fundamentals, 10 regular employees from operations, finance, human resources, legal and IT were able to:
- Generate a click-through rate of just over 40%.
- Track 320 net new actions against specific marketing objectives, such as viewing demos, downloading white papers, etc.
- Reach an additional 1,600 people to share the story of the Global 360 brand and its promise.
… all in six weeks.
Global 360 is an organization of 350 people, but Jennifer Troxell, the company’s vice president of product marketing said, “Let’s start with 10 to see if we can make this work.”
Soliciting volunteers from nonmarketing and nonsales roles all over the company, this group of “MEAMers” identified the customer-, prospect-, and vendor-facing touchpoints in their day-to-day roles which, if injected with remarkability, could:
- Improve brand perception and awareness
- Generate word-of-mouth
- Drive specific and measurable marketing objectives
And this was just with trackable touchpoints.
The MEAM Team also introduced marketing elements into invoices, envelopes, and contract renewal documents, among others. To find out more about how they did it, check out this video:
A Companywide Culture of Marketing
The pilot participants modified more than 35 touchpoints across the organization to increase the likelihood of word of mouth. The project also increased morale and helped workers redefine their roles to include marketing in addition to their regular jobs.
Best of all, they became enthusiastic believers in their power to positively affect the business:
- Team members in Order Fulfillment proudly stand up and say, “we want our customers to feel like they are a part of the Global 360 experience”;
- The guy who manages the fax cover sheets asks himself, “How can I bring a smile to the face of the people who receive this?”
- Sales support is adding customized and relevant “Did You Know?” P.S. lines to their e-mails (and tracking click-throughs using bit.ly)
But don’t take it from me, here’s a video of the participants talking about it themselves.
Employee Marketers: Where It’s Headed
Making everyone a marketer is a trend with momentum. Back in December, SmartBrief’s Rob Birgfeld offered up “4 ways to transform your employees into social-media marketers.” Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler at Forrester wrote “Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business” (reviewed on my blog).
But our motivation comes from management legend Peter Drucker, who once said, “The business enterprise has two — and only two — basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
Creating a culture where everyone is a marketer not only serves the enterprise, but it also serves the long-term career interests of the employees.
Now, go put that pile of cash to use!