Why Marketing Needs to Be A Part of Everyone’s Job (and Job Description.)

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Far too often businesses of all sizes leave the official job of marketing to, well, the marketing department, which is frequently known as the owner of the business or top salesperson turned into the marketing person. 

But, here’s a little newsflash – marketing is everybody’s job. Anyone associated with your business that comes into contact with a prospect or customer is performing a marketing function. It’s not just the people with marketing in their titles. So the question is – are these people prepared to carry out that function well?

Marketing isn’t just a new ad campaign, an email series, or this month’s current promotion. It is so much deeper than that. Marketing needs to permeate every aspect of your business and be a part of every person’s job description, from the admin department to the managing partners and so on. That’s why internal marketing and official marketing training is so important. 

What’s internal marketing?

If you think that the people outside of your marketing department understand what the marketing team does and why it matters to your business, you’re wrong. 

Internal marketing is essentially promoting your company’s goals, vision, products, and services to your own employees. Customers’ feelings and attitudes toward a company are based on far more than just the products or services you offer, but the overall experience they have with your business. And your entire organization is included in that experience.

The ultimate goal of internal marketing is to ensure that your employees can provide value to prospects or customers because they understand and believe in your company’s brand, goals and vision. And perhaps, you can teach them what they can do to help.

I believe that one of the smartest things any business can do is create and perform official marketing training for everyone in the business. Again, this goes for delivery people, administrative people, and finance-related people (especially finance-related people).

I’ve outlined an example of what should be included in an internal marketing training program that you can use for your own company.

Guide your internal marketing training program with this outline

Once a quarter at a minimum (and with every new hire that joins the company) conduct an all-hands brand meeting.

This internal seminar can and should include training and examples on things like:

  • Why you named your company what we did – attach this to your personal story
  • What colors, images, fonts are official and why – create a simple style manual of standards to share with everyone
  • Your core marketing message and why – help everyone connect their position to the message
  • The way you want the brand to be thought of in the market – your goal, your one word of association
  • Benefits of your products and services – demo them and present them just like you would to a customer
  • Description of your ideal customer – use photos and success stories of real customers
  • Your current lead generation activities – show off ads, landing pages, run radio spots – sell them on the campaign
  • Your lead conversion process – everyone should know the next step when a prospect calls
  • Key marketing metrics – sales generated, leads generated, referrals generated, PR generated, social media growth
  • Your marketing calendar – show everyone you have a plan for the future

In addition, I would help everyone write or rewrite some aspect of their position to include a direct relationship to the marketing function they perform. 

For example, an administrative person who primarily answers the phone might have the directive to answer the phone and route calls to the proper person, but in a marketing world, that person’s directive is to answer the phone and act as the very first impression and representation of the brand. Now, could that change that person’s role in a powerful way, I’ve seen it happen.

Then take it up a notch and create marketing scorecards for everyone. Simply list all the marketing-related ways that every position in your organization can score marketing points throughout the day and turn it into a game. ie – asking for and getting a referral, turning a customer complaint into a win, writing a blog post, participating in a social network, sending a hand-written thank you note, giving a referral, making a contact at a Chamber event. Challenge everyone to score X amount of marketing points each week and create an award program as part of your marketing workshops.

Getting marketing understanding and buy-in from your entire team makes them feel more empowered to act on behalf of the brand and better ambassadors wherever they encounter prospects and customers. Think about it – if you have two marketers out of a ten-person company, what would you rather: two people or an entire team of ten promoting your company’s work to the rest of the world?


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  1. Great points. I have been recommending that clients not cut back on their marketing endeauvors, but rather to find ways to expand thier marketing efforts. Being able to incoroprate marketing into your company’s core values just makes good sense. Being able to do so without significantly increasing your costs – or reducing your costs, is even better.


  2. @Rick – great add-on – I didn’t even touch on the cost savings element of this strategy but it’s absolutely there. Particularly when you factor in that firms that get this idea experience far lower customer and employee turnover.

  3. Great point John. I worked with a company launching a new product; they took the launch into a very different direction (for them) and their staff didn’t ‘get it’. So the internal buzz grew somewhat negative until the marketing director overhead some of it, and quickly worked to communicate (the what, when, where, why, how and who) and involve all staff in the new product launch. The launch was highly successful and from then on the marketing director made marketing part of everyone’s responsibility (the company eventually re-wrote all job descriptions to include aspects of marketing and selling).

  4. Involving employees in marketing is so important and yet most organizations don’t do it. I think involving employees in marketing can make them feel like they are making a valuable contribution to the success of the business, which can be very empowering and rewarding.

  5. John,

    Another great post. It hit me the same time I saw a post on B2B’s web site saying that nearly 50% of a company’s marketing budget was spent online. Internal communications/training like what you’ve described above didn’t even make the list.

    That didn’t surprise me, though. The research was done by a trade pub. I’m sure they didn’t even look or ask.

    So, why shouldn’t trade pubs put together a program to re-purpose their editorial and research resources to help add to the “all hands” sessions like you’ve described above? That’s the question I asked in this blog post at Brand Central Station.

    Thanks again for a great thought-starter of a post.

    Mike Bawden
    Brand Central Station

  6. John,

    I could not agree with you more. My company actually has a technology answer to your statement that ‘marketing is everyone’s job.” We ‘wrap’ every external email from every employee with the corporate letterhead/marketing collateral – basically, elements of the web site. This interactive letterhead is embedded in the email and linked back to the site, all clicks are trackable.

    The point is, the email is going to be sent anyway. We have tracked sales for clients back to people that are not in the marketing/sales department. Sorry for the heavy plug.

    Dave Kustin

  7. I cannot agree with you more. And as you said measure, because people perfrom on how they are measured. Just having a scorecard and an “X” in box will make a difference.

    But often wonder why more people in the organization are not included in the marketing function. Focus groups should include other departments and customers. I always was amazed at how individuals in an organization responded to a customer needs after meeting them. They took so much more interest in the job. And even mentioning the customer by name.

    It is interesting that how important the customer becomes in tough times.

  8. John, great reminder to all businesses here. When I first broke into marketing, the company I worked for went over almost this exact process every week at our meetings. The reason? If marketing wasn’t at the core of everyone’s job function, then we risked losing business. Employees loved it because they all felt more important as a vital cog in the growth of the business.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Great post because you offer some practical steps about implementing a part of branding / marketing (employees as a core part of a brand) that is not easy at all.

  10. An informed and engaged employee does more WOM good in casual contact than can be measured. Besides the marketing gain, the engaged employee performs better regardless of his assignment.

  11. If more companies did this then all marketing people would get a better reputation. I coach small businesses about the difference between internal and external marketing efforts and many times the internal marketing are much more critical. If everyone is not on-board with the business marketing message, branding, and goals then an infinite budget on external promotional campaigns can’t overcome it.


  12. The idea of every employees taking ownership for the success of the business they choose to work for is critical for the long term sustained prosperity of it. With all the job cuts and layoffs going on right now we all should be thankful we have a place to work for.

  13. Very, very pertinent post John! This is especially true for for small to medium sized enterprises, where every penny and every lead is worth gold, especially in todays economic atmosphere.

    Issuing all staff members with quality business cards is something I feel is very important, and then to incentivise people to market and promote the business when out and about.

    A thank you gift voucher or cash incentive is something that people will always appreciate, and it will inspire them to be ambassadors for your enterprise.

  14. I am in a technical position at my job, but my company encourages everybody to constantly try to win work for us. We are always trying to earn new work and positively market even though it is not our official job title.

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