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?