Monday, April 12, 2010

The New Marketing Department

By Emily Jasper

When it comes to representing your organization, you can work on messaging until you’re blue in the face. You can spend hours and hours tweaking words and colors until they are representing the essence of your company. You make branding and use guides to make everything as easy as possible for your employees.

Then you send everything out into the world with your fingers crossed.

Anyone who works for your company is essentially a part of the marketing department now. Thanks to technology, anyone online represents your company (whether you like it or not). So what do you do? All those internet people didn’t read your branding guide. How do you control the chaos?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you’ve read any posts about this topic, you find you can’t. What you can do is to make it a priority for the organization overall.

Some key things to keep in mind:
Customer Service is your automatic extension. If the people in call centers, accounting, or operations can’t stand to represent your brand (or do their jobs), then you have a problem. It should be a focus of the organization and marketing to find a way to help these functions work seamlessly. When they are able to act in a pleasant manner, your customers are happy. And then they associate positive thoughts with your organization!
Sales should able the organization, not the personal quota. When a client sees a salesperson who is really out to make his/her own quota, the client isn’t as likely to buy. When the salesperson represents the good work of the company, and shows how the client can benefit, then trust is gained.  Positive thoughts!
Utilize your brand ambassadors! I’ve written about brand ambassadors before, and I don’t know if I can hit it home hard enough. These are great people to help carry your message.
Clients are great marketers. If you have an excellent client relationship program, you should keep those clients happy. Now, you may not be able to bend over backwards for every client, you are allowed your dignity! But, you should be thinking of giving your client reasons to talk to his friends.

If you aren’t acknowledging the extensions to your marketing department, you’re not a good marketer. People aren’t even buying from marketers anymore, they want to buy based on the opinions of friends, family, and followers.

How are you extending your marketing department? What tips can you share? How can you see it making a difference?

Emily Jasper is a Corporate Marketing Manager with PDI Ninth House. In addition to marketing, Emily has sales and PR experience from previous roles. She currently writes a blog, "From the Gen Y Perspective," and can be followed on Twitter at

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Jackie said...

Emily, So true. I think the hardest of these to control is the sales people. Our sales people are independent manufacturer's reps, and represent 5-15 other medical products. It is hard to get them to send out a consistent brand message, let alone keep our products on the top of their mind. One way we try to keep them in the loop and part of our marketing is to send out a monthly newsletter geared just to our reps with product updates, marketing campaigns, etc. which I think helps. I think it also good to think of our employees (sales/customer service) as our customers, too, which hopefully has the trickle down effect to the customers they serve.

Emily Jasper said...

Jackie, I like that one of the things you're trying to do is create open lines of communication. If you're not already doing this, sharing stories of success from the field as a feature might be a good way to keep your product lines top of mind. It's like getting the features section in addition to the news. And of course, collecting any ideas or questions will bring the communication back your direction. Sounds like you're moving forward very thoughtfully, good luck!

Marc Sokol said...

It seems that we in marketing have a choice: hold on to the belief that you can control the message that gets out to customers and prospects (which increasingly requires command and control organizational culture) -- OR -- recognize that marketing occurs through a myriad of channels, many of which marketing has little to no control over.

If you believe the latter is the case, then your actions are clear -- understand better what drives your sales reps, your brand ambassadors, and the triggers that lead your clients to talk, twitter, email, blog or boast about your business. Each group may have different drivers and require different approaches from marketing, but don't you believe in segmenting customer groups and tailoring the message to them?

Emily Jasper said...

Segmenting is an interesting idea. I know it's helpful when it comes to specific targeting, but someone in a call center shouldn't be expected to handle all various messages for each group the same way a sales person might. I think overall messaging and feeling for the brand is the best way to go.

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