Who is responsible for marketing? – all change in the business world

Who is responsible for marketing?

Communication effectIf we Google or Bling “who is responsible for marketing” we get marketing, directors or everyone. Indeed many thought leaders on marketing say:

“Everyone in your company should be aware of the marketing message, visions, and goals of the company, and should reflect that message in everything they do that is related to the product and your customers.”

Which is a truism, but how many organizations actually actively encourage all staff to participate. On a regular and on-going basis? My experience suggests that actually this is a fad in marketing circles and are great words but very little action.

Into web 2.0

The business world of web 2.0 with blogs, forums, wikis and micro-blogging like twitter are starting to turn the marketing world on its head.

I was on a phone call to a person I had some discussions with some months ago about a social networking platform, they called me out of the blue as they are looking for a solution to marketing a conference later in the year, and want some ideas as to how social media and social marketing could help. While we were talking, it appeared that as an organization they were taking a traditional approach – that is that one person (team) was taking responsibility for this, and yet some of the speakers are also active on the social media and networking world. they had not considered using their speakers to ‘push’ the event. To me this was a no-brainer, indeed only last Friday I did this for an event I am speaking at in early October on the use of twitter and LinkedIn for freelance consultants.

Now we need to engage our employees, customers and suppliers. Social marketing is a live version of a testimonial – a live ‘real time’ strategy. Much more powerful than the static ” I love this company because they….” type statements. Social marketing is live, real and now. It engages at an emotional level that other channels can only aspire to.

Engage and empower

The most powerful marketing force you have are your people. Do you encourage them to communicate and spread the good words about what you do? do you support there communication efforts? Its not about letting them get on with it, but to give them the information and access they need to make the marketing accessible and real to real customers – current and potential.

A few weeks ago I tweeted about a problem I had on a train, and within hours I was contacted by a person from the train company and they really did listen to my feedback. How much they did as a result i will never know – BUT and its a big one – they showed that they were prepared to listen.

Say goodbye to the ‘complaints letter’

Writing to complain is a barrier. many organizations will not even accept an email. The bigger the barrier the less feedback a firm will get. Its about making it easy. If you don’t they will ‘complain’ on twitter, facebook or bebo anyway.  Why.. because many phones are connected to this and people like to ‘vent’ at the time.  We (whether we like it or not) are in a “hear and now” society. I dont want to wait a couple of days to return home, to write a letter that will get stuck in a post strike, for the company to take 28 days to responde. the moment has passed. I wont use them for business anymore.

If we want to engage with our customers and build trust:

  • make it easy,
  • encourage your people to promote the great stuff you are doing,
  • let them use their words to explain things, not a pre-constructed script that is ‘dead’ emotionally and not ‘owned’ by a human.

The faster you and your organization start to engage fully to the ‘here and now’ communication channels, the better your organization will be positioned in the minds of your current and future customers.

Marketing is no longer just a role for the marketing function, we all have an active and daily part to play

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About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.

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  15. Hi Mike,

    I completely agree with what you’re saying here especially with regards to the “saying goodbye to the complaints letter”.

    A blog post I wrote a while ago poses the question whether it is possible to “fire” a customer and I’d welcome your comments. It can be veiwed here;

    http://mybusinesscoach.org.uk/blog/77-firing-clients

    Keep up the great work,

    Andy.

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