By: Paul Brusatori Vice President of Account Service
When we as marketers think about launching our latest campaign initiative, promotion or brand program, we immediately go to work on how to best reach our consumer’s targets and what messages will be the most effective. However, there is another target that we often leave off the list: your employees and their families. I would argue this is one of the most important. Depending on your brand and distribution channels, this audience is critical in delivering your brand promise and carrying out the latest product introduction, promotion or campaign behavior change.
When I began to gear up for the start of the school’s sports seasons, the similarities between school sports and team spirit immediately came to mind. If we take a page from school sports, we see that high schools and colleges continue to build school spirit for their teams through their students and alumni. This, in turn, fuels the athletes to want to do better, be stronger, score more points, and bring home a victory. Schools obtain this victory by internally driving home motivational messages and reinforcing a winning passion throughout their academic organizations. In marketing speak, we might say that they are continuing to recruit their influencers.
Why is this important for marketers, and what can we learn from it? Most of the messages that employees receive about the latest marketing initiative might come in the way of an email or note that explains, in very matter-of-fact style, that an upcoming campaign is about to begin. This messaging informs the company of the strategy and direction and could resemble the same communication that comes out from the Corporate Communications or HR departments. This communication does a great job to tell employees about a company event or program but often lacks the reasons why this is a great idea. Will this information convince an employee to take ownership and deliver a customer experience differently or reignite their passion for the company or brand?
What if this same information were delivered in a way that inspires and motivates the audience? Would it ignite a passion for the brand and influence your influencers? With the help of social media, would it allow for talk value and reach beyond the walls of your corporate campus to extend to family and friends? What if internal distribution channels were created that include video, banners, and posters placed at company locations or even a rally kickoff at the start of the campaign?
We believe these questions can help us hit our forgotten target: the employees and their families. Team spirit and passion for a brand or company will bring about a positive change. In addition, this might be a good time to look around the halls, walls, and doors of your corporate campus: Does the setting inspire a passion for your brand or does it say, “we are at an office where work gets done”? If we look to more and more college campuses, their facilities reinforce the home of their brand and the passion of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This spirited atmosphere and team pride continue to reinforce the brand promise and reignite the loyalists.