Everything is Marketing: Why Your Employees Should Think Like Marketers

Several weeks ago, a client confessed to me the only marketing their company used to do was run an advertisement in the paper and then they would check “marketing” off their to-do list.

Sadly, many companies think this way. They believe that marketing is a series of activities to cross off the list and call it a day.

But the days of simply slapping together a fancy ad is over. Marketing is something that should permeate your entire organization.

After all, every interaction and touch point with customers can be scrutinized or applauded and then shared with the world.

The truth is that it’s always been that way. But, thanks to social media, your customers now have a much bigger microphone.

That concept can be scary — especially for businesses that don’t have their act together.

But, if your business is truly remarkable, you have an even greater opportunity to shine.

After all, everything is marketing now.

In other words, every employee can make or break a customer’s experience — and ultimately, make a difference in whether someone recommends your brand to others (or not).

Every Employee is in the Marketing Department

Not sure what I mean?

Let me give you an example.

This past weekend, I went on a mini-vacation to Pensacola with my friend, Jessica. We were supposed to go two weeks ago, but we were set to arrive the day Pensacola was hit with massive flooding. As a result, our flights were cancelled.

Before rearranging our flights, we wanted to see if we could move our hotel reservation with the Holiday Inn Express. We spoke to a lovely woman named Linda who happily moved our reservation without charging us (even though they don’t typically do that).

When we arrived, we were greeted with the friendliest hotel staff I’ve ever encountered. Here are just some of the things we experienced:

  • Pancake machineWe were able to check in our room at 10:30 a.m., even though check-in wasn’t until 4 p.m.
  • The free breakfast was bountiful and fun! For instance, they had this cool machine that spit out pancakes in ONE minute with the touch of a button. And, I loved the sign: “Admit it–you wish you had this at home.” I do!
  • A staff member noticed we were a little sunburned and encouraged us to ask the front desk for some aloe. We did and they gave us a huge bottle to use.
  • One day, the staff had set out bags of microwave popcorn in their breakfast area for people to enjoy.
  • Every day, the welcome sign rotated multiple times with congratulatory messages about birthdays and anniversaries for the guests.
  • EVERY staff member we encountered — including maintenance workers, cleaning staff, front desk agents and managers — greeted us with a smile.

This is the kind of experience that just begs to be talked about. In fact, we said we couldn’t wait to write up a review to tell others about our trip.

Does your company deliver that kind of experience?

If you’re not sure, it’s time to change the way your organization thinks about marketing. If you want to create a business worth talking about, you should encourage your entire team to think about how their role can impact clients and customers.

Create a Business Worth Talking About

People use hundreds of products and services every day. About 95 percent of those interactions go completely unnoticed. Another three percent of those experiences are ones that you are complaining about.

What makes the remaining two percent worth talking about?

It’s probably not your ads. Or your Facebook page.

It’s how you surpassed their expectations.

It’s how your team surprised and delighted them.

It’s how you solved a problem that no one else could.

It’s how you made their lives simpler, better and easier.

THAT is marketing.

Does your organization think this way? Which brands are you always excited to talk about?

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

6 replies on “Everything is Marketing: Why Your Employees Should Think Like Marketers”

I think this is a mindset shift for a lot of companies. The idea is to get people out of their silos and understand how their role impacts marketing and ultimately, the bottom line!

Thanks for all the great blogs! The goal of our team (The Bud George Real Estate Team) is “Unparalleled Excellence”. We strive daily to offer our clients a “wow” experience and your blogs have been helpful in getting us there.
Personally, my husband and I experienced remarkable service at a hotel in Indianapolis called The Alexander. When our third party online booking site changed our reservation for 3 months out the hotel manager helped us get a refund AND booked us at another Indy hotel. She didn’t have to take time to do either. Needless to say, next time we are in the area we will be staying at The Alexander.

Angie – What a great example! I think it’s awesome when companies go above and beyond like that. It goes back to treating people how you’d want to be treated. It’s amazing how that creates an experience worth talking about!

Also, thanks for the kind words. I’m glad my posts are helping your real estate team rock it! 🙂

I agree with you and Frank. It’s more about creating something new within the company. After the initial branding is done, it’s good to bring many on board, maybe even create some in-house training sessions and find those undiscovered stars within each firm 😉

Craig – I like your point about finding the undiscovered stars on your team. I have an example that I’ll be writing about soon where a Nashville company did that. They created an entire benefits program around the strengths of one of their team members. It’s completely brilliant approach that’s helped them attract top talent and get some serious recognition!

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