Everything starts with your people:
Of course people are important because they are customers. Without paying customers no business is viable. But if success starts with your staff then why do so many companies forget how critical employees are? In the marketing discipline the ‘People’ element is officially defined as the part of the marketing mix that is made up of those who engage directly with customers.
This means your ‘People’ element comprises of all the individuals in your team that in some way interact with a customer. They could be a salesperson, social media guru, direct e-mail campaign manager and so on. They are really important! So why do so many companies forget to acknowledge and reward their team’s value?
How the awesome nerds at Harvard Business School view People:
The inclusion of People into the marketing mix officially happened in the early 1980s when the original 4Ps of marketing framework from 1960 by McCarthy (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) was updated to the 7Ps of marketing (adding People, Process and Physical Evidence) by Booms and Bitner. My article “How the Marketing Mix Helps your Business Grow” explains this in greater detail.
Why People matter:
The reputation of your company lies in the hands of your employees because everyone who comes in contact with a customer makes an impression on them. Many shoppers don’t see a difference between the item they are buying from the employee that is selling it to them. This means that opinions for your products are services are formed, both good and bad, starting from the experience the customer has with your employee. Your team’s abilities and how they are trained have a massive impact on customer loyalty.
But here’s the thing, while getting your marketing team right is important, actually this principle of valuing your team should be applied to the whole of your organization because 21st century businesses of all types are increasingly impacted by advances in technology. These advances are creeping into the functions of several different departments dragging behind members of the marketing team who assist with any element that now has a customer touchpoint. So you see, having this new technology in various functions means marketing has a role to play across the enterprise. But challenges can then arise when your marketing team isn’t meshing well with the other departments in your organization.
* Marketing aids sales in the creation of their pitch decks
* Marketing aids customers service in the creation of their service plan
* Marketing aids designers by providing information about the user experience
* Marketing aids technologists by providing information about what products and product features customers would like to see come to market
Your team is an asset:
If you’re starting-up or running a growing business leveraging the expertise of your team is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. With the business environment being so crowded these days, quite often, this special difference you have in your team is actually your competitive advantage and communicating this to your customers can help motivate them to buy from you and stay with you.
So if ‘People’ have been in the marketing mix now for over 35 years why is it that companies sometimes forget about the staff that makes it all happen? Let’s change that. Numerous research studies show happier (valued) employees produce better quaity work. Studies also prove they remain in their positions longer (reducing turnover costs). Even millennials stick with a company that engages them and makes them feel valued for the hard work they’re contributing to the bottom line.
If you’re looking to expand your staff you can read more on how to attract and keep top talent for your company in my article “Startups Often Fail to Communicate the Full Job Offer to Candidates”.
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Cambridge MBA | Marketing Consultant | Speaker | Writer | Ghostwriter