Are you investing your marketing budget in the right place? Many companies spend exorbitant amounts of money on external marketing strategies but overlook the basics which often don’t cost a thing. Some of the best marketing strategies focus on your team not your customers.
Take a look at your business. Are your customers raving fans, espousing praise to other potential customers so they seek out your products and services? Are your staff proactively creating change and providing new solutions? Would you rate your team morale 10 out of 10?
Very few companies can answer yes to these questions. Imagine what perception of your business would be created if you could answer yes to these three questions. There are simple solutions to help you create a positive point of difference for your business.
…and the outside will follow. Here’s an interesting fact: internal marketing is less expensive than external marketing and, over the last 15 years I’ve found in most cases, internal marketing has a much bigger impact than external marketing.
Internal marketing is about communication and marketing initiatives undertaken inside a company with staff and management. The purpose of internal marketing is to create a culture that supports your business objectives.
External marketing is communications and marketing initiatives that are targeted at people outside the company, such as prospects and customers.
What percentage of your marketing resources (that’s time and money) are spent on internal marketing as even the smallest marketing budgets can afford to invest in internal marketing.
Creating the Positive Point of Difference
As a customer, how often do you rave about the service you receive? Probably not often enough. When you do receive fantastic service do you go back or tell other people? Most people do. So is it a good strategy to provide absolutely brilliant service and make everyone who comes in contact with your company feel great? Definitely.
The first step to creating a positive point of difference for your company is to instill a culture that is positive. Start inside your business. Staff who are positive and reflect this to customers, and each other, will create a positive perception of your business. People like dealing with positive people. It’s that simple.
There have been many books written on the impact of happy staff and how this affects customers and sales. Unfortunately businesses often get busy and concentrate on processes and systems and forget it’s the people who create perception and connection with customers.
Start with the basics. Instill good communication techniques right down to taking personal responsibility for the outcome of a communication. Teach your team to ask questions to help them provide solutions to customers and each other.
Create a culture of superb service. Everybody is a customer – other team members included. Every interaction should be handled from a service perspective. Everything we do has an impact.
Business mentors and teachers can help you begin the process. These people use accelerated learning techniques that support a variety of people to make sure the message gets through to everyone.
Strong cultures develop over time. Attitude based programmes are a great way to manage the growth. Too many companies spend money and time on conferences that last a day and then fade away. Use your conferences and team meetings constructively to build your internal culture. Always start and finish the conference with reference to the key messages. Repetition is one of the keys to any type of marketing.
Use anchors daily, weekly and monthly to promote your key point of difference to your team. Some examples include everyday products used by your team with motivational sayings, books, screen savers, cards, and the list goes on.
Model other leaders. There are numerous books on leadership and creating culture change. Some good ones are Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard, Good to Great by Jim Collins, Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts. For more titles click here.
Make internal marketing a priority. Vodafone, Saatchi and Saatchi and Weta Productions use internal marketing to keep their staff innovative and solution focused. There are many smaller companies also using simple internal marketing methods to get the inside right. Find out how others do it and model them. Ask!
Change is inevitable – in fact it’s one of the only constants in this world. Everybody has the same choice: have change happen to you or take control and make it happen. Make change a part of your culture by taking it one step at a time. The most important thing to remember is change starts at the top. That doesn’t mean you are responsible for all change. Create a culture of continuous improvement, where everyone in the team is accountable and takes responsibility for creating win-win results.
There are many resources to help you instill a culture that is positive inside your business. Companies like Choose the ‘Tude Ltd are available to help you design simple strategies that last in your business and will begin a phenomenon that creates a ripple effect.
The ripple effect means the benefits you create will spread wider than your business. The lessons your team learn will benefit them in all areas of life. Good communication skills and service etiquette is beneficial at home, with friends and family and generally in the community.
Positive attitudes generate a positive culture which in turn creates a positive flow. By making your work environment a place that promotes great attitudes and positive feelings, everyone who comes in contact with your business will be affected.
What we do has an effect on everything around us. It’s our choice whether the effect is positive or negative. Make your point of difference positive and your business will stand out!
Inspire 10 people to inspire 10 people… pass it on!