Incite wants you to broaden your definition of “marketing.”
In our work with hundreds of peers, clients, and organizations, we too often encounter the view of marketing as the icing on the cake, that final something—a logo, stationery, or billboard—that helps sell a product or service. Many disregard the necessity and importance of early strategy, genuine relationships, and engaged internal stakeholders while creating an effective approach to marketing.
Your customer’s experience and perspective of your organization is impacted by every touchpoint he/she has with it. Your logo and website are noticeable touchpoints, but so are the ways your receptionist answers the phone, the way your office looks, how your sales team conducts meetings, and how your accounting department deals with billing. All of these touchpoints matter, and often the ones that aren’t traditionally seen as marketing, can have the greatest impact.
Therefore, with so many factors impacting your customers’ perceptions, you must ensure your internal team, partners, and anyone associated with your organization are on board with the messages and brand experience you want to convey externally.
No matter how well you think you’ve expressed your company’s strategy, tone, and goals to everyone on your team, it’s best to do a check-in. False assumptions and inconsistency can be costly.
Due to the many ways a customer interacts with your organization, you are best-served to evaluate each touchpoint internally first, then work your way out. You can start by confirming that your leadership, board, and all staff members connect and relate to the overall company vision, direction, and messaging.
An organization is most effective and profitable if the thought process of success starts with internal stakeholders (i.e., staff, partners, and volunteers) before moving out to external stakeholders (i.e., customers, funders, and prospects).
Too many organizational leaders focus their efforts and money solely on prospective customers and neglect to align and adequately train their teams to be effective ambassadors for their brand.
Next steps include intentionally planning how you will greet customers, conduct tours of your facility, and manage customer-facing documents and processes. You should train your team and your partners on how to answer the phone; clarify what type of language and jargon to use, or never use; define how to talk about your organization when out in public; and create a fool-proof process to ensure consistent use of proposal and invoice templates occurs.
It’s simpler than most leaders think. Besides, you put money and effort into all the above elements anyway, so why not make sure they’re consistent and remarkable.
Consistent, remarkable touchpoints that are managed by a fully-engaged internal team, are crucial to an effective marketing effort.
Ted oversees Incite’s strategic direction and its day-to-day operations. He enjoys helping Incite and its clients plan for success, volunteering, and golfing, tennis, and hockey—but he’ll play just about any sport if it involves keeping score.