Why marketing needs employee engagement
When examining notable Chief Marketing Officers like Marissa Riccardi, Michael Lazerow, Eileen Zicchino, Simon
Clift, Pamela Kaufman, Terri Graham and so many others, a common understanding is
Employee engagement dramatically impacts the success of building your brand. "When
it comes to clients, its all about trust." notes CMO Eileen Zicchino. "When we look at our
brand attributes, its about character, intelligence and strength. Our employees help us
put the client first. Our workforce works very closely with them which in turn builds our
brand. It must be about relationships and trust even if it means we have to turn away
The promise your brand makes to customers is powerfully delivered through the behaviors of your workforce. They
are your brand ambassadors who, with every move, represent your brand and what differentiates you in the
All the advertising dollars in the world can proclaim just how great your products are or how customer focused you
are. However, these pale in effectiveness compared to how your receptionist answers the phone, how accessible
your customer service hotline is and how well you serve the interests of your clients.
Properly identifying what makes your brand valuable while helping employees to almost live and breath your brand
promises will result in superlative employee and customer experiences. That's what you want.
The focus becomes then, how to best collaborate with your employees to match brand values with your customer
requirements. What are your strengths? What are you excellent at? What is innovative about you? Are you
delivering on your promises? Does your workforce enthusiastically advocate for your brand's message?
Many of your employees have melded your brand with personal identification and an emotional connection. By
engaging employees as your brand's advocates, you make it difficult for your competitors to keep up.
A recent study conducted by PR firm Edelman, the Y Generation Millennials consider brand identification almost as
important as religious preference and ethnic background when defining themselves online. 74 percent of them boast
their power to influence buying decisions.
Knowing this, you want to engage employees to evoke brand trust from your market. When this happens,
newsletters, emails and advertisements bring you a greater response. Your buyers will sense a greater value in
reading your messages and researching your product. This opens the door to increase your sales.
Help your employees promote your brand.
You have already identified how you are positioning your brand in the marketplace. On a regular basis, focus your
employees on demonstrating the value of your brand by their words and actions. Their day to day contact with
prospects and customers will go a long way toward maintaining a positive brand image.
Solicit employee feedback on how they themselves perceive your brand. The very exercise itself will provide you
with ways on how to encourage pride in being a collaborator with your organization's mission. Your brand becomes
their brand. When the business environment becomes challenging, you will have an engaged employee force as a
Chris Williams CMO of consulting firm Capqemini.
Knowing what new challenges face you and alligning with your workforce simply makes you a better company.!
Benefit by being a strong leader.
Whether intended or not, your employees will mirror your example. Regularly communicate about your brand and
recognize those in your workforce who do so also. Recognized employees will turn out to be a huge reason why
more and more prospects will seek you out and ultimately buy.
Give your employees the information they need.
To be a good brand advocate, employees need to understand it. Using communication and social engagement tools
as a part of your employee incentive program will train and help employees retain the information.
As your organization's chief brand officer, you want to make brand resources available to your employees. What is
your corporate identity standards and brand guidelines? What tools are you providing that helps your workforce talk
accurately and enthusiastically about your brand?
One idea might include having a workforce event that also celebrates the brand's message and heritage. For
example, McDonald's Corporation holds Founder's Day each year on the birthday of founder Ray Kroc. The theme
includes a celebration where employees remember the unique history of their company and commemorate the
growth of the Golden Arches brand.
It's a great way to re-enforce brand advocacy.
Give life to your brand via engaged employees.
What are tangible ways you are helping your employees be brand advocates? At Yahoo, some employees allow their
vehicles to be painted with the Yahoo logo. Perhaps extreme for some organizations. The point here is what options
do employees have to be brand advocates?
Maybe contributing to the community on company time and on behalf of your company.
Shine the spotlight on your brand advocates.
Your employees will keep up the good work and share examples for co-workers to get involved. Recognition during
meetings, events, newsletters and your organization's intranet is another great way to keep on the spotlight.
A rather innovative idea comes from Westin Resorts. They were able to link the value of their brand name to
customers and employees alike. At checkin, some guests receive a Westin lapel pin and are asked to give the pin to
an employee if they feel like he/she has exceeded expectations. Seamlessly building a personal connection between
consumers and the brand.
Keep a pulse on brand awareness across the organization. Hold focus groups to explore employees' understanding
of your brand. Their feedback will identify what are your brands meaningful characteristics. You can then initiate any
Remember that employees are the face and voice of your brand. Consumers and the community will connect their
positive experiences with your company. This will enhance your reputation.
Engaged and motivated employees who understand your brand and where it is going translate to happy customers.
Fact is happy customers can build up emotional attachments, strong loyalty and even a sense of ownership to
certain brands. Engaged employees are your key to ensure your brand message stands out from the crowd.
It is said that its the customer who decides how they want to contact you. Hence, smart marketing includes superior
customer service and an upbeat, friendly workforce. Listen to your customers and your employees. Welcome ideas.
No one has to tell you that someone who has had a great experience with your company is going to tell their friends
about it. Whether positive or negative, their experience with your brand will be shared.
Being a great CMO, includes connecting with your customers and bringing in your employees as brand advocates.
Don't live behind your mahogany desk and title. Make the effort to think, work and collaborate with everyone in
your organization as it's chief marketer. If you need to, learn harmonious relationships with everyone.
Metrics and numbers matter. Include employee engagement in your metric. You will see results and enjoy your job
What’s the hardest and most rewarding part of your job?
As with any senior management person, the hardest and most rewarding at the same time is motivating, inspiring
and training people.
As CMO you are responsible for facilitating growth, sales and marketing strategy. Depending on the company you
work for, revenue generation, cost reduction, or risk mitigation are considerations. Market efforts can be
unpredictable. Stress levels can be high. Leverage your most valuable asset, your employees to be on your side.
Align your brand values with your mission using the help of employee engagement. Even if your brand claims to offer
"great service","elegant products", "best quality experiences" but your staff is rude or unprofessional on the phone
or in person, customers won't think about your brand much anymore. And who wants that?