Monday, March 11, 2013
Every Day You're Marketing
There's more to marketing than just what comes out of your marketing department.
When we think about our businesses, we tend to think of marketing as just one department among our neatly segmented workplace.
But marketing isn’t some abstract thing you relegate to the writers and advertising dorks. Pretty much everything you do as a business is part of the greater marketing process.
Don’t believe it? Let's break down the various ways you’re marketing, every day–whether you realize it or not.
Your Customer Service
Every time you answer the phone, you get to decide what message you’re going to send to the person on the other line. Your decision is marketing: you’re forming the way your customer experiences your company.
Your interaction with that customer is one in a chain of experiences that creates a lasting impression: one that stays with that customer, and more often than not, is shared with someone else. The way you respond to complaints when your service goes offline is marketing. If you ever decide to say, “I’m sorry, but that’s against our policy,” you’ve just sent a very potent marketing message.
Your Human Resources
When you craft a work environment where you value employees, cater their job description to their strengths and listen to them when they grouse, you’re marketing. You’re telling those employees something about your business, and about what you value. You’re saying something about your services. You’re marketing.
If you don’t replace your employees’ outdated equipment or refuse to give them the tools they need to do their job well, you’re marketing. Do you think the outside world doesn’t hear about how you treat the people closest to you? Do you think your employees don’t market you to future job candidates, based on how you treat them? Every HR decision you make is marketing.
Your product might be the ultimate marketing message. Think pricing. The way an item is priced is marketing, plain and simple. A person assumes different things about a cheap, plastic bottle of vodka than an expensive glass one with an intricately designed label–even if they contain the exact same liquid.
How is your product delivered? Where is it delivered? What’s the experience like? Was it easy to use? What extras did you offer? What did your product say about your company? The way these questions are answered determines what the market will say about you, and what your customers will tell their friends.
Finally, to paraphrase Dr. Phil: “We teach others how to treat us.”
Every day your business operates, you’re teaching the market how to treat you. Make smart decisions, because whether you like it or not, you’re marketing your business every day.