Wondering why I am asking such a basic question? Who will not have a marketing department, right? Unfortunately, there are many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) without a marketing team.
Most small businesses start on an idea of a product or service which is was unique then but as time goes, they find the going difficult because of the lack of a good marketing team.
An entrepreneur must attract a good team of marketing-savvy executives before she sets off on her business journey.
Keep them informed
Before and during marketing campaigns, let your staff know what’s going on—they will be the ones answering the telephones when all those calls generated by your astounding and effective campaign start coming in. If your staff knows what is going on, you look good.
Nothing tarnishes a company’s image like a staff member saying, “Oh, I didn’t know we were doing that!” Just last week, a well-known property developer advertised its latest project in a Sunday newspaper in Bengaluru.
I called them the next day to find out about the rates, facilities and other details. I was tossed around by three persons over the phone who did not have answers to my queries. Would you still want to buy one of theirs villas?
Nothing boosts a company’s image like those answering the phone—assistants, operators and receptionists—speaking confidently and handling inquiries that a campaign generates.
Take the time to make sure they understand how the programme works and its intended outcome. If you think bringing staff up to speed is a difficult task, think again. It is very easy to achieve.
Keeping staff informed sounds simple enough, but too many businesses overlook this one very important detail.
Campaign planners and those who implement the marketing programme can get so wrapped up in deadlines and production that they forget to keep the frontline employees in the loop. Just count how many times in the last year you forgot it.
Before you get too caught up, take a step back and get your staff up to date. Call a regular marketing meeting with department heads, so they can tell the rest of their staff, or send out a marketing memo or email broadcast to all personnel.
Whichever vehicle you use, make it a point to let the staff know regularly what marketing campaigns you have planned and how they are progressing.
Regularly could mean weekly, monthly or whatever update works for your business. For instance, if you are in retail a daily programme might be appropriate. If you are in services, perhaps a weekly rundown will work.
Speaking of services, it is the most important thing— letting your staff know about every aspect of a marketing programme. If you are in manufacturing, perhaps a monthly update is all you need. Whatever be the case, once you get the routine in place, it would be easy to keep everyone informed.
Works both ways
Communication is a two-way street. If you let your staff know what to expect from your marketing campaigns, they will let you know how it is progressing as they regularly deal with customers.
The information they provide could be valuable for you to tweak your campaign effectively. For instance, a small company marketing soaps recently launched a consumer promo of a freebie with one of their leading brands.
The marketing team misprinted the wrong MRP in all promotional material and sent it across to all the sales force.
It was only after the advertisement began appearing that salespeople noticed the blunder and informed the marketing team.
By then the POS materials have gone to retailers. The damage was. They had to destroy the entire POS, resulting in a lot of wasted resources.
In yet another incident, the marketing team went ahead and changed the packaging of a product without informing the sales team, which saw the change in the marketplace. The sales team thought the product to be spurious! You can imagine how an ownership feeling would develop in such instances. Buy-in is the other important benefit.
By keeping your staff involved, they become more concerned with the campaign’s outcome and will work to make it a success.Besides, nothing builds a team like strong information and communications channels. If you want your firm to compete successfully, go to your machine and share that wonderful idea of yours with your staff first.