Who Are Your First Customers?

What ever happened to employee loyalty? Wasn’t there a time when employees were the most ardent evangelists of their company’s goods and services? When they couldn’t imagine going to a competitor to meet any of their consumer wants and needs? Friends, those days are long gone.

Today there’s no guarantee that your employees are using your goods, much less that they are your best form of advertising. Oh – they’re advertising alright… but it may be in service of a competitor based on the devices and services they’re using in the public eye.

That’s why it’s surprising that so many companies are treating their employees as less-than-customers when developing marketing and communications campaigns. Sure—there’s generally a heads-up to employees before a launch—but it tends to fall woefully short of excellent marketing. Here’s the deal: if we want employees to be our best form of advertising and evangelizing, shouldn’t we treat them as legitimate first customers or—more accurately—prospects?

That means we need to market to them—for real. If your employees don’t see your company’s goods and services as the legitimate best option in a given space, they’re simply not going to put any real discretionary effort into carrying the company flag. And that goes far beyond simply communicating features and benefits in a routine sort of way; after all, that doesn’t really work with your prospects and customers, does it?

One of the advantages you have in marketing to employees is that you can frame your products and services within the context of your company’s culture—and that can go a long way in influencing employees’ opinions about how great the offerings are. Employees are generally willing to carry your flag when they see honest intentions, great transparency, and offerings that are somehow in service to the greater good beyond pure profit.

All of this is why Realm takes an “inside-out” approach to marketing communications. If we can first aim our efforts at our internal prospects, we have a much better chance of having them be an authentic and meaningful part of the overall marketing approach, and will be that much further ahead of the game when swaying prospects’ opinions of the brand.

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