I was always taught that marketing was about control. We needed to deliver a polished brand message that was consistent across platforms. Spokespeople would be hand-picked and trained relentlessly to ensure they stayed on message. All marketing content needed to be triple-checked by peers and senior colleagues, and that nothing, and I mean nothing, went out without a form being filled in and signed.
“The times they are a changing”
But this approach is rather out-dated now, and whilst a clear and consistent brand image is important, we are waking up to the fact that it can be expressed in many different ways, and some of these require letting go and placing our trust in people. Here are a few reasons why we need to loosen our hold:
People don’t trust corporations – They know that they are being fed propaganda and they will always look to a third party to endorse what we are saying, whether that is a case study, review or mention on social networks.
People like people – Our staff can tell our stories verbally, through blogs and articles, or through pictures and video. They come across as genuine. ip info . This is a great example from Availl Healthcare.
Care in the community – Whether we engage with them through LinkedIn,Twitter or Facebook, or our own online platform or a physical event, enabling our customers to talk to one another around our products and services (but not always about them) can empower a large number of ‘enthusiastic boosters’.
Transparency – The value of the organisation is on the decline so opening our doors and allowing people to see the real people behind the brand and services will help people to see us as a trustworthy company.
The results of releasing our control over communication means that we need to focus more on internal communications. If we are going to trust our staff to tell our stories we need to communicate with them and get them engaged. This very topic is one that Vanessa Northam at E.On will be talking about at Another Marketing Conference.