Staying Human in Marketing.

I like humans. I think we’re kind of cool. I think there’s a lot we can offer. As a human, I spend quite a bit of time reading about advancements in marketing technology (MarTech) written by other humans. Be this general advancements in AI, marketing automation, or predictive advertising – there’s so much to stay on top of. And it’s fun! I plan to blog about a lot of these MarTech topics in 2018 because I believe in them. But I do want to take a moment to recognize, and remind the masses, that maximizing the effectiveness of your brand in market is not solely about the technology you invest in – it’s also about the people you invest in.

Your Marketing Front Line

As we enter 2018, we should all take a moment to think about the human aspect of marketing. To recognize that internal team members – from customer service support to product managers and beyond – can have as much impact on your brand as other marketing strategies and technologies you invest in.  These team members, these human beings, have the potential to tell your brand story in a way that a mobile ad simply can’t.

But do they know how to properly tell your brand story? Or do they not truly understand what that story is? And if that’s the case, why don’t they understand it? Is it a lack of communication? An absence of brand immersion? There are likely several contributing factors. However, before advancing brand engagement and education with your team, first ensure YOU understand your brand story.

Establishing Your Brand Story

Let’s quickly remind ourselves of some requirements we humans should always keep in mind when representing our brand in market (before expecting others – and even technology – to help tell our story):

  1. Be Unforgettable: represent your brand in a way that people will remember it. Don’t take short cuts with your logo and slogan. Make sure your audience knows your personality. Turn that brand lens on yourself and create an emotion among your audience they cannot easily forget.
  2. Be Meaningful: know who you want to be and what your product or service offers that your competition does not. And know who this impacts the most. Do you know the story you want your team to tell? Do you know who you want to tell it to? Know your meaning.
  3. Be Consistent: deliver the same experience at every touch-point. Your customers expect this. And customer expectations are at an all-time high. Are you set up for consistency? Your internal team plays a big role in this effort.

Be smart and feel confident in your brand story. Then motivate your team to help promote it to the masses.

Telling Your Brand Story Through Your People

Telling your story through your people can be simple. And you should challenge yourselves to keep it simple. Make sure they know – and believe – in the brand they work for. Consider the following:

  1. Authenticity: provide your team members with an authentic brand experience. Perhaps offer them your service or product for free so they can experience it. Live it. Train them on your offering so they understand how it works and what it provides to others. Help them feel the same emotion you’re working to portray to your customers.
  2. Messaging: develop messaging to help ensure team members understand why the brand they are supporting is different than the competition, why this brand experience stands out above the rest, and how the company itself works to set itself apart and be meaningful. And then trust them to tell your story. Give them the microphone.
  3. Roles and Responsibilities: they know your offering, they understand how to communicate it, but what is their role in this big picture brand marketing strategy? If you want your team to truly bond with your brand, ensure they understand how crucial they are to its success, and why they should feel empowered to use the microphone provided to them.
  4. Keep it Going: a great brand experience never ends. Or at least it shouldn’t. You want your customers to keep coming back, just as you want your employees to stay engaged. So keep them engaged! Find new ways to continuously be educating them and recognizing them for their contribution to your brand.

Embrace technology – absolutely – it’s going to become increasingly important as you work to achieve growth goals. But as you look to advance your MarTech tool box, don’t lose focus on the individuals that support your business. Don’t underestimate the power of your people and the impact they can have on your brand – and your bottom line. Their engagement rate can be far more powerful than other areas of engagement you might be measuring. Don’t lose that human touch in marketing, or you just might lose your brand.