Empower Your Employees to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Mar, 06, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

empower employees to accelerate sales








Nice ebook from Dynamic Signal "An Introduction to Employee Advocacy" which affirms what I have shared in several posts -- empower your employees and they will help you build your business.


Empower and encourage all of your employees to send out positive messages and attract new customers, generate referrals, recruit great hires and tell a consistent story about the brand.


If your don't trust your employees to do this, how are you failing to earn their trust? Employees will only treat your customers and well as you treat your employees.


Channel the passion and knowledge of your employees so they reach out to their social networks and amplify your brand. Ensure your employees are engaged and are fully aware of your vision, mission, values and strategic position.


Doing so will drive leads, revenue and profit and further engage your employees.


According to Edelman's 2013 Trust Barometer, "41% of people believe a company's employees rank higher in public trust than a firm's P.R. department, CEO or founder."


When you empower your employees, your employees trust you and their social networks trust them. Their family, friends and colleagues see them enjoying their jobs, in person and online, and start to think more highly of the company.


For every 1,000 employees, companies can gain more than $1 million in earned media, save $500,000 in recruiting expense and geenerate millions in incremental sales.


According to Gallup, "companies with engaged employees outperform those without engaged employees by up to 202%."


Have a social media policy that's accessible and understandable. Explicitly tell people what you want them to share like a press release or video.


According to McKinsey, "when marketers empower their employees, they stand a much better chance of reaching customers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message."


According to Social Media and Sales Quota Report, "78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers." 


Reviews, recommendations, case studies, purchase history, coupon redemption and ecommerce will all provide feedback on whether or not your employee empowerment initiatives are working.


Employees are your best sales channel, your best advocates and the greatest promoters of your brand.


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Tags: empower employees, alignment, one voice, referrals, promoters, emotional connection, loyal employees

Your Color Is Your Brand

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Nov, 25, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

OSU Uniforms resized 600


As THE Ohio State University decides to forgo their traditional scarlet and gray uniforms in favor of all white uniforms in their season-ending rivalry game with Michigan, I thought it was a prime opportunity to speak out on the importance of providing a consistent brand image and experience.

Consistent use of color in advertising and marketing is critical for awareness, top-of-mind recall and branding.  Think of a brand and you typically associate a color with that brand.

Universities are as good as anyone in leveraging their brand and getting their fans, raving and otherwise, to promote them everywhere they go.

Nike has turned the Oregon football team into a spectacle.  I tune in every week just to see what uniform they were wearing this week.  I realize Oregon is also Phil Knight's personal chemistry lab and he has certainly given the university sufficient funds to make it so.

During this football season and last basketball season, Nike put several traditional programs, with traditional uniforms and VERY strong brands in black and gray uniforms.  Apparently gray was the new black this year in basketball and white or camo in football.

In October, the Univeristy of North Carolina, a school with one of the most unique colors in sports wore all black and encouraged their fans to do the same?!

Excuse me, but I have an entire wardrobe of Carolina Blue and Duke has already adopted black as a surrogate to Duke Blue.

I have no intention of further enriching Nike by buying anything black with a UNC logo.

Later in the season, I was channel surfing during a Virginia Tech vs. Maryland football game and didn't know which team was which.  VT was wearing all white and Maryland has become Under Armour's lab with various elements of the state flag.

I know I'm "old school" but to see well established programs wearing "off brand" uniforms is wrong.

It was bad enough when Duke added black to their rota -- perhaps to match Coach K's hair color?

To try to top Nike last season, Adidas put several schools, with less traditional programs and uniforms, in day-glo uniforms during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Thank goodness Louisville was always the higher seed and wore white rather than day-glo red, or was it day-glo Cardinal? Glad I didn't have to find out. Watching Baylor and Michigan was bad enough.

I know Nike, Adidas and Under Armor pay these schools, and their coaches, a lot of money. However, the schools need to be careful that these companies do not erode the integrity of their brand.

Kudos to KU for not letting Adidas mess with their basketball duds. Not sure about KU's football uniforms. KU football is kinda irrelevant.

Lack of consistency with brand identity leads to brand confusion and lack of trust among consumers.

While Ohio State alums will know their team is wearing all white on November 30, what about prospective students and casual fans.

While all these different uniforms and looks are great for Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, and the players think they're "cool," what's happening to the brand of the school?

What are your thoughts about school uniforms and the importance of brands and colors?

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Tags: alignment, consistent messaging, one voice, authenticity

Integrated Marketing Accelerates Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Aug, 13, 2013 @ 06:08 AM

Integrated marketing accelerates sales


The latest debate in the marketing industry -- inbound or outbound marketing?

The answer's the same as it was 30 years ago -- TV, radio or print?

All of the above.

Unless you are selling in a VERY unique industy, your prospects are using a number of channels. More today than 30 years ago because there are many more channels available.

So how do you know what channels? Ask them.

The effects of all of the channels are additive -- as long as the message is consistent, coming from one brand, one voice reinforcing the strategic positioning of the brand.

A fully integrated marketing plan is the only way to reach your target audience with a consistent message across different channels -- the channels in which they are engaging.

The channels, the messaging and the tactics must be aligned. Any misalignment will cause confusion among prospects and customers which will result in a loss of trust.

Consider building relationships rather than chasing transactions. People buy from those they  know, like and trust. Work on getting your prospects to know, like and trust you before selling them something.

Do this by providing information of value -- exclusive content, behind-the scenes access, unique expertise and excellent customer service. Again, your customers and prospects will tell you what is valuable to them.  You just need to ask.

What can you do to ensure you are delivering fully integrated marketing across multiple touch points?  Make sure the people developing and implementing your marketing communications understand the meaning and importance of integration -- not just between Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

It will make a difference in your brand perception.

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Tags: consistent messaging, one voice, people do business with those they know like and t, integrated marketing