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As I see it: 3 Ways Your Company's Marketing Effort is being Undermined

Updated on March 24, 2013

As I See it..

As I see it: 3 Ways your Company’s Marketing Effort is Being Undermined

You work hard at developing marketing strategies for your company. You’ve consulted with marketing experts, agencies and even discussed your strategies with a local University Business Department. You are working very diligently at branding your company in the most positive light. You are doing all the right things but you are not gaining market share and focus groups and surveys show a “flat”, neither positive or negative results. What’s going on?

Hidden counterproductive influences plague many companies because they do not perceive them as priority concerns. Like going back to basics in any sport; when things are not going the way you want you go back to basics and work on the small things. Once the small things are taken care of the big things have a tendency to take care of themselves. Here are the 3 ways your marketing efforts are being undermined:

  1. 1. Your business telephone operation: You brand the company as having a “new” appreciation for customer service yet it becomes a phone line nightmare when your customer calls into a phone menu that takes them down a rabbit trail to the point of absolute frustration. Believe it or not your customer would much rather talk with another person than “Hit #3 if you have a technical issue” etc. This is a common sense item. Do you like getting caught in telephone menu hell? Odds are, you don’t! Then why would you expect your customer to be any different. So many companies use the menus and voice mail that I want you to ask the question: “If everyone else is using this frustrating communication mode then wouldn’t it be a great public relations, branding & marketing move to go back to a phone system that would allow your customer to go directly to a company operator?”
  2. 2. Your Business cards: Again, you spend a lot of money marketing your company with radio ads, TV spots, Print, posters, flyers & slick online web presence, Facebook page, Twitter and blogs. You do all of this to drive traffic to your business and at the same time brand your company using that expensive logo to all your other graphic design elements across the different marketing platforms mentioned above. You have forgotten one extremely important element to your total branding/marketing campaign; your business card! Your company business card may be one of the most important and yet most overlooked marketing tool. That card may be the only exposure to your company that a perspective customer may have. What message about your company does your card current convey? Most businesses don’t spend a lot of money on their cards because their people hand out so many each year that cheaper is better. As I see it this is a major mistake. I’ve seen and read the arguments that seem to lead one to believe that the lowly business card is a on its death bed having outlived its usefulness and losing its relevance in this day of high tech options. The day when business to business and business to consumer totally stops being a face to face experience, signing contracts in person, shaking hands with your potential or current customer and demonstrating your service or product is when the business card will have outlived its usefulness. Until then, find a way of tying your entire branding/marketing campaigns into your business card as another piece of your marketing equation.
  3. 3. The way your employees treat each other will tell you much about the company culture. Everyone is different and needs to be handled differently. This is important because companies tend to hold on to supervisors, managers, VPs etc. who are a real cancer to their organization. They create havoc, fear, apathy and even contempt for not only themselves but for the company. You really have to watch your supervisor’s interaction with their subordinates to begin to understand the subculture going on in any given department. It could be a manager that takes ideas and presents them as his/her own, a supervisor that creates his own fiefdom by insisting all information be funneled through him/her only to the higher ups. It could be a manager that is fearful of losing his job and sees anyone with any initiative as a threat and drives that employee out of the company. Too many companies lose great personnel because of management with what I call “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”. These are people that no company really needs in their stable of employees. They pollute the talent pool. A further problem with this kind of chaos is that the disgruntled, frustrated employee will quit and find work in a competing business and never have a nice positive thing to say about your company. The negative attitude is taken out of the company culture onto the streets and strewn about like garbage. It grows viral feet and before you know it that manager that was such a jerk, through his attitude and demonstrated dislike of a subordinate or coworker has single handedly undermined your marketing/branding efforts. Get rid of these managers, supervisors or anyone else with less than a real team spirit. Your employees can take either a positive OR negative message onto the streets. Which one would you rather have on the streets?

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