Marketers have long lamented the fact that everyone, regardless of department, always has an opinion about marketing. We’ve always told ourselves that this is because marketing is one of the coolest areas to work in an organization, though it’s more likely that our work is often highly visible and capable of producing a strong response. Marketers have gotten used to taking a series of deep breaths whenever someone says, “You know, I have a great marketing idea …”
While these exchanges have historically been tedious at best, today’s digital tools are unique in that they can often be used to greater effect through expanded participation internally. Whether it’s team members in other departments offering to take a shift monitoring one of the social networks, covering an industry event on the blog, or serving as Instagram brand journalist during the next holiday party, this participation helps your organization in a variety of ways.
When other employees are more involved it helps grow your community further as they are more inclined to share work updates with their own networks if they’re a part of your marketing. Another benefit to having an expanded team in the mix is greater diversity in your brand voice in terms of the conversations you create and the content you share. Your expanded team of social watchdogs can also provide a first line of defense from online “trolls” who might attack your brand.
Finally, as the saying goes, “many hands make work light.” With everyone pitching in, your marketing will be bigger and more efficient than ever. In his book Youtility, Jay Baer notes that the single greatest marketing engine that most businesses aren’t leveraging is their employees. A smart, scrappy marketer can’t afford to make this mistake.
The one challenge to realizing greater marketing participation in your organization? You. None of your employees know what you need help with unless you layout your plan for them and explain how they can be involved. If you need customer testimonials and stories, ask your customer service and sales staff that interacts with customers every day. If you need product photos and behind-the-scenes access to help your content creation, ask the product team.
That’s why your final stop in gaining internal buy-in is a town hall where you can give an overview of your marketing map and invite them along on the journey. Remember, no one else will know how they can help you unless you ask them.
What will you do? Get your team into the game or leave them on the bench?