How To Get Employee Participation In Your Small Business Marketing or Advertising Plan
by Tom Egelhoff
Any good marketing professional will tell you that they will want to interview your employees before they design your marketing plan.
Why? Because without employee support your plan will most probably fail.
In some cases it may never even get off the ground.
Your business will never be as important to your employees as it is to you.
How you handle and interact with your employees will have a direct bearing on how successful your marketing or advertising plan will be.
This week, I want to explore ways to get your employees enthusiastically on board to make your marketing or advertising plan successful.
Start With Your Principle Players (The Quarterback)
If you were the coach of a football team, you would gather your coaches together and prepare a game plan for the next game on your schedule.
Would you wait until game time to introduce the plan to your players? Of course not.
They're the ones that must execute the individual plays that make up the game plan.
Do you wait for the opening kickoff to practice these plays?
No. You practice the game plan in your daily practice sessions the week before the game is scheduled.
You look at the game films of the opposing team and try to capitalize on their weaknesses.
It's really no different in business. Your game plan is your marketing plan and your employees are the players that will determine, by their individual efforts, how successful the plan will be.
They must be prepared well in advance of the opening gun to run the marketing race.
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Be Prepared, It's The Boy Scout Marching Song
I'm always amazed at business owners who announce to the staff that some new procedure will be starting today and they are responsible for its success.
Or, even worse, a customer will walk in with a sale ad that the employee had no idea was starting that day.
The embarrassed employee must go ask someone to explain the new procedure so the customer can be satisfied and the sale made.
Does the above scenario sound like a professional team effort?
I think we've all experienced this scene during our own shopping trips.
A sales staff can be weak or it can be strong...which team do your customers see?
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How To Create A Strong Team
I'm not referring to physical strength here as much as mental strength.
There are two things most successful people have.
One, high self-esteem and Second, self-confidence.
They're up to the challenge. The main reason they have those two elements is that they come prepared to play.
They know the plays, the game plan, and they are in a physical and mental condition to vanquish their opponent.
Here is where I and the so called experts part company.
Most books I have read suggest that if the employee has a feeling of "ownership" in the marketing plan and make them responsible for determining the best ways of reaching those marketing goals that they will achieve great success.
I totally disagree with that idea. Here's why.
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Employees Could Care Less About The Goals Of Any Company
That may sound like a pretty strong statement but let me explain it a little further.
It doesn't mean that employees don't care it simply means that when employees can use company goals to achieve their own goals they are much more receptive to following the company line.
If the goals of a company don't help them accomplish their own goals, why should they bother.
What are employee goals?
It may be sending the kids to good colleges. Buying a new bigger house. Taking that once in a lifetime vacation. Donating to their church or other worthy cause.
There are as many employee goals as there are employers.
However, that's not the only criteria for employee success. There is a part two to the equation.
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Part Two: The Management Equation
Your employees will treat customers in an exact ratio as to how they are treated by management.
If management shows an employee that they appreciate the pride a person takes in their work the more pride that person will take in their work.
Many employees will accept awards and recognition for their work instead of additional monetary compensation.
Many employees will stay with a company where they are appreciated rather than move to a company where they may not be.
Even for more money.
The last point of the management equation is to become familiar with your employees personal goals.
Imagine working at a business where management knows and helps you achieve your personal goals.
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The Last Word On Employee Participation
The important points to remember is to enlist your employees involvement in your plan.
The front line employees know more than anyone else how the business and the customer relate to one another.
Let them share in the planning process and show them how the marketing plan will assist them in achieving their personal goals.
Treat employees with respect and give them the power to take ownership of their company responsibilities.
Find things they are doing right instead of constantly looking for their negative behaviors.
Would your work suffer if only the negative was presented to you?
Involve your employees and work together for common goals and your plan will work.
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© Eagle Marketing PO Box 271, Bozeman, MT 59771-0271
Based in Bozeman, MT, Tom Egelhoff is the author of How To Market, Advertise & Promote Your Business Or Service In A Small Town, and The Small Town Advertising Handbook: How To Say More And Spend Less. He is also a seminar and workshop presenter and trainer. He may be reached at 406-585-0219 or PO Box 271, Bozeman, MT 59771-0271
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