An organizational approach to 360-degree marketing

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By William Russell

Most definitions of 360-degree marketing pertain to a myriad of marketing tactics designed to communicate your solutions and brand through high-visibility channels. An all-encompassing, integrated approach is often referred to as a “360-degree” strategy led by and managed by your sales and marketing team. But what if you took this to a different level by involving your whole business and the entire organization in your marketing efforts? Ideally, you should.

Marketing isn’t confined or boxed in as its own activity. It should begin with company leadership and run full-circle throughout the organization. How does this work? Leadership is responsible for setting the strategy and direction of a company, which means the marketing activity must align precisely with it. When marketing campaigns, initiatives, and actions are performed, the results are measured and reported to company leadership. The goal, of course, is that they are pleased with the outcomes.

In order for a 360-degree organizational marketing approach to be successful, you must create a marketing strategy and implementation plan that has the greatest opportunity to support the overall goals of the business. With company leadership, you will want to review your plan and outline how the different areas within your organization can get involved and how they can play a key role for a successful implementation. Establish milestone checkpoints not only for the overall plan, but also for measuring the performance of the organizational areas outside of sales and marketing.

With a 360-degree marketing approach, all communication points are covered with an integrated approach that brings the entire organization into the mix. This involves all the people within your company that have touch points with the market, your customers, suppliers, and influencers. Let’s take a closer look to see what this means within a company.

Leverage relationships

Every day, your customer service reps are assisting clients with any number of issues. These are golden opportunities for your reps to carry the company’s marketing message through these interactions. It’s a great way to reinforce your brand, highlight special promotions, and bolster your company’s messaging. This group of key personnel often has strong relationships built from serving your customers. With great customer service come customers willing to sing your praises and likely recommend your company to others. Involve your customer service team to enhance your marketing efforts and campaigns.

Similarly, your operations personnel are involved in daily interactions with suppliers and vendors who can help spread your marketing story to those within their circles of influence. This could include your purchasing agents, accounting team, human resources, and more. Simple things like adding a promotion link to their email signatures or enclosing an informational flyer in your billings are just a couple of ways this group can help without having to expend extra effort to do so. The increased marketing reach of having your message spread through these operational channels could be tremendous.

Be a part of key conversations

Your company stakeholders and executive leadership team should be involved, too. This group interacts with influencers who often have powerful inner circles that need to know about your marketing initiatives. Obviously, they’re not going to take direct responsibility for implementing your plans, but you need to involve this group to carry your company’s message and serve as brand ambassadors given their role within your business. Remember, people know other people and they’re going to talk to each other. Get your marketing message and campaigns to be a part of those conversations. Think of this powerful group as the “who knows who” team.

Go to your customers. We’ve already mentioned the importance of your customer service reps, but key customers are almost always willing to serve as advocates for your business. Approaching them through your account managers is a wise move so that you can determine who will best promote your products and services. Key customers understand that when your marketing efforts are successful, your company is successful, which bodes well for them. Most are more than willing to participate, but you may need to provide a small incentive to encourage their participation. Customers are fantastic advocates because they already know you, your company, and your products and services, and they have seen firsthand the results you promise in your marketing campaigns. Get them on board and be appreciative of their advocacy.

Everyone is responsible for sales and marketing

Here’s the main point: Leverage the power of your entire organization in your marketing efforts. Someone once said, “Everyone in the company is responsible for sales and marketing.” While your marketing team maintains the ultimate responsibility for effectively implementing the marketing plan, involve others throughout the company who can help create successful channels and paths. Company leadership will back this up and roll up their sleeves to ensure this is done in a manner that achieves stated goals and objectives. Consider the power of taking this kind of a 360-degree marketing approach where personnel throughout the organization play a role in achieving marketing success. Isn’t that a much better option than attempting to execute your marketing activities in a silo? We think it is!

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William Russell is managing partner of The Marketing Beacon, a firm that delivers custom-developed marketing solutions designed to generate new customers for your business and grow opportunities from existing clients. Visit http://www.TheMarketingBeacon.com for more information.

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