This week we’re pleased to feature a guest blog from Julie Mitchell-Mehta, owner of Aberdeen-based marketing consultancy, Début Marketing.
Here, Julie explains why ‘People’ should be considered as one of the most important ‘P’s in your marketing mix – and we completely agree!
When I studied marketing, more than a few years ago now, there were 4 P’s to learn: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Since then various other Ps have been added to the official marketing mix – some more useful than others. In my opinion by far the most important of these new Ps is People.
Regardless of what type and size of business you work in, your people are a vital marketing resource. For example, if you are self-employed, you are the business and people either want to deal with you or they don’t. You are your own walking advert, every time you leave the office, or even when you don’t thanks to email and social media.
The same goes for larger companies, only it becomes more complicated and harder to control the contents of that walking advert. Your people are giving an impression of your brand every time they interact with the outside world. It is therefore important to identify each touchpoint and understand how it affects your customer’s perception of your business.
- Networking events
- Social media
- Answering phones
- Office reception
- Letters and printed material
- Customer service
- Accounts and invoices
A positive impression at any of these points of contact can make or break a sale or a repeat purchase and affect subsequent word-of-mouth marketing as great service can lead to recommendations and public praise, while a customer who deals with a grumpy receptionist could very easily tell their friends not to use your business in future, regardless of the quality of your product or service.
There are a few ways to make sure that all these touchpoints lead to positive word-of-mouth and ultimately repeat business and recommendations.
Get it right, right from the start. Hire people with the right attitude who understand your company’s philosophy and share common values.
Not only should you train people in customer service, how to answer the phone and what they can and can’t say on social media, but you should also train them in the company’s mission and objectives, what your brand stands for and what your customers’ expectations are.
Manage people so that you actively promote a culture of exceeding expectations and empower staff to fulfil it. Set an example so that they can see what you mean. Build team spirit and enthusiasm for getting it right.
Communicate regularly and honestly, giving credit to those who have acted as ambassadors for the company. Keep everyone up to date with successes and keep reminding them of your brand values.
A Little About Julie
Julie Mitchell-Mehta is a Chartered Marketer who has been working in marketing for longer than she is prepared to admit to. She is the owner of Début Marketing, an Aberdeen based marketing consultancy which helps small businesses with marketing planning and provides outsourced marketing, copywriting and proofreading services as well as social media training. She can be found at www.debutmarketing.co.uk or @debutmarketing on twitter.