The problem with traditional advertising is that 100% of the dollars spent usually doesn’t make it back into the company. There’s always some sort of “waste” that is attributed to the people that you didn’t successfully interrupt. Sometimes marketers explain it away as brand-building or gaining additional exposure. Whatever the case, a majority of those dollars goes to an audience that never really paid attention to you.
Marketing works best when your audience is completely engaged (as opposed to interruption-based marketing tactics where they are not engaged and they try to ignore you). The best part about internal communication is that the percentage of engaged versus unengaged audience members is opposite from that of the traditional customer audience. If you took a quick poll at your office, you’d find that at least 90% of your employees would listen if you developed an effective and consistent internal communication program. Do that same poll with customers (or worse yet prospects). It’s likely that less than 10% of your customer base actually want to listen to you pitch them.
Where does this leave companies? They have two options when faced with the decision of where to spend their marketing dollars. One one hand, they can use their dollars to interrupt customers the traditional way with the hope that 10% buy and they hit their ROI target. Or, they can use their dollars to communicate to their employees, where 90% of it falls on ears that want to listen.
We suspect that the 90% of employees that listen do a better job of communicating their company’s brand. They do a better job of leveraging customer touch points. Those touch points translate into real opportunities that customers actually care about. That moves revenue and it moves revenue in a manner that is sustainable. Now, all those marketing dollars are working for a company instead of being “wasted.”
Image Courtesy of Jared Wong via Flickr