More and more companies are starting to implement strategies and systems to leverage customers, employees and third-party influencers to become sales and marketing channels. And they are doing it with great success. In this blog I will touch on:
- Why employees make a good sales and marketing channel
- What employees can do to drive sales and marketing productivity
- The benefits of activating and automating employees to become brand advocates
- Why now?
1) There are many reasons why employees have the potential to be a powerful sales and marketing channel for your brand. First, in today’s connected world, employees can reach their social networks on the brands behalf, easily and often. They have a strong voice. In addition, employees are typically very knowledgeable about your products and services and a good percentage of them are passionate about the company. Lastly, their friends listen to them and they can drive your brands message. More than ever before, buyers look to a trusted source before making a purchase decision. Employees can and will reach out to their social networks and spread a brand’s message, especially if they are encouraged and enabled to do so.
2) Employees do many things that are very important to the brand. They can:
- Refer their friends.
- Recruit new hires and great talent
- Amplify marketing messages
- Forward content about new products and promotions
- Write testimonials
Even better? They can do these things at scale.
3) The benefits are impressive. Leads are the lifeblood of all companies and by enabling and encouraging employees to refer their friends, brands can:
- Build brand awareness and build a highly positive reputation
- Generate the highest quality leads – leads that drive new customer acquisition
- Create higher levels of employee enthusiasm and loyalty to your company
- Save money and lower risk when compared to traditional advertising and marketing initiatives
4) Why now? Although employee advocacy isn’t a new concept, in the past it has been an operational nightmare to create and manage these programs. But today’s technology has made it easy for administrators to set up, support and manage advocacy programs. Technology makes it easy to:
- Enroll employees into the program
- Provide employees the tools to easily reach out to their networks
- Track and manage all the workflows and controls so brands can measure results
- Automate the process of brands thanking and nurturing employees for their contributions so they continue to advocate on behalf of the brand
This is not a future pipedream. Mobilizing employees, customers and 3rd party influencers to leverage their trusted relationships is happening everywhere because it is smart business: they are a sales and marketing channels of the future.