The Effectiveness Lab started the year 2016 discussing soft-marketing as well as asking why companies spend millions on hard and not soft–marketing. Companies should get the same outcomes or even more, if they invest company resources, both money and time, in developing and institutionalizing drivers of soft-marketing like internal and external accountability
By the way, what differentiates soft from hard-marketing? We do not take it for granted that everyone can recognise and understand this marketing dichotomy. Hard-marketing is orthodox marketing thinking, which ties everything-marketing to metrics and advertising through various media, including the internet. Hard-marketing gurus are obsessed with metrics and sales revenue measurement
On the other hand, soft-marketing is focused on the ‘internals’ at an organisation, that in turn influence engagement inside and outside the company, discourse amongst units and other stakeholders, buy-in by employees to company brand and values, etc.
At the Effectiveness Lab, we believe that soft-marketing drives company internal effectiveness and in the process creates: client-satisfaction; repeat sales; increased wealth at companies, and ultimately a mighty brand. As implied in the last three blogs, the era of hard marketing, as the only means to reach and attract customers, may be coming to an end.
Soft-marketing and the Effectiveness Lab takeaways for January 2016:
On the power of soft marketing:
My takeaway: Why do companies spend millions, when in high-quality services, like the one we got from Kenya Airways on the night of 3rd January 2016, can come guaranteed brand loyalty? Companies can become very effective at what they do, by perfecting their service offer to clients – companies cannot forever dupe customers with advertisements when their quality of service is poor. How many Customer-service directors are members of the Senior Management Teams at big private sector companies? Why does customer service continue to be a sub-unit of Marketing or some other function at companies? It may be time companies paid attention to this increasingly critical function.
On Internal-accountability as a soft marketing tool:
My takeaway: Irrespective of the type and size of organisation you lead, practising internal accountability increases the productivity of your staff and this directly and in positive ways, impacts your customers. Yes, you may still have to advertise via billboards, radio, TV; but can you imagine the potential we disregard every day, in this yet another type of soft-marketing called internal-accountability?
Internal accountability not only enhances leadership credibility but also creates value for the organisation and customers.
On External-accountability as a soft marketing tool:
My takeaway: If you are looking for efficacy, and I am sure all companies do: first – ensure you have both Internal and External Accountability practices at your business, second – ensure that your employees understand very well the difference between the two accountability types and that they become a seamless part of their job at the company
With the above two in place, marketing becomes a soft and cost-saving matter at your company – companies can then adopt a minimalist approach to hard-marketing; hard-marketing becomes an F.Y.I to company clients!
The Effectiveness Lab’s pitch for 2016:
Investment in company ‘internals’, critically its human resources/people creates seamless and sustainable ‘value-creation’ paradigms at companies. As they start a new year, companies are requested to check themselves against the fundamentals below:
[ ] A Vision/Mission that reflects critical ‘company-internals’ and not simply hard facts and numbers
[ ] Having the correct ‘soft-marketing’ tools like internal and external accountability
[ ] Existence of value creating business processes and not simply copying orthodox function processes
[ ] Recruiting, selecting, and retaining the right people in jobs
[ ] …and bingo, the company is a winner.
Please let 2016 become the year of investing in critical ‘company-internals’. While not always as tangible as the drivers of hard marketing, rest assured that drivers of soft-marketing can turn your company into a pretty effective and efficient machine.
Do you have what it takes to change yourself and in turn company?
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