Skip to content

Engage and Inspire Employees First, Customers Second

The recent Business Marketing Association conference in Chicago was focused on engagement.  The leading marketers from around the world came together to talk about it…and how engagement is the key to success for your brand and your customers.

The overwhelming takeaway was this…while customer engagement is critical, employee engagement must come first.

We always talk about the content that we develop to attract and retain customers. What type of content and platforms are you developing to engage and inspire your employees?

Brands cannot get marketing to a strategic level without both customer engagement AND employee engagement – Eduardo Conrado, Mototola

Inspire employees first, customers second – Jim Stengel, former CMO, P&G

GE believed in this so much that they created MarkNet, and internal community of General Electric marketers. MarkNet is a social network inside the company solely for GE marketers.  Over 2,000 marketers regularly use MarkNet, with each one sharing (and tagging) their expertise. MarkNet is being used for ongoing training, information sharing across the organization and, according to CMO Beth Comstock, has “put a focus on it’s people.” A combination of Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin and Twitter, MarkNet was specifically built so that marketers could learn from each other and network. Today, they are inspiring each other.

Did you know that even in a company like GE, over 60% of their 5,000 marketers have no formal training and 66% have less than five years experience? If this is what’s going on in a company like GE, what are the numbers in your company?

GE is not alone.

A few years back, Xerox developed Competipedia, a wiki-based social networking tool specifically for the Xerox marketing team to share competitive intelligence.  Competipedia is now a critical part of the Xerox sales and marketing process, being used for intelligence, proposal planning, training and networking.

Can you be the best in your industry without first inspiring your employees? Companies like Motorola, GE and Xerox don’t think so. What do you think?