In reviewing our corporate and digital marketing budgets (we are a B2B software company) recently it struck me how much the people have become the programmes for corporate marketing.
For a large part of marketing these days we don’t need massive campaign and programme spend any more as the people not only provide the content but in many cases they are the channel for that content to reach the market.
1. Social Media Community Managers – people employed to listen to, respond to, be experts in a particular area or market you are focusing on. This function, totally people driven, using the free social platforms available and what is creating the inbound marketing to the firm.
2. PR spokespeople – a function designed to assist the engagement of key company spokes people with media who will then amplify the message through their platform. Again pretty much depending on the quality, availability and ability of both senior or indeed any spokesperson one needs to put in front of the press
3. Company bloggers/the corporate blog – any people in the company who blog on the company site or indeed their own and build up their ‘social capital’ over time, people coming to them for advise and input because they are trusted.
4. Content Creators – for white papers, books, video, for the website, articles, how to guides – all best generated by the people in the firm who are the experts or the loyal customers or partners who really like and can advocate what you do. This content if properly promoted within the social web and indexed for search of course, it will then lead to people being driven inbound to the website to download and start engaging in a dialogue with the firm.
So when traditionally one looks at people spend versus marketing programme/campaign spend for the overall marketing budgets (assuming one has spent time setting up the systems and platforms for individuals to be able to create and contribute) one had better have a good look at a bias towards the headcount, and how one rewards them for good work, or you might end up cutting the best channel for inbound marketing you have.