Put People Before Product!
Earlier this month Don Meij, the CEO of Dominos, shared this image. Don and a team outside one of his company’s European branches with the caption “Enjoying Europe store visits… Claude worked for us in operations for 10 years and is now a new Franchisee”. Did that caption set out to promote Don or was it suggesting “Buy a franchise from us?” Perhaps it was meant to suggest “Dominos are achieving world domination in Pizzas’?” No.
Yet in a simple elegant sentence and image he said all those things. And he has over 17,000 who like his Facebook page.
How many organisations say that their people are their edge? How many say that “people are their most important asset”? Yet when it comes to selling and marketing services the business focusses on the product.
We’re in the connection economy.
The economy where relationships, referrals and recommendations count. People want simplicity, they don’t want to be overwhelmed by information, advertising and overstimulation. They want to know “do I know, like and trust them?”
Since the GFC people are less likely to make the jump to a new job so they do all their research beforehand. Fifty percent of people will stay in a job or leave because of the people they work with. Seventy-three percent of job seekers now go to LinkedIn to validate their potential manager and colleagues.
On top of that, we also have the ninja customer. They do all their research before buying a service. They’re thinking “is this person credible, could I work with them and what do people say about them?”
Everyone at every level in the organisation has a responsibility to manage their personal brand, digital or otherwise to support business growth, attract the right talent and support their own careers.
Your people are one of the most highly leveraged marketing activities in the organisation. In fact, we recently worked with a client and built the LinkedIn profiles for their sales team. They were a small player in a big industry. Yet when conducting a search for this company’s services, the team profiles were on the page 1 of the Google ranking. They beat all the SEO of the biggest players in their industry simply because the team profiles were leveraged.
So how do you do it?
Well, each role in the organisation has a different role to play.
Frontline teams, in particular sales teams have a responsibility to be found. This is through Search Engine Optimisation, referrals and validation.
Leaders and Executives have a responsibility to represent the culture of the business to support employer branding. Their job is to fly the flag of the vision and define cultural fit when job seekers are considering applying for a job with them, or they’re validated well in things like tender documents etc.
CEO’s have a responsibility to keep the vision alive, define the culture, and share the organisations’ Corporate Social Responsibility and achievements of their people.
What steps have you taken to manage the branding of your people in your organisation?
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Jane Anderson is a Speaker and Author who works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is the author of “CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation.”
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.