Every Marketers’ Secret Jobs

Hhhmmm, what could they be? CIA agent? Air marshal? F-22 pilot, fire chief, crane operator? No, nothing that involves risking lives, or saving lives, or even putting lives at risk.

However, it does involve putting your brands at risk. If you don’t embrace your secret jobs, that is.

That’s because, if you’re a marketer, you’re also a cheerleader and a trainer.

Did you ever take a good, long look at the quality of the interaction you have with an employee of a great company? They’re happy with the value proposition they share with their employer, they’re engaged, they care about customers. They provide solutions. Hell, they proactively search for better solutions, even in the most dire of cutomer service nightmares. Have your ever contrasted that experience with that of an employee of a poor company (I’ll throw a few out there…AT&T, Excite, United Illuminating, Circuit City…take your pick)? Stark difference. The kind of difference that leads to lost customers.

And so begins the “leads to” domino chain. Poor company leads to disengaged employees, leads to bad customer experience, leads to lost customers, leads to wasted marketing investments, leads to spending more money to search for new customers, leads to higher CPA, leads to…feel free to fill in the rest of the sentence, Mad Libs-style. It usually ends with “you lose your job” or back at “poor company.” Yet, for those whose choose to embrace their secret jobs, it can also end with “you’re an All-Star.” It’s like a cheat code.

By being both a cheerleader and a trainer, you can redirect the domino chain.

You need to be a cheerleader to rally your organization. Even in a poor company, you can refocus energy on things that can make an impact on customers. Because, let’s face it, as a marketer you’re the gatekeeper of customers — you spend all your energy trying to acquire and keep them. Bad things can happen in good companies too…bad quarter, competitors’ products or offers, unexpected glitches, etc. The bottom line is, if something is causing customers to leave, you better find out what it is and rally forces to change it.

You need to be a trainer to direct the implementation of that change by those forces. Optimism and motivating words aren’t enough to make tangible changes. You need to be not just the driving energy behind the change, but bring the front line substance as well. The nuts-and-bolts of how we can make this better.

For example, if the problem is poor point-of-sale service, you need to rally those POS people and give them better training on resolving customer issues. If it’s poor cross-selling in the call center, sit in a chair, take some calls and walk the team through an approach that cross-sells effectively. If it’s lack of management enthusiam that causes low motivation, you re-spin the message to your team and press their motivation buttons (and after that, you walk in to management with a plan on how and why to change their message). If it’s deadlines being missed, illustrate the implications of that and lead your team vigorously through a deadline-oriented approach.

If you embrace these secret roles in addition to your primary role as marketer extrordinaire, you’re well-positioned to charge ahead in these trying economic times. Because it’s going to be tough enough to find customers in the coming months, never mind trying to replace ones you lose.


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