An Open Letter To Super Bowl Marketers

Posted by AmandaKeeney on January 21, 2014

Dear Marketer,

As we prepare for the approaching Super Bowl, I am readying my DVR for the occasion.

Open letter to Super Bowl marketers 20140121

No doubt many of you marketers have worked hard to outdo yourself from years past and concoct art in one of its shorter forms – the 30-second commercial.

I’ll confess … I don’t really watch the football game. Instead, I watch your commercials - a dizzying array of brand, after brand, after brand. I expect to be amazed, amused, surprised and delighted. I’m rooting for you, clever marketer: madwoman and madman, alike.

But as you plan your latest go-to-market campaign, I offer this simple plea on behalf of the brands you’ll herald that festive night in February: Please don’t forget to tell the employees. They too deserve to know about the company’s innovation, miracle product or latest and greatest solution. And, I’ll say it here – they should know first.

It may seem ridiculously simple. Of course, we’ll tell the employees, you will likely say. And, for a moment, you will pause to remember the last time you actually talked with your team about your accomplishments, campaign or strategic vision, internally.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many proud marketers who are doing just that – taking time to talk first inside the house. These companies know that what they’re building requires employees to be “all in” to realize the dream.

These organizations have evolved from an old-school transactional broadcast of information to a content-rich dialogue about the state of the business, ideas for improvement, and enthusiasm for the job and journey ahead. And they are listening to what they’re employees have to say.

They know that a strong internal communications strategy strengthens the company’s culture, creates effective communication, instills trust and empowers their employees to be their best ambassadors.

Clever marketers know that focusing on internal communications isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s smart business.

With the increased attention on social networks, some researchers are finding that conversations that originate from the “people” of the brands, not the voice of the brand, are shared more often, sometimes as often as seven times more frequently.

Too often, however, the employee isn’t the primary constituent and is relegated to an afterthought. When go-to-market campaigns leap frog one of their most important constituencies -- their employees -- what results is a culture that devolves toward misinformation and mistrust as the norm. Couple that with the potential for a customer interaction, and your campaign is suddenly adrift and the potential to connect is lost. That’s a shame.

The multiplier effect results in a trusted audience sharing news about your brand in a way that resonates like none other to their own social networks.

A good first step is to simply start talking:

  • Share your campaign with your workforce.
  • Equip them to talk about the campaign, products or company
  • Trust them

Join me and tune in for the big bowl game’s ad-stravaganza.

I’ll be tweeting during the big game and would love to hear from you about whose internal comms programs are MVP-worthy and which ads won you over. Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.