Marketing has long held a place within businesses as the customer facing element which brings in line the needs of the consumer with the offering of the product.
But are we missing a trick by limiting our marketing messages to external audiences?
This morning, I received word of an internal competition which encourages employees to submit their ideas for ways to ‘surprise and delight’ a customer. The competition came to us via that business’ blog, within a video from the MD.
Other than being a great piece of content (everyone likes to see an MD chat frankly and openly about their business), the blog post served various other genius functions too:
1) Business promotion
The blog post draws attention to this business, which is one of many in a growing and affluent sector of TUI Travel. The content of the video covers what the business has done already in its attempt to improve the customer experience and talks of their successes, utilising customer testimony as a qualifier. Those both senior and junior in the sector will see the effort made by that company and appreciate their value.
2) Inter-business learning
By sharing some of their ideas, the business is offering its fellow businesses the opportunity to learn from them and potentially incorporate some of their ideas into their offering. Communication is a key part of large businesses and such collaboration can only benefit all parties.
3) Idea generation
This is the key element of this piece and the one which I believe is most valuable. Having already implemented various ‘surprise and delight’ ideas, the business would be forgiven for having reached something of a plateau when it comes to new idea generation (which is no bad thing – they’ve already proven they have some fantastic ideas!). But rather than allow the overall idea to go stale, they inject life into it by bringing it into the sector’s conscious and allowing conversation around it which is culminated in this idea of a competition where the winner is the one with the best new ‘surprise and delight’ option.
Calling on your peers for advice is potentially invaluable. Providing everyone is doing their job right, they understand your customer and your industry better than anyone else and are therefore best placed to provide further insight and idea. Add to this their passion for the industry; as employees in your industry, your peers are obviously going to have a passion for it which will no doubt lead to a multitude of competition entries, whilst the ‘small prize’ will add further incentive if needed whilst also creating a buzz around the whole exercise.
I’d argue that, as well as the traditional definition of P2P (Peer to Peer) Marketing – encouraging your peers to market your product to their friends and family – a more valuable definition is that of ensuring your business and ideologies stay in the mind of your peers, enabling you to call on them for their input when appropriate.
Everything starts with your end user. But when you know your end user and you are seeking new ways to enhance their experience, there’s no forum with more potential value than that of you and your peers.