The Marketing Playground: How Brands Can Use Marketing to Drive Corporate Culture & Business

It’s no surprise to anyone that keeping employees happy is essential to running a successful business. Having a strong corporate culture gives your brand an edge over your competition. Your employees are likely to perform better, and stay longer, resulting in higher quality output for your clients and your business. My position: the importance of marketing your culture to the outside world, cannot be overstated. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

After 22 years in communications, about 18 in the advertising industry, and 12 as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned a few things. My objective is to share a bit of my perspective to hopefully add some value to yours.

You need to see your team. Like, really see them

Employees want to feel appreciated. Hard stop.

These days the perks offered by employers are a major factor in making decisions about where to work. Some big names are known for its “employee-focused culture,” with ping-pong tables, lots of free food, and different seating options. But company culture goes deeper than employee perks. It’s how you handle your employees’ career development, and the way you see and recognize their accomplishments.

Create a collaborative, inviting work environment

Whether your employees are in the office full time, part time, or on occasion, make it a warm and welcoming space where they feel welcome and can collaborate with each other. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this.

  • Collaborative spaces: Include areas in the workspace with couches or clusters of chairs where people can sit together and exchange ideas
  • Free Food: Yes, everyone wants it. Keep a stocked fridge, bring employees bagels on Fridays, celebrate birthdays, or surprise the team with a special lunch. It’s an easy way to recognize the work being done by your staff
  • Team building events: Have fun events so your employees can interact outside of the office and do fun activities. Go to an amusement park, have a dance lesson, have a family day, or take the whole company away on an all-expenses paid trip to a tropical location (that is what we did!). All of these things, in fact and we’re a small business

Corporate culture

·      Helps attract and retain employees

·      Keeps employees engaged

·      Better output for customers / clients

·      Improves the perception of your brand

Don’t Keep Your Corporate Culture to Yourself

Once your corporate culture is established, you need to promote it. Your competitors, clients and neighboring businesses should know what you have created. It’s another valuable way to get exposure in the marketplace in a meaningful, authentic way. Here are a few real-world examples of how you can use marketing to boost and communicate a strong and/or improving corporate culture.

Video: Use video marketing to show your company in action. Do you celebrate holidays like Valentine’s Day with special desserts or have team building events? Videos that show your team having fun together can be used in your marketing efforts – from the “Careers” section of your website to your social media posts (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok).

Photography: Don’t waste time or money on stock photography. Conduct photoshoots of your team at networking events, in your community, or brainstorming in your office space. And then use the photos across all of your marketing efforts. Real people in real situations only. People can see right through images that appear posed or disingenuous.

Social Media: If your organization promotes from within and employees are moved up the corporate ladder, it’s a great idea to post these milestones on your social media. Employees feel good about their accomplishments, other employees strive for that recognition, and it shows potential employees that the organization has opportunities for growth and values their people.

Public Relations: Make connections with local media and let them know what you are doing. Pitch stories to them that they may pick up and use in their publications. 

Networking: Go to networking events, and let others know what you are doing. 

Speaking Events: Volunteer to speak at industry events or moderate a panel discussion on corporate culture. You’ll learn as much as you share.

Keep Your Employees Informed

Internal communications that speak to your employees are just as important as what you broadcast to the outside world. Your employees are your brand ambassadors and should be so happy with your corporate culture that they want to tell their friends and family.

Make sure your employees know your organization’s focus and position on the following 3 important subjects:

  1. Diversity Equity &Inclusion: Value the inherent differences in your staff and structure hiring practices that ensure a variety of opinions.
  2. Innovation in your field: Employees want to know you are keeping your finger on the pulse of innovation and will not becoming a dinosaur in this ever-evolving world of innovation
  3. Job advancement: Provide clear direction on the organizational structure and how employees can advance. Recognize employee’s accomplishments, and let the staff know, as well as promoting it on your company’s social media.

5 Internal Communications Tools to Use

  1. Company newsletter: Celebrate the accomplishments of your employees, the news around the office, and make sure that everyone knows what is going on.
  2. Intranet: Use the company intranet to provide instant updates on the latest company news.
  3. Regular meetings: Hold meetings to keep the employees connected with each other, and so that they understand the company’s overall business, not just the tasks that they are working on.
  4. Training: From a leadership training perspective, develop a culture where the doers are honored by the leaders. In many ways, this shapes how your company is seen internally and externally.
  5. Celebrate successes: If your company gets a new block of business, celebrate it. Ring a bell, open a bottle of champagne or find some other way to celebrate successes big and small with the team. (Those are some of the ways we celebrate at Copy & Art).

These days, while companies appear to be doing “more than ever,” employees are disengaged and changing jobs more than ever. There’s work to do here and I hope that these simple ideas help drive your brand, department, or company’s culture forward. Stay tuned for next month’s issue of Marketing Playground. I hope you come out and play!