How Inspired Is Your Brand?

Steve JobsDo you market to your employees as powerfully as you do to your customers?

It seems that marketing teams are always customer facing. Sure that’s where the sales dollars are, but why stop there?

Employees can be your best marketing ambassadors. In fact, they can be a social media powerhouse for you.

But there are some brands that shift the focus. Brands like Apple or IKEA. Those brands create a powerful force through their employees.

What happens when the marketing team focuses first on employees and then on its customers?

How Inspired Is Your Brand?Patrick Neeman posted How Inspired Is Your Brand? Read Apple’s Onboarding Letter . He found an old blog post from a new Apple hire and reposted Apple’s welcome letter.

Like most great communications, it’s short and simple. Which only makes it more powerful:

Here’s what Apples’ onboarding welcome letter said

There’s work and there’s your life’s work.

The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over all. The kind of work that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end.

They want their work to add up to something.

Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Welcome to Apple.

Apple is not alone. IKEA is another standout in harnessing the passion of its employees.

Does your company even come close to something like this?

Good Selling!

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Are You Using a 30-60-90 Day Marketing Plan?

Having a 30-60-90 day action plan means you've done your homework and plan on being successfulAre you joining a company with big problems? It may be too cliche, but it probably depends on if you see the glass half empty or half full.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hiring process and your ego can get in the way of asking the right questions. You may never uncover or, worse, miss the warning signs that would prove that you cannot gain the commitments you’d need to succeed – especially with those critical quick wins that will help you gain credibility and traction with a new employer’s organization.

If you see the opportunity, the alignment and the financial backing, then you should accept that new position but only if you have a plan for success. If any of those pieces of missing, there’s a good chance that you will fail.

I’ve recently updated this post with more specifics for your marketing action plan. Take a look at What Does A 30-60-90 Day Action Plan Look Like For A Marketing Leader?

Having a 30-60-90 day action plan will make you a better interviewer – and a better employee

To build your initial action plan, think in terms of the first 30, 60 and 90 days.

  • First 30 days – Learn
  • Days 31 to 60 – Document and Build
  • Days 61 to 90 – Present and Prioritize

This 30-60-90 day on-boarding plan is marketing focused and is based on experience and input from my colleague Doug Thompson, General Manager Rockwood Manufacturing at ASSA ABLOY.

First 30 days – Learn

30-60-90 Day Plans

The focus in the first 30 days is about developing rapport and teamwork.  Your main goal is to be a sponge and learn about the people, product, sales and marketing within the company.  We have built this plan with the idea that the role being filled is a senior marketer in the company.

People

  • Understand expectations of your role and the department
  • Meet with each functional head and other critical individuals
  • Introduce yourself to the current Marketing team and schedule 1 on 1 meetings

Product

  • Review depth & breadth of product lines by brand including competition
  • Learn the manufacturing/assembly process & variations, site visits as necessary
  • Review category / brand / key account information and financials

Sales

  • Visit key accounts and discuss the current sales proposition and effectiveness
  • Discuss any perceived gaps in the marketing strategy or product line
  • Develop understanding of opposing brands in space and why chosen
  • Solicit ideas for product road map

Marketing

  • Review current marketing strategy by brand, perceived effectiveness
  • Understand existing user research and related insights
  • Review budgets
  • Start preparation of annual marketing plan

Days 31 to 60 – Document and Build

30-60-90 Day RoadmapIn this 30 day block, you are moving from strictly learning into a phase that involves gaining insights that you can weave into the recommendations you’ll be making later.

People

  • Continue to build rapport with corporate leadership team
  • Site visits to key facilities
  • Team Building exercises
  • Determine strengths and capacity of marketing team

Product

  • Review bills of material (BOMs) of high volume items
  • Spend time on the line building products
  • Brainstorming sessions held to generate innovative concepts
  • New Product Development process skeleton reviewed
  • Summarize wish list of new products

Marketing

  • Benchmark competitors marketing messages
  • Develop key points of difference between firms (product & marketing)
  • Internal review of initial brand messaging and position statements
  • Analyze sales trends in light of promotion to determine effectiveness

Days 61 to 90 – Present and Prioritize

30-60-90 business planPrioritization becomes increasingly important as opportunities unveil themselves.  Based on both your learning and insights from the last 60 days, you’ll be able to make thoughtful decisions that will net you those critical short-term wins that will power your credibility despite being the “new guy.”

People

  • Continue to build rapport with corporate leadership team
  • Explore future organization structure for marketing & product management team

Product

  • Review first pass of “current” product road map
  • New Product Development process checklist created
  • Define process / research needed to uncover next generation platforms

Marketing

  • Start evaluation of marketing support firms
  • Review & benchmarking of websites
  • Social Media footprint analysis

Sales

  • Feedback on product road map
  • Visit key customers with sales leads
  • Determine needs for training and sales materials
  • Work with sales leadership on how direct sales could fit into landscape

Having a 30-60-90 day action plan means you’ve done your homework and plan on being successful

If you see the opportunity, the alignment and the financial backing, then you should accept that new position but only if you have a plan for success. Coming prepared with a 30-60-90 day on-boarding plan signals to your potential employer that you’ve done your homework. It also demonstrates how you will work to gain traction within the organization to help ensure your success.

But be clear in your own mind that the 30-60-90 day action plan is your process to use before being hired to uncover whether that proverbial glass is half full or one about to be completely drained.