Culture-powered marketing can be a tough idea to wrap your mind around. Like a car that runs on hydrogen, it seems like a great concept – but does it work in the real world? What are the basic ingredients that makes the machine run smoothly? And what do you need to get started?
Don’t worry – it’s not rocket science – here’s a handy mnemonic device you can use next time you’re trapped in an elevator, and the power fails, and under a flickering, humming, infrared emergency beacon, a stranger audibly drops their briefcase and grabs you by the shoulders, saying, “Dude...what is culture-powered marketing?”
Behind every culture-powered marketing strategy, behind the executive team and employees, behind the work – strip away the nuts and bolts and aftermarket widgets – and find the naked idea beneath it all. The acorn. The purpose. Purpose lies beneath it all – it’s the reason, the fuel for the actual work.
A team without a purpose is a sailboat in a bathtub – not only is there no wind, but there’s nowhere to go.
So how do you define, discover, or delineate an organization’s purpose? Begin with mission (what you’re called to do), vision (what the world looks like once you've achieved your mission), and core values (the basic principles that guide the way you work). Where these intersect or are aligned, you’ll find purpose.
Not only does purpose fuel the work itself, but it also...
...draws people to your organization. And a great culture is rendered less powerful without people to shape, grow, and broadcast that culture. Culture-powered marketing depends on people both inside and outside of your organization.
Brand ambassadors are engaged employees within your organization. They’re on the front lines everyday, dealing with customers and clients and doing the actual work – and they’re often behind the scenes as well, performing supporting roles that oil your organization’s internal engine. And guess what? Your employees have an opinion about your business. When they’re driven by purpose, they broadcast positive feelings, share company tidbits, create messaging and organic marketing on their own – all actions that brand ambassadors commonly push to the outside world. That’s powerful for attracting prospective employees, new business, or community goodwill.
Brand advocates are similar in that they’re also champions of your organization, spreading the word and supporting your cultural efforts and initiatives. They’re probably as involved as a non-employee can be. They’re outside your organization – but by following current topics, or paying attention to employees, they amplify your message and expose it to new networks, beyond where your own employees may be able to reach. Why do they do it? Because they understand and stand up for your purpose.
When you combine people and purpose, it shows a pretty powerful, palpable sense of passion to the outside world. And the coolest thing is that it comes naturally – now that’s not to say there’s no heavy-lifting in creating and cultivating a purpose-driven culture and team. But once you do have that in place, it’s simple to recognize relevant content opportunities and leverage your team’s passion into creating and sharing great stories – whether you’re talking about your culture itself, how a teammate solved a problem for a client, or sharing a success story. Now that’s culture-powered marketing.
Interested in the concept, but finding it hard to get started or rally a team around you? Start a conversation with our culture team today.