How a Good Company Culture Leads to Good Marketing Materials
While marketing needs to include the quality of your products and services to an extent, that’s only half the battle. Your marketing also needs to show your audience what your business is about so they can determine if they think your companies will work together well - after all, there are few things worse in business than a relationship with an incompatible company. To avoid this, your marketing should include your company culture.
What is Your Company Culture?
Your company culture is everything, besides the products and services you deliver, that makes your company what it is. It is the difference between a silently austere work environment, where everyone silently sips lukewarm tea, and the bright and dynamic collaborative office with a full-service latte bar. Naturally, that’s an extreme example, but you could probably picture the difference in each workplace’s general “vibe.”
That “vibe” serves as the indicator of how good the company culture is - this is a place that encourages teamwork, that values and appreciates its employees, and focuses on delivering the highest level and quality of service. Likewise, a poor company culture can do the opposite - this place has a dog-eat-dog attitude between employees, or a sense that they are taken for granted, or priorities that rank service quality second (or third, or fourth…) to making as much money as possible in each transaction.
What feeling would one of your prospects get if they were to review your online presence, follow your social media, watch your marketing videos, or walk into your office? How would they feel about your culture? How might it sway them in favor or against actually doing business with you? Would they see a prison, a playground, a battlefield, just another office, or anything other than what you want them to see?
You need to be able to detach yourself from your business, step back, and look at your company critically in order to better see its culture and how that culture influences your business. How do your employees seem to feel? Are they generally content, willing to work together and chip in, or are they cranky, isolated and unproductive as a whole. Is your team filled with go-getters or clock-watchers, and how can you adjust the balance?
Building a Better Company Culture for the Sake of Your Marketing
As much as your company culture is an internal facet of your business, it can have some significant impact on your marketing’s efficacy as a whole. After all, what kind of company would you rather work with? Would you rather deal with disinterested workers who don’t communicate with one another, prolonging the time spent on a given service, or one with knowledgeable and invested employees who are enthusiastic about the services they provide?
While this may seem unrelated at first, consider how many other businesses portray themselves in their advertising as compared to their competitors. When an establishment shows their employees in their ads, they are bright, chipper, and ready to help anyone who needs it - just as that establishment wants their customers to expect as they walk in. However, when a business is trying to draw an audience away from their other options, they show a much different perspective. They show a crowd of dull, slow-moving, and disinterested drones staring blankly at the increasingly stressed, neglected and disillusioned customer, framing their business as the better option, ready to save the day.
Whether they are a representative of another business or the average consumer, your audience is likely looking for more than just a place to complete a transaction - whether they realize it or not, they are also looking for a business that presents a culture that they can work with. The same goes for prospective hires seeking a place to contribute their talents. They are going to be seeking a place with a company culture they feel they can work with, and will be focused on those businesses that outwardly share their particular company culture.
This is why it is key to create a positive culture and metaphorically cement it in the bedrock of your establishment. That way, new hires coming in will find it easier to adopt the greater culture as their own, bad habits being worked out and good habits adding to the positivity that your company already has.
Determining the Culture that Works
While you ultimately have the final say in your company culture’s direction, your employees should have some influence - after all, they are the ones who are on the front lines, both in demonstrating the business’ culture and contributing to the business’ success.
Overall, how does your staff tend to perform best? How are their communication skills? Are your departments more inclined to be almost symbiotic in nature, mutually benefiting each other, or do they have a competitive streak between them all that just won’t quit? Furthermore, what are your own limits as an employer? Are you willing to accept a little more play in a professional environment? If the thought of “Casual Friday” makes you shudder, is that because you hate the idea of dressing down in the workplace, or that casual dress is limited to just one day? Whatever you and your staff prefer, that should ultimately become the standard in the office.
In the marketing we produce for the MSP side of our business, we find that our audience not only appreciates the information technology advice that we have to share, they also like seeing the dogs and cats our employees can bring in, as well as the food we prepare each week. This not only showcases the environment we cultivate in our office, it indicates that there are a few core values we share with the audience we target.
Leveraging this Culture in Your Marketing
In order to share your culture as a piece of your marketing strategy, you need to understand your own values first. As we will mention later, your values as an organization play a key role in determining your culture. Once your culture has been determined, you can share the results - much like we share pictures of our adorable visitors on Puppy Tuesdays (#PuppyTuesday), or the videos that we produce on Crock-Pot Thursday (#crockpotthursday).
Company Culture Starts with You
Of course, the real key to creating a marketable company culture requires you to create a positive experience for your employees. This could entail a variety of different things.
What likely first comes to mind is the variety of activities that you could put on for your employees, things like quick office birthday celebrations, company activities, and other efforts like that… and don’t get me wrong, these can be exceptionally effective ways to promote your company culture. However, a truly good company culture has to have a foundation built of something stronger than fun events and goodies. It has to be built on consistency and trust before anything else. This consistency and trust will reveal those all-important company values, subscribing to which will create the positive experience that ultimately allow a distinct culture to take shape.
It is also important to remember that your employees are people, too. Sure, that may sound obvious, but it has a deep significance to your company culture. Before you can do anything to build up a culture of engagement and fun, you need to make sure that your company is one that encourages personal growth, innovation, and input from its employees. Not only is this important for your internal culture, but it is also critical to your external appearance as well.
In an increasingly digital world, it is remarkably easy to find the inside scoop to many companies as provided by current and former employees. It also isn’t hard to find examples of what unhappy employees found to be their experience at these companies. An employee who is frustrated enough will not hesitate to share their grievances on these sites. This kind of publicity will not only make it harder to attract new talent, but will also not reflect well on many who investigate you as an option.
The best approach is to create a company culture that actively encourages employees to speak up and try new things, encouraging controlled experimentation and supporting any efforts to improve business processes. This way, the urge to spread negative feelings online is minimized, in no small part because those negative feelings are minimized themselves.
As a result, you won’t have to deal with any damage control, and can instead focus on improving and advancing your business through your marketing efforts, your company culture enticing your audience along for the ride. For more help with your marketing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!