Unleash Employees’ Inner Creative Marketing Talents – Rehumanize Business Part 2

Zappos-interiorYou may have read that title and thought, “What does my company’s marketing have to do with work happiness?”

A lot.

70% of business is transacted because your friend told you about a product or service. You probably own an iPod because your friends wouldn’t stop raving about their iPod. You trust your friends to recommend good stuff.

Zappos let’s their employees Twitter on the job. They trust their people to connect with the customer.

I love Zappos, not because they have every kind of shoe on the planet, but because they ship for free, have a 360 day return policy and pay for shipping back to the company if you want to return a purchase. Now that’s worth spreading.

People want to share stuff that makes them happy. It’s up to companies to encourage their people to share their story.

Your Marketing Team

When a company thinks of everyone as a part of their marketing team, they become more humane to their employees. For example, an employee can now blog or Twitter about an event that happened at work and there is potential for millions of people to hear about it.

Southwest Airlines has the rapping flight attendant. Over 100 thousand people have viewed videos of the flight attendant rapping the rules of the flight. It makes me wish that some day I will have him on one of my flights. This is more valuable than a Super Bowl ad (2 million dollars for 30 seconds). This YouTube video is being passed around by friends, making people talk about it. Because our friends like it, we trust it.

Friends encourage one another to watch the video, which makes people more likely to try the product.

We are living in a day and age when employers can encourage employees to take a larger role in a company’s success. Why aren’t we jumping all over this?


– Companies are afraid that their employees may do something to embarrass the company.

– Companies are afraid that their employees will take advantage of these new tools.

– Companies are afraid that…

And on and on. The fear rolls on.

Your fear should not determine the happiness of your employees. After all, your employees who are taking advantage of you are doing it right now and will continue do it because they feel they are justified.

You can’t stop this.

It Comes Back to Trust

What you can do is give your trust, and when your trust is broken you can create a warning system (3 strikes you are out) then pull that trust from that one employee. Don’t take it out on everyone else.

Most of your employees will be more loyal when they know that they have your trust and respect.

If you allow your employees to Twitter, blog, and Facebook while at work then it’s up to you to create some guidelines.

The idea is to create an open community of thoughts and ideas. When you allow your employees to share their thoughts with the world about your business, you will get honest feedback and a chance to reach out to the world with your people’s ideas.

Company Culture

Zappos encourages a fun, interactive, and creative culture. They want to develop relationships that stick. Read my interview with the CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh right here. Zappos has some of the stickiest relationships with their customers.

I admit that tweeting and blogging isn’t for every company, but I do believe that every company should implement some kind of open forum for their employees to reach out to the community. We need to create a culture that allows people to let their personalities out.

Let’s stop hiding our people away form the public. Let everyone have a chance to influence the customer. The freedom to make connections that will build loyalty. It’s this marketing that pays forward in many directions. The employees feel trusted. The customer doesn’t feel abused (they opted in to the message). The company makes both employees and customers happy.

In the next post we will talk about freedom at work.

Want to catch up? Check out Part 1:

Rehumanize Business

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* Tony the CEO of Zappos wrote an enlightening piece called Your Culture Is Your Brand. It’s a must read for all business owners.

If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like this one too:

Work Happiness Expert – Tony Hsieh of Zappos
Make Every Employee Feel Cool

Image courtesy of lowlevelrebel

6 thoughts on “Unleash Employees’ Inner Creative Marketing Talents – Rehumanize Business Part 2”

  1. Great point on trust.

    When you can follow an unbreakable chain of trust up the path … your manager has your back and it feels like the company does, too … then people go out on the limb and can give their best without worrying about day to day survival.

    Having a shared compelling common goal is a key success pattern for bringing folks together as a passionate team that collaborates well.

  2. This whole post is great. Interestingly the piece that hit my like a ton of bricks was the idea that 70% of new business comes from WOM. Maybe not what you intended with this blog but I’m still thankful!

    I work in the music business, managing bands. So much energy in the music industry revolves around finding new customers. In fact the industry in the 80’s and 90’s was all about spending lots of money to create new fans (through radio, MTV, etc). That model is gone and we haven’t readjusted our business. Focusing our marketing on empowering the current customers to spread the word of mouth just makes sense. I posted something similar on my blog and plan to implement into our line of work.


  3. Hi Ben, WOM is so very important, especially with all the social media tools at our disposal. The music industry is probably even higher than 70%. I know that I usually buy music through recommendations. I can’t remember that last time I discovered music on my own.

  4. Karl,
    I discovered the rapping Southwest attendant a while back. It’s been one of my most highest ranked pages.

    My daughter works for Southwest and I’ve attended a few of their events. I also know they walk their talk because my daughter says it’s her best job and has been with them almost 5 years. She was at the right place at the right time.

    About a year and a half ago they put a hiring freeze on due to the economy. I’ve never had a bad trip and we travel all of the time.

    Going to Santa Fe this weekend for my birthday. Thank you Southwest and all of the wonderful people that make up their company!

  5. Hi Karl

    This is fantastic advice. I always think that when we are allowed to govern ourselves a little more, better things happen. And like you said, it is not for every company, but many could benefit such an interaction.

    On a side note, I have heard of Zappos, but never actually visited the site. For me personally I just cannot imagine buying shoes online, as my I really have to try shoes on, most I find uncomfortable. So yes, I love the idea you explained about how Zappos operates with such flexible returns, etc. and you are right, when people hear that it makes someone like me more prone to checking it out and giving it a try perhaps.

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