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La fuerza de los embajadores de marca internos (Employee Advocacy programs)

Are you for the entire block ads look in a middle of a TV program? You expect to finish the announcement of the YouTube video you want to see? Do you keep the radio volume when ads interrupt your favorite show? Do you walk into the theater before time to view all ads? Do you open and read all the newsletters that reach your email?

If you answered mostly NO to these questions, We can confirm that the data moved us Nielsen: traditional advertising (even online) It is in the ICU.

What is happening with communication “lifelong”?

The effectiveness of conventional communication formats (advertising, RR.PP, patronage, Press releases…) It has fallen in the same proportion that has risen the effectiveness of recommendations that come to us through people like us.

What can brands do to such a complex panorama?

  1. Stop interrupting, to pursue. And start attracting with contents that have value
  2. Change B2C (consumer the company) and B2B (company to company) P2P (from person to person)

by simplificarlo, we could say that the content, the story, It is the message. and how we get is the platform, the middle, the vehicle. The one and the other complement. If the story is no way communication, exists, but does not reach us. Conversely, if we get a message trash, although it does often, You will go down in our memory bin.

Valuable content

Value content attracts us. It does so because 1. is thinking for us and 2. It has been prepared to provoke a reaction and emotion (laugh, cry, reflect, inspiration, commiserate,…).

That content may be visual (image, infographic, text, gif…), auditory (podcast, music, radio broadcast ...), audiovisual (video, TV, who) or sensory (augmented reality, 3D simulation ...). The format does not matter, can be direct (TV) or deferred (Netflix), analogical (a book) digital (an ebook).

The important thing is that we provoke a reaction content, we believe a need, us solve, warn us of a problem, we resolve, open us an opportunity. And that's not easy in an environment where the attention economy leads us to stay only two or three of the 3.000 impacts we receive daily. It is therefore essential that brands develop a proposal (only) value within a different story, relevant and transformative.

¿Marketing content or branded content?

There are similarities but also differences. The brand Michelin generates content marketing actions to sell your tires, with actractivas actions and at the same time information about their products and brand. And on the other hand, this brand pioneered branded content with the creation of the Michelin guide, a benchmark for world cuisine. What you will have to do a tire with a restaurant? More than we think, The guide was created for drivers "en route" to identify good places for lunch or dinner. The branded content, As it explains Antevenio on your blog, It has a more playful character.

P2P (Person to person), the strength of internal brand ambassadors

When you talk about brand ambassadors many think influencers (confusing term), celebrities or fans of the brand (brand advocates). And that's because the classic resource use famous people by brands outshines other marketing. That is what is known as external brand ambassadors or employee advocacy programs.

Looking easy examples, Rafa Nadal tennis great is a brand ambassador external, and so he was the great golfer Tiger Woods. I think I intuit the pros and cons of this.

The credibility and trust are within home

The programs of brand ambassadors internal (employee advocacy programs, in its anglicized version) persiguien similar objectives to external, but they get different results ... better? It depends on the variable to consider.

humanization

If it is to humanize the brand (P2P communication, from person to person), Both strategies can be effective. The brand ambassador external brand awareness can provide very fast, because the brand is supported by the large community of celebrity. Internal brand ambassador does not provide much notoriety, but experience and knowledge about the product or service whose flag the brand. Effective branding is human, connector, empathetic and ethical. If not, is not branding.

To better understand the context of humanization in times of automations, I invite you to watch this video Jeff Leonhard I dared to translate incorporating the voice of my personal colleague brander Helena Casas:

 

Do you clear your absolutely vital role in this future that is already upon us?

How dice Leonhard, How technology is changing, and humans are the WHY.

Credibility and trust

Here the balance tips in favor of domestic ambassador. The annual report Edelman Trust It takes confirming years who generate greater confidence (and thus credibility) They are the technical experts of organizations. It is reasonable to who knows more than one product or service that the person has developed?

Crisis Management

You do not talk to a brand, either with a company. Person communication takes place person (the bots is another matter, It is not a dialogue, It is a conversation scheduled).

If you're angry with an airline because it delays your arrival four hours, expect a deal P2P. If you answer the company (an abstraction) you know it's someone following a standard response manual. But if a crisis of a hospital, in addition to the brand you answer a nurse or nurse by name, your reaction will be less angry, and that "someone" has been unmasked.

Sincerely, I can not imagine a famous chef sticking up for a manufacturing error in a pressure cooker advertising on a cooking.

Professional loyalty

Consciously act as brand ambassadors internal (unconsciously, everyone who works for others it is) It is so beneficial for professional-or even- and the organization:

They place value on your personal brand, acquire new skills and digital communication, They act as informal leaders, as spokesmen ... deep, gain a sense of belonging to the brand, They are become something like "emotional shareholders”.

I do not like to talk about retaining talent, It is that professionals active part of the brand feel.

Attracting new professionals

Also know as employer branding. What can attract us as a project has little to do with football or who has a famous announce the virtues of the brands of the organization. What attracts us is the purpose (purpose), thinking that we can generate value to certain customers, and above all, knowing that those already working in or for that organization are satisfied and show no problems that pride of ownership.

The employer branding will not attract external talent if the inmate is unable (well paid, integrated, with project, aligned with the corporate vision ...). Let us not forget that today we are one click away from anyone, and it's easy to find someone and ask about the organization you work for.

The results

This is the best news program brand ambassadors internal. It is measurable, without undue complications.

Multiplying the communication range and engagement (interaction achieved with users mark) are just two factors. But there's more, as the greater ease in converting contacts (lead generator) obtained through professional organization.

In the article The rise of social employee in the company I published a lot of data on the effectiveness of such programs. Today there are also various platforms, that through a control panel and a mobile app allow the organization to measure real-time ROI. yes, prior training is necessary for all those involved (so always voluntary) in the program. And for this I recommend having facilitators:

  • Projecting a career beyond doubt, both in the private and public (Google…)
  • Staff have training experience in corporate branding and digital skills
  • Ideally, they have held management positions in companies

Summarizing results, yes, engagement professional equivalent to engagement the brand (Employee engagement = Brand engagement).

infographics

You can see the infographic summarizing what was discussed so far. Clicking on this link Slideshare > Employee Advocacy programs: The strength of the brand ambassadors internal You can download you the hassle. I hope the information has been helpful.

 

People illustration from shutterstock.com

Brand Ambassadors… Are outside or internal?

You are CEO of a company. You have to make a decision:

1. Betting on external brand ambassadors
2. Pour the rest by internal ambassadors

I raised this question a few days ago from Linkedin, and the responses I got seemed enriching, so I think the result is well worth a reflection on this post.

Before analyzing the responses and drawing conclusions, it is worth pausing to define what it means brand ambassadors external and internal.

What are the external brand ambassadors?

This group consists of two profiles, yes, influencer external and brand advocate. Translated, speak of those who can exert a positive influence on temporal and brand (influencers) and fans of the brand satisfied customers or (brand advocates).

Influencers

At the same time, the influencers They may be celebrities (famous people) or experts. The first provide quick reach of the message, large audiences, and regulate credibility. Experts provide a slower communication range, specialized audiences and full credibility.

External influencers, both famous and experts, They are hired on a temporary basis (bells) by brands to represent them.

Brand advocates

You can try to satisfied customers it key partners. Satisfied customers are arguably the best means of communication, credibility and trust that can represent a brand. They have lived the brand experience and satisfies them enough to repeat the process of buying and prescribing. Marketers are known as “fans of the brand”.

Key partners, meanwhile, representing the balance of prescribers of a brand. Usually they located in the same ecosystem: providers, contributors, administration, professional associations, trade press, relatives of employees,…

The brand advocates They are not hired, are fidelizados, convinced, and therefore support, albeit temporary, It can be durable based on experience.

What are domestic brand ambassadors?

Obviously, This is the professional organization. This group may consist of three parts: President and CEO, the management team and the group of employees (hateful expression, But that you may know me).

CEO internal brand ambassador

The head of an organization should be its most effective and credible spokesman, at least in theory. In practice, It is not like this. Not me, that year after year is reflected in the confidence survey Edelman Trust. It is difficult to know the reason for the disagreement, in which multiple factors undoubtedly, but it is there, and it is serious.

On the one hand many CEOs do not see essential act as spokespersons and delegate the function. On the other many CEOs they are still living in the environment 1.0, more effective but less open than 2.0.

The head of an organization should practice example and be a mirror for their teams. If it is a bad communicator, the organization of this virus is contagious.

The management team

Steering committees and management teams are not spared from the low confidence generated. According to the same study Edelman, and to put it mildly, they need to improve.

A more transversal leadership style, open and communicative can be a good antidote, but from theory to practice there is a stretch.

Employees as generators of confidence

No one speaks with a company, with an organization, with a mark; We talk to people. Traditional communication techniques (public relations, media advertising, promotions,…) become less effective because those who communicate with us, who tries to persuade, It is an abstract entity (brand, product, service, company).

From the time we are able to humanize the brand through people who move, connect. Rue clearly says “your people are your brand” (your people are your brand), and the people, in the end, people trust.

And there it is again Edelman study is to demonstrate that employees, people like us (peers) and technical experts are the profiles that generate greater confidence (in fact, They are the ones who approve).

Why? because the messages of employees or peers They're not here marketinianamente sweetened. Mechanic workshop cars do not fool with the same ease as the manager of the workshop regarding the benefits of a machine.

The answers

View of the foregoing considerations, and clarified what, In my opinion, they are brand ambassadors, Understanding the Answers (first come first served):

  • Jose Ignacio Czech Cenoz, marketing consultant
    I not think it's a matter of choice but of complementing the two actions. The first serves to project the company outwards with a more commercial approach and the second to attract interest from outside to the values ​​of the company through employee, managers, etc…
  • Carmen Herrada, vice-president of large organization
    I agree that 2 options should be complementary, but given the choice I prefer internal brand ambassadors. I've known companies with the best celebrities as brand ambassadors… internal team then burned with the company… As the world is evolving give priority to the option 2.

    • Jose Ignacio Czech Cenoz
      Carmen Herrada, I agree with the hue. The problem with the internal customer is activating its ability to mobilize and reach an audience that is usually more limited.
  • Davinia de Leon Martin, Technical product
    For sure, internal ambassadors. They are the real and reliable.
  • Eduard Perez-Mañanet Lozoya, digital marketing manager
    A mix would be best. But if you must choose an option according to the example, the best is bet on internal ambassadors.
  • Sanchez-Ocaña Alejandro Suárez, CEO of publishing company
    The 3: That your customers become your best ambassadors.
  • Jose Antonio Quesada, Global project manager in IT company
    It depends on the company strategy and the context of it. A priori, the best ambassadors of your brand your customers should be followed by your employees, and then thirds, but it will always be very relative, and conditioned on strategy.
  • Navy Sabaris, health professional
    In my humble opinion a mix would be yours, but if you have to choose one option, I stay with internal ambassadors. Without a doubt.
  • Rosendo Hernández Rubio, Professional insurance sector, teaching and blogger
    It seems that wins the second option, which would confirm a recent tweet from that shared Guillem it is post. Vale: post speech that are preferred influencer the famous and both are external ambassadors. And, in the same publication, we read about the dark side of marketing influencers, the value of comments other consumers and the advantages of internal brand ambassadors. Of those 3 readings, I conclude that the best “influencer” It is the anonymous who knows the company or the product, that is, a company worker.
  • … Y, because you have to take the rest by internal ambassadors, the CEO must assume that he has to be the first ambassador. A CEO who “Of the face” by your company to the public and to encourage their example employees in that work. In my industry (insurance), we are living and we do not usually noted for point us to the latest craze, so the effectiveness of internal ambassadors will be more than proven.
  • Fernando Duarte Merelo, director of vocational training agency
    “Talk about you, even bad” Oscar Wilde. That is to say, anything goes.
    The foreign ambassadors only if they are customers-apostle, the rest are mercenaries, and because inmates have to be included in the fixed salary.
  • Mario Villar, CEO and founder of enterprise web apps & mobile
    How many and which broadcast quality They have on each side?
  • Like Xavi, CEO audiovisual company
    In my case, I am looking for option 2, and as stated above, THE CLIENTS!
  • Juan Rodriguez Talavera, expert on digital analytics
    workers, always. Your happiness depends on the customer ?
  • Nacho Jimenez Delgado, Communication Consultant
    The 4: a mix employee / external / client.
  • Jordi Sabat, online video industry entrepreneur
    Among the options that you raise, This is 2. Although Alejandro Suarez proposed Sanchez-Ocaña I think the most appropriate

some conclusions

This is not a quantitative study, but opinions and pundits are more than respectable.

The paradox is that everyone is right. Although there is a majority opinion in favor of internal brand ambassadors, the idea of ​​using also-according to brand strategy- the external one has considered.

I would say there mentioned aspects that deserve discussion, one is the Carmen Herrada when referring to external messengers can “burn” internal teams.

Rosendo Hernández is the importance of the CEO as the first portavocía, without which whatever comes next will have little validity. I agree.

  • The 77% consumers are more predisposed to buying from a company whose CEO uses social networks (Source: MSLGroup)

few months ago, CEO of the Energy Sector had a bad role in a crisis about a deceased person because of energy poverty. Although the company invests millions of euros in advertising, His words carried the reputation of the company to a lamentable stadium.

Mario Villar establishes a direct relationship with your question between quality and quantity of dissemination of each stakeholder. reasonable question. Invest one million euros in a campaign with a celebrity can not be compared to investing 100.000 euros in training 200 internal ambassadors.

In any case, something is happening. The effectiveness of traditional media is declining. According to the Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, only 33% buyers trust in brands. On the other hand, yes, 90% customer trust recommendations of products or services people who know.

Employee Advocacy programs, the solution

The employee advocacy programs, or programs to promote domestic brand ambassadors, is a cross solution affects direction, communication, HR. and sales.

Not just about turning employees spokespersons, seeks to improve the internal climate, to improve trust between managers and teams, in digital form and communication skills (soft skills).

The most important thing is to understand that not only has advantages for the organization, also for the employee and the market.

Dare to give your opinion about the doubts raised. There are few questions unanswered.

Image by Shutterstock.com