We have all heard of the “horsemen of the apocalypse” and the overwhelming devastation that they bring!
I recently attended a keynote by Wes Gay, marketing guru and regular contributor to Forbes, in which he painted a fairly scary picture of how our marketing communication looks to the general public. He was suggesting that poor communication in marketing campaigns is equivalent to unleashing the “horsemen of the apocalypse” on our businesses!
To his point, one does not have to look too far to find some massively destructive communication campaigns. Things like:
- Kenneth Cole and their 2011 Twitter message (in the midst of the Arab spring movement); “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” This message was retracted but there was damage done!
- The Coke fiasco around New Coke and Classic Coke back in the 1980’s. Did these new flavors mean that the old Coke was no good? This market communication fiasco was so monumental, we still talk about it today!
- How United Airlines responded by blaming the victim after social media showed smart phone video footage of a passenger being violently dragged off a flight. The public was stunned by United’s response and their stock price was impacted immediately.
- The Adidas’ tweet after the 2017 Boston Marathon “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” This was probably an innocent mistake and message was retracted quickly but not without brand damage.
- Dove airing a commercial that showed a black women turned white after using a Dove product. If you saw and understood the complete context of the advertisement it was probably fine. However, it was easily taken out of context and Dove was forced to pull the ad.
Wes Gay goes on to say there are four things that may seem innocuous at the time but can prove to be devasting to you and your organization. He calls these the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication
The 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication
He defines the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication as:
Customer first service mantras have been around so long that we are sick of hearing about them . . . until we personally go through a new dismal customer service experience and are reminded how important the customer experience really is!
The truth is that business leaders must not only build a customer centric culture in their organization but they must constantly maintain this culture. It only takes one bad experience to tarnish a company’s reputation which can take years to rebuild!
My Honda Experience
In leadership, you don’t attract who you want, you attract who you are. If your employees suck, it is almost certain that you do too!
According to Sam Adeyemi at the Global Leadership Summit, if your staff are not who you want them to be then perhaps you need to make a change in yourself! You need to be the change you want to see!
Adeyemi went on to say that as leaders it is our job to help our employees understand that;
In a recent keynote speech, Bill Hybels stated that the performance of a disrespected worker drops by 50% until the issue of disrespect is resolved. Scarier than this is that 25% of the disrespected workers pass this disrespect on to customers!
That is something to consider!
How many times in the last month have you been treated or seen someone treated poorly by the staff of a retail establishment? Now it really makes you wonder what goes on behind the scenes at these places. How many business leaders are disrespectful to their employees and are indirectly disrespecting their customers, the very lifeblood of their business!
There are way too many examples of disrespect in today’s world! From presidents of countries down to minimum wage employees at fast food establishments. Disrespect in our culture is way to common place! In fact, a business can begin to differentiate itself just by having respectful leaders and employees!
What can leaders do to repair, build, or maintain respect in their work place and start differentiating their business?
Last week I wrote a post entitled Your Employees Are Happy . . . And Other Popular Myths. In this post I explained that having happy employees and having engaged employees are not necessarily the same thing and that as business leaders we need to strive for engaged employees.
I provided links for two informal surveys to gauge where the readers of the blog sit with respect to the Gallup engagement poll results that stated that only 31% of US employees are engaged at work. I provided a survey for managers and a separate one for employees.
This week, we will take a look at a summary of the results.