NEWS FLASH: A Company's “Employees” Are Not Its Greatest Asset

NEWS FLASH: A Company's “Employees” Are Not Its Greatest Asset

We've all heard the phrase, “ A company's employees are it's greatest asset.”

But while this is well-intentioned, suggesting that out of all the many and varied assets that a business possesses, it's employees are its most important and its most valuable asset. Its greatest asset. But if you you think about it somewhat differently, it's not really all that true.

Assets are owned, people are not. People make contributions, assets do not. Expertise. Ideas. Tenacity. Creativity. Sometimes even sweat and physical muscle. These are the types of contributions that the “People” in a company continually make, that “assets” do not. The companies that receive the greatest contributions from their people, typically have people who are not just highly-skilled, but who are also highly-engaged. But a highly skilled & engaged employee base doesn't just happen, it results from having a focused strategy designed to motivate employees to continuously improve their skills, and hone their talents and areas of expertise. A strategy that also encourages and supports employees to learn new skills and develop knowledge, competency, and even expertise in areas that fall outside their specific areas, and provides the tools that enable them to do it.

A highly-engaged employee base results from having a strategy that attracts top talent and inspires them to stay with the business long-term. This can be done successfully, at Black Rhino Marketing Group we've seen it happen. But to do this successfully, a company needs to, in the words of Steve Jobs, “think differently”. For example, they will need to stop thinking of their employees as the businesses' greatest assets, and start thinking of them as their businesses' greatest contributors to its success. For many businesses this could mean a paradigm shift in how the company thinks from the Leadership on down. But again it can be done.

At Black Rhino Marketing Group we know that “marketing” is not just a function that exists externally, going from the company to an outside audience. Oftentimes, and sometimes even more importantly, marketing needs to be an internal function, going from the company to an inside audience – the people inside the company itself.

After all, according to the American Marketing Association, the definition of marketing is as follows:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

Using this definition, an “offering” can of course be a product, service or solution, but it can certainly be an idea or a philosophy as well. And of course the “customers, clients and partners” can certainly be the employees of the company. But at the crux, a successful shift in company thinking as it relates to its employees and how to ensure their engagement, will take an internal marketing effort to ensure that company-wide buy-in, support, and adoption is achieved. At Black Rhino Marketing Group, the external marketing strategies we help companies develop, we also work with clients to help them develop internally-focused marketing strategies and campaigns. We would love to talk with you about how to successfully develop a strategy and campaign to increase employee engagement within your organization. Give us a call!

BRMG Personality Type's

BRMG Personality Type's

Part of what makes Black Rhino Marketing Group so authentic is its diversity; Our team is made up of [awesome] people from different backgrounds and different personalities. For this teams blog, we thought it'd be interesting, and quite frankly fun, for our rhino team to take the Myer Briggs test in order to determine our personality type. Let just say, they were pretty spot on.

Andrea | ENTJ - Commander Personality

"Commanders are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. However, Commanders are also characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves. If there’s anything Commanders love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the Commander personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders." Read more about ENTJ.

Laurie | ENFP - Campaigner Personality

"The Campaigner personality is a true free spirit. They are often the life of the party but are less interested in the sheer excitement and pleasure of the moment than they are in enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, the 7% of the population that they comprise can certainly be felt in any crowd. More than just sociable people-pleasers though, Campaigners, tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected, seeing it through a prism of emotion, compassion and mysticism, and are always looking for a deeper meaning. Campaigners are fiercely independent, and much more than stability and security, they crave creativity and freedom." Read more about ENFP.

Soulmaz | ESFP - Entertainer Personality

"If anyone is to be found spontaneously breaking into song and dance, it is the Entertainer personality type. Entertainers get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and want everyone else to feel that way, too. No other personality type is as generous with their time and energy as Entertainers when it comes to encouraging others, and no other personality type does it with such irresistible style. They have the strongest aesthetic sense of any personality type, from grooming and outfits to a well-appointed home, Entertainer personalities have an eye for fashion. Entertainers are naturally curious, exploring new designs and styles with ease." Read more about ESFP

Dane | ENFP - Campaigner Personality

"More than just sociable people-pleasers though, Campaigners, like all their Diplomat cousins, are shaped by their Intuitive (N) quality, allowing them to read between the lines with curiosity and energy. They tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected – but unlike Analysts, who tend to see that puzzle as a series of systemic machinations, Campaigners see it through a prism of emotion, compassion and mysticism, and are always looking for a deeper meaning.." Read more about ENFP.

Jeff | INFP - Mediator Personality

"Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration. Mediators combine their visionary nature with their open-mindedness to allow them to see things from unconventional perspectives. Being able to connect many far-flung dots into a single theme, it’s no wonder that many Mediators are celebrated poets and authors." Read more about INFP. 

Darryl | ESFP - Entertainer Personality

"Entertainers are welcome wherever there’s a need for laughter, playfulness, and a volunteer to try something new and fun – and there’s no greater joy for Entertainer personalities than to bring everyone else along for the ride. Entertainers can chat for hours, sometimes about anything but the topic they meant to talk about, and share their loved ones’ emotions through good times and bad. If they can just remember to keep their ducks in a row, they’ll always be ready to dive into all the new and exciting things the world has to offer, friends in tow.." Read more about ESFP

Rebecca | INFP - Mediator Personality

"Being a part of the Diplomat Role group, Mediators are guided by their principles, rather than by logic (Analysts), excitement (Explorers), or practicality (Sentinels). When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – Mediators are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the Mediator personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation." Read more about INFP. 

Melanie| INTJ - Architect Personality

"It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, Architects know this all too well. Architects form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the Architect personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy." Read more about INTJ. 

Check out the Myer Briggs personality test and determine what type of person you are!

3 Reasons E-Newsletters Work—and 7 Ways to Make Them Work Better

3 Reasons E-Newsletters Work—and 7 Ways to Make Them Work Better

Newsletters are a great way to deliver news about your business. They are a quick, fun way to get effective results and when done correctly, can have more of an impact than social media.

Nothing against social media, after all I’m a huge social media fan, it’s just sometimes, newsletters are better.

Why you may ask? Well…

1. | You get more attention

Email gets more attention than a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. Especially now, considering how Facebook has made changes on people-to-people interaction, it’s likely that your posts have dropped dramatically on someone’s newsfeed. Now you have to use promoted posts to have any meaningful reach.

In an email, people are more likely to see your content (since it’s not lost in the thousands of tweets).

2. | You can get personal

An email is by far more personal than a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. Depending on what newsletter automation system you use, you can personalize messages in an email a lot more easily than on social media channels where personal customization is not allowed.

Think about it, when you see a post from a brand on your newsfeed, don’t you feel like you’re just watching an ad? You simply can’t be personal without talking to everyone in more general terms or individually reach out to each person, but who has time for that? Put in some effort and you can make the emails you send out feel personal and thoughtful!

3. | You have full control

Again, depending on the newsletter automation system that you use, you will have full control over the content and design of your email. Whether you are segmenting contacts, choosing specific images or colors, or simply re-arranging your copy, email tends to be technically more versatile. You also have the ability to put more information in an email without making the user experience too painful. On social media, you are [unfortunately] stuck with the limited capabilities of the specific platform you are using.

So you see, sometimes newsletters are better. Here are some quick tips to implement on your newsletters that can help you out!

1 | Let your personality shine

2 | Have a good opener

| Be consistent

4 | Be exclusive/informative

5 | Offer value

6 | Personalize it

7 | Respond to everyone who responds

Oh and by the way, have you checked out BRMG’s monthly newsletter? If you haven’t, you should. It’s pretty awesome.

Think marketing is expensive? Four critical things to consider

Think Marketing is Expensive? Four Critical Things to Consider

You’ve had this thought before. It’s ok. We know. Marketing is perceived as being a costly endeavor, and therefor is often one of the last things a business owner wishes to spend valuable dollars on. But here are some key things to consider before you jump to the conclusion that marketing is a big spend.

1 | How much should you really be spending on Marketing?

For established businesses, The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue for businesses under $5 million, and closer to 10% for those over $5 million.  For new businesses you should be spending somewhere between 12-20% of your revenue or expected revenue.

You are probably thinking, wow, that is more than I thought. Which is why most marketers will recommend somewhere closer to 5% of your gross revenue.

2 | What is the 5% for?

Generally speaking, the 5% is for the ongoing marketing implementation of a solid foundational strategy. These are the day-to-day tactics that engage your audience, the advertisements you place with specific media and the tactics like email newsletters, video, content and so forth.  You should expect also to use more than 5% on big projects, such as website updates.

However, spending money on these day to day items will certainly be a waste of funds if you do not have a solid foundation.

3 | What is the Foundation?

In order for your day to day activities to perform well, you will need to invest in a solid marketing foundation, which, since it generally includes the necessary larger projects, will usually cost closer to the 10%.

The foundation includes items like Branding, Strategy, Website and Social Media. Working on these items to create a solid strategy that highlights your best target audience, the messaging and branding for those audiences and putting together a roadmap of strategy pieces paired with the big projects like a website will give you a healthy starting point. Once these things are completed, your day to day activities will have a much higher conversion rate.

4 | Consider the cost of client acquisition.

Still sounds expensive? Consider what a single new client means to your bottom line. For example: currently you have not built your foundation and you are relying on a sales person to convert customers. You probably see the direct correlation between what you pay that sales person to what the conversion of each customer is. Let’s say you currently spend $2,000 per new customer with your sales rep. and he or she can convert 1 new customer per month. Provided that each new customer is worth more than the $2,000 you spent, you are happy.

But consider this, you built your foundation and were able to add a highly converting website and social media channels in addition to your sales rep. Using the 5% rule, let’s say you spend $1,000 per month on digital media tactics, and can convert 2 additional customers per month. You’ve increased your customers by three times, while only spending a fraction of the cost, and in a shorter time period.

That’s where marketing becomes a savings vs. a spend.

The key is finding a marketing partner who can work with you on the foundational items, but also on a long-term implementation and execution process. This is where you will save the most.