CMOs must adapt to a modern marketing environment that has changed dramatically through new technologies and channels.
Part of this transformation includes acknowledging marketing expertise, competencies, and capabilities around the workforce. For CMOs, the new influencers are their own people in teams across their company. And that potentially is a huge group of influencers.
Employee advocacy is a growing trend and comes at a time when trust and transparency are a big concern. When we talk about who has real influence – that is the ability to change or affect behavior as opposed to popularity – a new tribe has emerged. Employees have the power to speak authentically about a brand, its products, and services with genuine influence over their network of friends, family and peers.
New software platforms enable senior leadership teams to empower their employees en masse, at scale, to talk about the company. From our work with leading brands, launching their tech-driven advocacy programmes, here are five ways we’ve seen new technology radically transform employees into influencers.
Communicate with a disparate workforce
Employees predominantly use their smartphones to communicate on social media, checking updates at times that are convenient to them wherever they are during the day or night. Companies can build on this user behavior, and adopt a mobile app that allows employees to share company insight and news straight from their phone to their social channels. It’s about tooling up your staff with the best tech to communicate in a way that suits them.
What’s the alternative? Companies that don’t adapt will fail to equip staff with the communication they need to be the best they can be. With research showing intranets are used sporadically and by the minority, antiquated systems of communication have a limited shelf life now.
Scale up quickly
The average employee has a high degree of trust in their personal networks but individually they don’t have the reach of a micro or top tier influencer on YouTube or Instagram for example. However, if you scale up the number of employee advocates into hundreds and thousands, you achieve huge reach. This is where the tech comes in – you need it to increase those kinds of numbers considerably.
Advocacy tech software means brands can adopt an employee advocacy platform to quickly scale measurable employee word-of-mouth and achieve sustainable results. Switching on your colleagues at scale helps supercharge your marketing strategy.
Manage and measure all activity
New employee advocacy platforms now mean you can manage all advocates effectively and measure all engagement and activity accurately to help understand the wider marketing and sales impact.
Reporting success to key stakeholders and CEO is critical, and using new tech ensures ROI through your new programme can be accurately reported. You can also continually optimize top performing content through your programme to help it go from strength to strength.
Tech-enabled advocacy programmes empower employees and develop employee engagement to help retain staff. Employees can share thought leadership content that helps them develop their own careers and drives reach for your brand.
New technology also allows employee advocacy to be adopted by different departments, regions, and countries, helping to bring disparate groups of colleagues closer together.
Influence 2.0: Time to turn it on
According to MSL Group, on average, brand messages are shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees, rather than the brand itself. That’s why leading brands as different as ASOS, Sky, L’Oreal, Hotels.com and General Electric have embraced employee advocacy.
While Influencer Marketing has its challenges with transparency, disclosure and high profile gaffes that risk damaging consumer trust, employee advocacy with new tech is low risk, inexpensive and high value. CMOs that want to achieve sustainable results can now use new tech to put marketing in the hands of their staff.
Author: Andrew Seel is CEO of the UK’s leading advocacy marketing platform. Qubist is an enterprise level employee communications tool offering both employee advocacy and internal communications, trusted by major brands and companies.