In my first blog article in the Q&A series, I shared my view on why the marketing department is not taken as seriously as it should be. I hope my answer helped you understand the dynamics between Marketing and Executive. This is the second post in the series and it answers important questions on the crucial topics of internal culture and word of mouth.

Question: If Internal Culture and Customer Experience are both in bad shape, what should one focus on first?

The short answer is to focus on internal culture first as you cannot have engaged customers without having engaged staff first.

To begin with, look at what the cultural issues are within the organisation. Once these issues are identified and resolved, the next stage is to involve your staff in building a better customer experience. Remember, without involvement, there is little commitment.

Instead of telling them what to do, ‘sell’ them the importance of a great customer experience. This means going to your staff and telling them that, as an organisation, you want to create customer experiences that are worthy of recommendation, and then asking your staff to help you build those experiences. Building processes, systems and facilities by involving your staff will encourage them to be more committed towards your goal.

With this approach, you improve both internal culture and customer experiences.

Question: If as you say Word of Mouth (WOM) is four times more powerful than TV advertising, should one advertise at all?

This is how I’d like to put it: If you’re organising a party, you have to make sure you have good food, drinks, music and lighting. However, if you arrange all of this but no one knows about your party, it does not matter how well you have organised it; no one’s going to show up.

Advertising is about sending out invitations to people so that they know there’s a party happening. Once the invitations are out and people do come in, the next big task is to make sure people enjoy the party so that they talk about it with their friends. So the next time you have a party, more and more people will want to come.

Though WOM is the most powerful marketing channel out there, you just cannot ignore advertising in your total marketing mix.

Ever wondered how to build a great culture when starting out as a new organisation? Stay tuned for the next blog post.