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Marketing to Your Most Important Customer: Employee's and Team Members

So much emphasis is placed on getting in front of revenue-generating customers. Google Ad's, updated websites, cold calls, sales meetings, sharing video's and content on social media, business cards, company brochure's, etc. We can't work or live without our customers, as they provide the meaning for our businesses and the means to provide for those we work with as well as the surrounding communities. What if we shifted some of the focus (and capital) away from traditional marketing outreach and re-invested into our greatest salespeople: our employee's.


In construction (especially), as well as in aviation and manufacturing, the best bet for reoccurring business is based on relationships. Often times, these are not relationships with top level management. Rather, it's with the field team members who are on site, in the shop, or on the ramp everyday. How someone feels leaving that interaction is the best prediction of them using your service or company in the future. These industries often include long hours, high stress, and ever increasing demands to meet the "new normal" of long lead times, short staffing, and unavailable materials needed to get the job done. With so much uncertainty moving into another not-so-stellar year, further investment into a few key activities can not only increase profitability, but improve inter-organizational relationships that always have room to be improved on.

Give Back. This does not need to be a monetary gesture. While a raise or bonus is always appreciated, taking the time to pause normal operations and share a meal can go a long way. Organize a quick tailgate lunch on a regular basis (not just for holiday's) for those on job sites, in production departments, and in the hanger. Stay for a while and talk to employee's you normally don't cross paths with or may not even know yet. Establishing a regular cadence of showing appreciation gives teams something to look forward to when things get busy. Investing in and frequently giving out seasonally appropriate company gear (hats, shirts, coats, water bottles, etc.) is a great method to advertise your firm during and after business hours and ensure those working day in and day out know they are appreciated. Send some extra's home for spouses and family members so that they too can participate in sharing the mission and vision for your brand.

Get Dirty. Make an effort to get out of your comfort zone. While supervising or checking in on operations, show up dressed for the task(s) at hand and be willing to help. Better insight into the jobs and lives of those we work with can only be had when we walk in their shoes. Help load a truck, accompany a delivery stop, or stick around after the office has gone home for the day to see what goes on outside of your duties. Ask how things are going and what could be better. It's never a bad idea to have a pocket notebook to write these things down; just make sure to actually do something about it or at least let team members know where things stand as time goes along. Nothing is perfect, but creating relationships with those we work with should be more than an email or a nod on the way out the door. Never be too good, too busy, or too important to do anything.

Invest in Communication. Try succeeding in an environment where everything is expected and not much is shared. Communication between departments and teams is a two way street that can ease unnecessary waste. Does your firm have corporate values, mission/vision statements? If so, share them visibly and electronically ONLY if leadership is going to exhibit and enforce those qualities. Otherwise, get rid of them as these will only become fuel for negative attitudes. Get together with teams and share need-to-know company changes, earning's goals, and paths forward for those interested in pursing further development. Don't be fake or stage these conversations; build them into regular operations and routinely shared communications. Start an internal newsletter, blog, or podcast that is easily shareable and encourages employee participation (and reward them for doing so). If people feel included in the process, they are willing to do more than is expected because they can see their impact and that they are appreciated. While open-door policies do not always work, get to work slowly building the foundation for being reachable for work related and non-work related conversations, especially when it comes to professional conflict resolution. Sometimes just knowing a solution is there keeps things from spiraling out of control.


All things considered, there are many local companies across our industries that already do many great things for their team members at great expense. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, there is always room for improvement in regards to team member and employee relations. The best sales people, hiring managers, and corporate development specialists are well-treated, confident team members. Keeping in mind that construction, aviation, and manufacturing are highly relational industries, its beyond important to invest in marketing to those who work for us (and those who we want to join our teams) just as much, if not more, than our current or next client. As 2023 approaches, consider developing internal processes or department roles that specialize in marketing within the organization as opposed to outside. Genuinely take care of people when and however you can, and they will certainly take care of the business.

Proverbs 21:5

For marketing assistance in and around the construction, aviation, and manufacturing industries, contact today.

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