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August 31, 2012

A CMO’s main business partner? The HR manager!

in the categories Conversation management

Since the arrival of social media we, as marketers, are confronted with some straight facts. Social media entail a focus on the core of business: making good products, providing a good service and thus keeping satisfied customers. Marketers and service departments are pondering these days on how to win the customers’ hearts with less means. In these discussions the main business partner is often forgotten: the HR manager.

In order to offer good products and a customer-friendly service, a company is totally dependent on the people inside the company. If you dream of a superior customer experience, you are in fact dreaming of people who realise that superior customer experience. I am convinced that customer-oriented aptitude is in one’s genes: you either have it or you don’t. Functional competences are easier to learn.

It is clear that this is where the HR department holds the key to success. Unfortunately they spend the majority of their time on operational matters, which is why they are sometimes not taken into consideration as a conversation partner when determining the strategy. It is our responsibility, as marketers, to get the HR department on board to help us realising a superior customer experience. Together with the HR manager you determine which personality characteristics new recruits should have. These characteristics determine your company’s positioning. The HR department is waiting at the door, but we tend to overlook it most of the time.

Jim Collins described it in his brilliant ‘Good to Great’: You’re not a great company until you manage getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus. The atmosphere in a company, the company culture and the company positioning in the long term are determined by the people who work for it. The marketer’s communication will only have the impact it deserves when the people behind the scenes give out the same as the message in a TV advert.

As far as I’m concerned, the HR manager is the marketing manager’s main business partner. What do you think? steven@insites-consulting.com, @steven_insites

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