FOR marketing to be valued within a business and to be a recognised as a contributor to profits all staff must become marketers and live the brand, according to Paul McNeive, managing director of Hamilton Osborne King.
Addressing a Professional Marketing Forum meeting, Mr McNeive said that HOK has applied the philosophy of staff as brand ambassadors to its business strategy with notable results. The leading estate agency group achieved a record turnover of ?35m in 2005, diversifying into new business and geographical areas.
He said that these achievements have been underpinned by HOK's marketing strategy where each member of staff is trained to become a marketer in their own right.
HOK introduced a number of programmes as part of its marketing drive to ensure that staff were on brand. HOK also increased its networking activity to introduce staff to a wider business audience. This was achieved through increasing the number of events, seminars and briefings organised by the group.
Central to all of this was a training programme with staff prepared thoroughly for events and in particular for making presentations and pitching for new business.
"The marketing function must be a real, organic part of the business and the challenge for marketers is to ensure that marketing is valued as a contributor to profits," Mr McNeive commented. "Marketing from the inside out is the key way to achieve this and will lead to a dramatic shift in culture as to how marketing is perceived within an organisation."
The Professional Marketing Forum has a busy programme planned for 2006. Padraig McKeon, managing director of Drury Communications, will address the next event of the forum in May, while the motivational speaker Mark Pollock will present at the forum's final event before the summer break in June.