Marketers Need Employees to Deliver Brand Promise

New research summary links engagement to satisfied customers


December 11, 2012, NAPERVILLE, IL  – As companies use every means at their disposal this holiday season to attract and retain customers – from e-mail blasts, to TV advertising, to social media messages – the barrage of noise can be overwhelming, leaving consumers somewhere between confused and exhausted. But a company’s own employees can be the most valuable asset in any marketing strategy, according to a new research summary produced by the business thought leadership organization, The Forum: Business Results Through People. 
The report, “Delivering the Brand Promise Influences Consumer Spending,” is the latest in The Forum’s series of targeted and concise research packages designed for marketing executives. The authors, Dr. Frank Mulhern of Northwestern University, and Don Schultz, Heidi Schultz, and Robert Passikoff, studied the effect of strong employee engagement and recognition practices on customer satisfaction and spending levels at a major international hotel chain. The study found that when customer perceptions of a brand and employee behaviors align to support the brand, customer spending and spending per visit increases.

When hotel customers – or customers at any service-related business – are happy with brand value drivers such as employees’ efforts to satisfy, options and amenities, and precision in service, they spend more. The research showed that a 10% increase in any one brand value driver translates into a 22% increase in customer spending.

The research suggests marketing leaders involve employees in the design of internal and external marketing initiatives, look for opportunities to enhance internal communications, and recognize and reward employee behavior that directly and positively impacts the customer experience. Dr. Mulhern suggests, “Partner with your human resource organization to understand and influence the design of a company-wide employee engagement program. Consider devoting a portion of your marketing budget to specific employee-facing initiatives that link internal and external brand advocacy actions.” 

CLICK HERE to read the entire research summary. 

About The Forum
The Forum: Business Results Through People, affiliated with Northwestern University, is an organization for thought leadership advocating that the most effective way business leaders create and sustain organizational values is through partnership with people.

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