the people
side of
How CRM works
’m not yet quite blue in the face saying that it’s getting the
people thing right that will get you marketing brilliance faster
than anything else. You’ve got to hire the right people, work
with the right people, learn how to
talk to people, enjoy people, respect
people, love people. Most of all
you’ve got to love your customers.
you’ve got to love your
First impressions count. Walk into the reception of any company
and the kind of greeting you get and the noise of energy levels you
are subject to tell you a lot about the company and the brand.
People at work and on display are the brand.
Brilliant first impressions
When Saatchi & Saatchi first set up in business in the early 1970s in
Golden Square in Soho their reception was about half the floor space of the
whole agency. The back offices were small but the first impressions were of
a big and successful business.
136 brilliant marketing
Go into Abbott Mead Vickers, Marylebone Road, and you get a feeling of
freedom, youth and of a lot of business going on.
ING headquarters in Amsterdam is a magnificent trophy building designed
like a huge glass boat on stilts. The offices inside are full of trees and
gardens. More flora than people. This is business as I’d like it to be – full of
good thoughtful people doing good work. And this is a bank.
The Royal Mail Media Centre in Holborn feels alive, modern and buzzy.
Google HQ in Zurich is colourful, fun, witty and lively. A great sense of
helping people be at their best and everywhere huge pride in the brand.
There is a real sense of focus and teamwork. And how about reclaimed and
brightly painted cable cars as breakout rooms?
People as brands
We need to personalise the whole branding thing, which can be
very powerful.The killer question which can be asked of yourself
or your company is this:
‘Who are you (now)?’
So go on ask it. Not who were you or who would you like to
be who are you NOW?
Jesper Kunde, the Danish marketer and author of Corporate
Religion: Building a Strong Company, says this:
And one not so brilliant first impression. A digital marketing company I saw
recently had shared offices with no one on reception so I wandered around
for a while until someone said, ‘Who are you looking for?’ I rather felt like
saying, ‘Don’t bother I’m a virtual guest’.
Customer relations marketing 137
‘Branding is about the company fulfilling its potential, not about a
new logo.What is my mission in life?What do I want to convey to
people? And how do I make sure that what I have to offer the world
is actually unique?’
And interestingly, people are unique, but in large companies we
seem determined to train them into clones and thereby make the
businesses similar, which is really stupid.Which is why Innocent,
now, or the maverick advertising agency FCO, a decade or so
back, were so unique. They were different.
Look at the big people brands of the past ten years. Bill Clinton.
Tony Blair. Kylie Minogue. Eddie Murphy. The late Anita
Roddick. Richard Branson. Steve Jobs. Jamie Oliver. Carla
Sarkozy. Madonna. Helen Mirren. Shane Warne and so on . . .
All of these stand or stood for something. Linda Barker thinks
she is a brand and describes herself in the third person which is
a bit weird as I remarked to Richard Hall just the other day.
Anita Roddick was a remarkable force who seamlessly stood for
Body Shop and it stood for her, as did Laura Ashley (who died
tragically in 1985) with her chain of stores.
In politics the personality of the candidate plays a major part
does the camera love them? Do they have smiling eyes? Do they
look honest? Politics plays out on TV mainly and Tony Blair had
the touch (not so much latterly) as did Paddy Ashdown as did Ken
Clarke as did Dennis Healey that deeply clever and funny man.
How to improve your relationship with customers
1 Hire the right people. When you hire people think of
yourself as a casting director.Your corporate brand needs a
mix of talent, not just one sort of person. But if they don’t
fit in don’t hire them, however great their CV. At Google
they interview everyone 20 times just to make sure.
2 Be what you are. Help your people play to their strengths,

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