Corporate culture is a vital element in representing a company, it provides an understanding for the customers on how the company is operating, what to expect when dealing with the company, and is considered the lowest cost marketing initiative that can attract customers and leverage the brand. The connection between corporate cultures and customers are the employees; they are the ones that if companies made happy will be able to retain a satisfied customer, better work, better products/services, and bigger profits. Corporate cultures also allow for creative working environments, which don’t only mean creative product concepts but also creative marketing techniques to promote these products or services.
The marketing mix however, doesn’t include culture; it is more focused on the customers than what makes up the company. Perceptions and preferences of the customers though are built on factors such as: the artifacts (the visual organizational structures and processes), espoused values (the strategies, the goals, and the philosophies), and the basic underlining assumptions (unconscious, taken for granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings which are the ultimate source for values and actions. Corporate cultures also attract employees; a creative corporate culture will require creative employees who believe they have the capacity to contribute and be part of the organization.
The problem about corporate cultures that they are most of the time created unconsciously coming together as they do, giving it little thought in the process – which doesn’t allow a room for marketers to implement or integrate with their strategies. However, there are ways that can encourage the creation of a positive corporate culture that promotes companies making customers wanting to belong to:
- Recreate the Marketing Mix
The marketing mix only includes products, places, promotions, and prices; you have to recreate the marketing mix and incorporate culture. Once you do so, you have to understand how you can deliver that culture to the customers using the elements previously discussed (artifacts, values, and the basic underlining assumptions. To attract the customers with culture as a marketing tool, you must understand whether what is being promoted is congruent with the customers’ wants, whether the culture is that of their appeal, and whether they will/can belong to that culture. Of course, that takes place only after defining your target market.
- Allow Marketers to Hire
Ask the marketing manager/team to be present in the hiring process; it is important that they contribute with their insight of who will join and contribute towards the culture they will promote. Their opinions are not as much as relevant as an insight when compared with the expertise and professional background of the employees being hired, but it matters in the hiring process.
- Promote Your Culture
Culture promotion takes place by rewarding your employees; as mentioned previously, companies who make sure that their employees are rewarded will make sure that their customers are happy. Rewarding your employees however should be based on their understanding of the culture and whether they have contributed towards its implementation. Customers are as important in the culture promotion as the employees, so it is vital to appreciate your customer’s business by rewarding them as well – classical examples include loyalty programs, incentives, and perks.
- Measure Your Culture
As being part of the marketing mix, culture with all of what it represents can be measured; it is important to measure the ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) by understanding how the corporate culture is affecting your customers and how they perceive your brand. The culture can be measured by understanding how much have been put to creating the culture – the artifacts purchased and the employees who represent the culture. Values and underlining assumptions can’t be measured, but they are connected with the employees who create them
As customers, it is important to perceive a culture which will empower our choices towards selecting a brand; and companies it is crucial to represent ourselves in ways that are congruent with customers’ aspirations, values, and wants. Belonging to the company is what makes the customers would like to purchase, and they will only belong if they feel the company represents them.