HR (often now called “People” or “Talent”) and Marketing are two departments that are not often associated with one another. Even if they share the same building, they operate in totally different spheres. They speak different languages and emphasize different skill sets. For example, HR focuses on employee retention and recruiting, while Marketing is focused on generating leads and increasing engagement with customers. But in reality, they actually share more similarities than organizations would expect, with roles that intertwine in many ways. And when they work together, they can have more impact on an organization’s health than all other business units combined. They’re a strategic match made in heaven, and here’s why.
Marketing is more than an external effort (i.e., marketing to customers). The business comes alive for customers through the workforce they experience. And how do you find that workforce to evangelize and embody the brand? You got it: Marketing. Similarly, Employer Brand is labeled an “HR initiative”, serving separate objectives from the customer-facing business. But the brands we build inside and the ones our customers experience are inextricably linked. A strong company brand leads to a strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP). In other words, an organization’s core positioning, vision, and values inform the EVP and create a cohesive, united brand experience for both customers and employees. Likewise, a compelling EVP drives equity back into the brand by attracting and retaining quality people to continue to grow the brand. Employer Brand improves recruiting outcomes and drives employee retention – both of which strengthen perceived value in the eyes of consumers, customers, and partners.
What does this mean for leadership? Recognize that HR and Marketing are two sides of the same coin. The CHRO is the CMO to the workforce and the CMO is the CHRO to customers, sales team, and future employees. Closely aligning the HR and Employer Brand to the business strategy and corporate brand strategy are required to achieve maximum organizational impact and durability. For example, cultivating a strong workplace culture will benefit from the CMO and CHRO working together. CMOs can help infuse the corporate vision and values into the Employer Brand, which will be the strategic anchor for which the CHRO will hire, retain, and engage talent. Relatedly, the customer experience does not exist without the employees – so driving a strong, consistent internal brand will naturally emanate outwards and create greater engagement and trust with your customers in turn.
At Innovation Protocol, we believe that brand brings people together, from the inside out. Reach out to us to build organizational alignment in and outside your organization.