Business people sometimes use the phrase “marcom.” It means “marketing communications.” A great concept, but many companies drop the ball in the space between the two words.
I remember hearing a radio commercial for the grand opening of a sub shop in my neighborhood. I’d get a sub for one dollar just by mentioning the DJ’s name. As fate would have it, I was driving past their location at that very moment, and I was hungry so what the heck. The young lady behind the counter knew nothing about the promotion, and looked at me like I was trying to pull a fast one. She also told me there was no way to handle that in the computerized cash register. Of course the manager wasn’t in, so I politely insisted she call him. Problem solved.
Or how about this? You see or hear an ad that says “Order online today and get free shipping.” But when you go to the web site, the shipping charge shows up no matter what you do.
The breakdown that occurred in both cases is a simple one. Important information never made it to the front lines.
Business involves communication – with the outside world, yes, and also with internal departments of the company. Imagine how much greater the impact of the sub shop promo would have been had the in-store staff said “Great. I see you heard our radio spot. Why not get a second sub and take it home to your wife? It’s only a dollar.” Sure, they were losing money on every sale, but the good will and excitement they could have generated might have made us long-term, repeat customers.
Marcom is important to an organization, and should always come with a hefty dose of com.
The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.