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Peopling – a mash up of HR & Marketing

Originally posted: June 23, 2010 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Since today is a travel day for me, I am offering up a guest post I’m truly excited about!  Felix Wetzel, the Group Marketing Director for Jobsite and author of the ‘People, Brands, & Random Thoughts‘ blog, is a friend and someone who shares compelling and creative business ideas.  For Felix, it’s all about people, brands, sports & politics. His motto is “fortune favors the bold!”

Please be sure to leave Felix a comment at the end and tell him what you think of his concept of peopling.  Thanks friends.


Felix Wetzel

I believe, and have believed for many years now, that HR and Marketing will move closer and closer, eventually overlap and consequently merge. There’s no question about it; it’s a logical outcome, triggered by the behavioural changes that have been magnified and accelerated by social media and mobile and my core belief about business and life: it’s all about people.

I base it on a very simple formula:

people = brand

This common denominator is underpinned by the following:

people = employees = customers = competitors = suppliers = citizens

So HR and Marketing are perfect companions, that share similar goals, approach life in a similar manner and most importantly have skills and talents that complement each other. Let’s now leave the abstract behind and get more concrete:

People are the brand

If you share this belief with me than you’ll also agree with the following statement: The strongest brand ambassadors are your employees. Subsequently, fostering the right culture within the company, influencing employees to participate every day voluntarily within it and communicating the culture externally in a personable but still branded manner, choosing new employees that fit and enhance the culture are areas where Marketing and HR, if working hand in hand, can make a massive difference and can enrich the growth of the brand but also the individuals within it. This becomes even more important as every interaction, every engagement, every mention defines the brand and defines the perception of the brand. That needs an exciting vision, a clear framework and at the same time shared experiences.

Internal and external communication are intrinsically linked

However we portray the brand externally has an impact internally. Jobsite’s CEO Keith Potts always reminds us: “When you choose a name for a brand, just pretend you call a client. How does it make you feel?

When we created our TV commercial, I always had in mind that I wanted our sales people to be proud about the ad and the brand, to talk about it, to walk into meetings with their head held high, without the chance of being ridiculed. Besides this being an important filter, it also highlights how internal and external communication are linked, how internal and external perception influence each other and how we as a business therefore need to ensure that we have consistency across all communication. It’s another area for HR and Marketing to benefit from each other’s skills.

Everything communicates

Mervyn Dinnen wrote a very insightful blog ‘Is your recruitment partner damaging your bottom line? In this post Mervyn refers to potential employees being potential consumers and if treated badly at the recruitment process it damages their perception of the brand. I wholeheartedly agree. People are multi-dimensional and every interaction shapes the impact of a brand. That’s why I advocate replacing the terms ‘employee’ and ‘consumer’ with the term ‘citizen’. They all influence and define the ecosphere of the brand. The brand is alive, has a stable core but is adaptable and subsequently far more resistant. So, if this is the case, the brand values need to be experienced also through the recruitment process and need to be aligned with the overall brand communication. The recruitment experience is as important as the customer service experience. Everything communicates.

Employer Brand

Is it an employee or employer brand? Who cares? The whole discussion about it is misguided. An employee/employer/employment brand is a myth. Ultimately there’s one core brand and the employer brand is just one facet of it, other facets are the product brand, the consumer brand, the supplier brand, etc – so, instead of reinventing the brand, HR & Marketing need to work together to communicate and execute the brand internally (employee brand) and externally (employer brand) within the employment market.  Use the skills across the business to build the best solution, that’s the way to create a world class experience.

At Jobsite, our brand essence is: ‘We help you plan your worklife, so your whole life works better’ – this, combined with our brand values, are at the heart of all our interactions be it internally and externally.

I know of several companies where HR & Marketing (and the entire business work hand in hand). I know even more companies where this doesn’t happen. Maybe one day, the merger will happen, and instead of HR and Marketing it’s called Peopling.

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