Sunday, February 01, 2009

Rituals, Ceremonies, and Internal Marketing

The most important marketing tool for any firm or marketer is, the people of the firm. From the copy room to the executive committee the morale and unity of the people within is the single greatest marketing weapon ever conceived.

And it should be the highest priority on any checklist of a marketers "things to pay attention to today". One of the ways to accomplish that is to pay attention to firm ritual and ceremonies.

In times past, when the world seemed smaller and people lived in tighter communities, it was a practice to celebrate EVERYTHING and ANYTHING and build rituals around any moment marking a new step in life. Rites of passage, harvest festivals, the seasons, celebrating the hunt, barn-raising, etc. At one time any moment of hope or happiness was reason enough to celebrate as a community.

Over time I think we have forgotten how good it feels to celebrate not only our own moments of joy, but also how wonderful it feels to share in the moments that arrive for others.

In most firms there are a spattering of birthday offerings, restricted receptions for new partners or professionals as they pass the BAR or gain a certificate, and even a sprinkling of holiday and anniversary dinners... but oh boy! Are we missing out on a lot of internal marketing opportunities or WHAT!

If you are looking for a way to create unity among the people of your firm I would encourage you to seek out every moment of celebration. Here are some of the accomplishments I think might be marked with ceremony or ritual that SHOULD involve every person in your firm:
  • New partner (of course)
  • Passed the BAR or professional certification
  • Joined the firm
  • Birth in the family
  • Birthdays
  • Achieved a goal outside the firm
  • Bought a new car
  • Marriage (and maybe divorce)
  • Were published
  • Landed a client, closed a deal, won in court
  • Bought a new home
  • Learned a new skill
  • Returned from vacation
  • Survived a work-a-thon
  • Received a thank you letter/note from client
  • Add your own ideas here....
Just think of every moment in which you feel pride and you have a starters-list of what to celebrate.

It is amazing how quickly the morale of many rise to any occasion when each person knows their own moments are important. Try this one thing and I know you will not be disappointed!