Employees and Word of Mouth Advocates

A recent article on the WOMMA site talks about how Ford in a recent webcast urged it employees to become avid advocates. Now, I am all for word of mouth marketing, but if I were an employee of Ford I think I would react with a bit of negativity towards what they are asking to do. I truly don’t think that a company should have to ask its employees to become advocates, they should want to do it on their own. Lets face it, Ford is in trouble and they need people to become advocates for their products and what better way to start is with their employees. Sounds simple enough huh? Well I disagree.

I had a post back in February about Volvo which is owned by Ford on just how stupid their pitch is for the new S80. Coincidentally, I own a Mazda and am totally happy with it so far, but when I bought it 2 years ago, I received a 4 year warranty. Now that Ford has infected that brand, they have pushed their current Mazda warranties back to 3 years. I know this as my wife is currently considering purchasing their CX-7.

In my heart of hearts, I don’t think any company should ask their employees to be advocates for their brand…it should be either just a part of their job because they enjoy working there or because they are proud of the organization that they work for. Perhaps I am naive and perhaps it is because I enjoy my current position and I don’t need to be asked to do it and/or its because I am a marketing person at heart and I know that value of pushing brand via WOM and truly becoming an advocate.

Here is a off the wall suggestion…..make better cars, stand behind your products with longer warranties and people will begin to trust and or talk about your brand more often. This goes beyond Ford…I think we can all learn a lesson here in any company that we work in.

Curious to know what your thoughts are.

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