When an ad agency Account Manager starts speaking to you on a Monday morning and the words “Hey” or “Good morning” or “How was your weekend?” aren’t the first things you hear, you brace for bad news.
Last week, we were greeted with this: “The lead client resigned over the weekend.”
The only known reaction to such news is to slump – standing or sitting, it doesn’t matter. A hundred questions immediately run around your head, but only one is worth asking out loud.
“What happens to the work we were going to do for the client?” In this case, the word “client” doesn’t refer to the individual who quit (let’s call him “Joe”), but the people who are left behind. It’s a little crass – who cares where Joe is going. This is about us.
Are we still engaged – employed – or not?
This is the “marketing loyalty” they don’t teach you in textbooks or classrooms. The constant turnover in employees becomes a numbers game, a trend line to watch, and pray that it won’t get worse.
The praying is for naught. Get worse it does:
“MetLife's 10th annual survey of employee benefits, trends and attitudes released in March puts employee loyalty at a seven-year low. One in three employees plans to leave his or her job by the end of the year.”
The concern isn’t how to improve employee loyalty. The tough and obvious truth is that it can’t be done.
The challenge instead is how to ensure the marketing strategies and programs continue on. If Joe resigns and, in the next minute, all our agency work is halted, then we have done a poor job selling in our strategy. And, we start all over with a new “Joe” and hope we can reset things before he turns us over.