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Care@Work / Care@Work Blog / You've Got a Friend: How HR and Marketing Can Help Each Other Navigate Workplace Consumerism

You've Got a Friend: How HR and Marketing Can Help Each Other Navigate Workplace Consumerism

Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan on September 07, 2017 10:30 AM

HR is now expected to communicate with employees like marketers do with prospects.  But without the formal skill set and years of experience.  Meanwhile, marketing is now charged with building a brand that resonates with employees just as much as it does with customers.  But without access to and an understanding of pivotal moments in employee tenure. 

So how does each side do it? They forge a strong partnership, where expertise and knowledge is openly shared, and collaboration is key. 

How Marketing Can Help HR
At the center of the evolving job descriptions for HR and marketing is the consumerization of the workplace - where employees expect the types of experiences at work that they’re getting everywhere else in their daily lives.  Employees want choice, transparency, personalization and immediacy – all supported by easy-to-use online tools.  To help meet these demands, HR should turn to marketing to:  

  • Gain a better understanding of the power of brand - and how to reinforce it.
  • Learn to position, segment, sell, nurture, and measure benefits programs.
  • Understand how to utilize social media, contextual advertising and video to win top talent.
  • Gather insight as to how to parse, interpret and select data for decision-making, strategy development and for winning the support of key stakeholders.   

How HR Can Help Marketing
The world’s most powerful brands are built by employees who embody a company’s core messaging in the work they do every day. Who better than HR to help provide marketing with a clear view as to what’s representative of employees and resonating with them? And what better partner than HR to help hammer home brand awareness at critical moments during an employee’s tenure at an organization?  HR is an integral partner to marketing, helping them to:

  • Maximize key touchpoints like onboarding, training, company events and evaluations as part of the brand experience.
  • Identify and equip employees with new skill sets that support their own changing department.
  • Find those employees who best embody the company brand and become brand ambassadors.
  • Keep it human, keep it real, and stay in touch with who is really behind the company.

HR and marketing will keep their key roles as the workplace continues to adjust to consumerism and the employee experience reigns supreme.  The stronger the partnership, the more effective their efforts will be across teams, departments and the entire organization.  The lines between their job descriptions may continue to blur, but one thing remains clear: they need the expertise and knowledge of one another to chart the best course through the workplace of the future.    

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Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan

As Director, Sales and Marketing at, Heidi is responsible for developing innovative, results-driven programs for Care@Work – a consumer-centered portfolio of family care for employers and their diverse workforce. Passionate about helping HR professionals improve the lives of their employees, Heidi follows and writes about the top trends and research impacting both employees and employers in the workplace, including the future of work, consumerism and HR, building employer brands, pay equity and paid leave policy, and company culture. Prior to joining, Heidi led marketing teams at a variety of technology companies including Constant Contact. She lives north of Boston with her husband Brian and their “daughter” Lexi – a 10 lb. Shih-Tzu therapy dog.