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Market To Your Employees

Kerry Guard • Tuesday, November 2, 2021 • 43 minutes to listen

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Transcript

Opening

Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Delitha Morrow Coles. Delitha and I connected over LinkedIn and after a 120 minute conversation with her, I knew this was going to be a very special episode.

Delitha is a Global Corporate Communications Leader at NCR Corporation in Atlanta. She is an award-winning, results-driven leader who develops strategic communication programs that engage, educate and inspire employees and build company brand and reputation. She has extensive B2B experience with large global brands and is passionate about employee engagement, which leads perfectly into our conversation. Delitha and I dig into what it means to market internally to employees. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn't. And wow, am I thankful for this eye opening conversation around the importance of internal communication, marketing to employees just as we market to prospects. Let's take a listen.

Conversation

Kerry Guard: Hello, Delitha. Thank you for joining me on Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Hi, Kerry, I'm glad to be here.

Kerry Guard: So happy to have you. Before we dive into our topic, which I am so excited about because I can't wait to hear all your ideas to give me some new ideas. And to riff on maybe some of the things that we're doing here at MKG as well, I think it's gonna be awesome. Before I get there. I do want to tell our listeners your story. I just think it's so important to share everyone's story of what you do, Delitha, and how did you get there? So can you just share with our listeners?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Sure, I'd be glad to. Absolutely. So I am a communications leader for our Global Services, delivery and supply chain businesses. So think of that Kerry as about maybe a third of the NCR Corporation employees. And these are teams who have experienced a significant amount of change over the past year plus and as we all have, in many ways, but the bulk of this team is really focused on what we call frontline workers. So those who quite literally go out to a customer site. So whether it be banking location, or a restaurant, or a store, or even a convenience store. To keep commerce running, like we like to say the self checkout systems that you use at your local grocery store, or working, or your ATM, or even ATMs at your local bank or working. That's what the bulk of this team does. And in my mind, personally, they're actually heroes. In many ways, heroes of commerce, we like to say, internally, and so I feel like my role, especially now with the pandemic, has been to shine a light on what these employees are doing, to support not just our company, but our customers and also their customers. So consumers, many of us who use and rely on self checkout systems and ATMs and even restaurant systems, for transactions that keep them running and make sure that they're working so that we can get what we need.

Kerry Guard: I love that. So what do you do at this company, then? What's your role?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah, so my role as the communications leader is to drive both internal and external communications for those organizations. And specifically, I say over the past year, we've double clicked on a lot of our internal communication, really trying to shine a light on those frontline workers and what they do. And in fact, we had the opportunity to start an internal campaign that expanded to become external as well. I believe that we spend a lot of great time marketing to our customers, marketing to prospects, and even marketing to partners. I also feel like we have an opportunity to market to our employees. So that's where I feel like my role comes in.

So this marketing campaign, if you will, that we did for these employees was all about taking the time to show our gratitude and what we called Thank a Customer Engineer, and we shortened customer engineer, as we like to do and invented an acronym C E. So that whole campaign was called #ThankaCE. And so what we did was we enabled our employees to submit words of inspiration, motivation, and like I said, gratitude to these employees who are going out every day throughout the pandemic, to continue to serve us, our customers. And so we had employees submitting Yammer posts, pictures, poetry, videos, I mean all kinds of different multimedia, to share with our customer engineers that we then made sure that they saw.

And then as we continue to get more and more of these carry over time, it occurred to me that there might be an opportunity for us to share some of this content externally as well. So we started to partner together with our social media team, and started to share some of these stories on social media. And so what that did was, it augmented, if you will, some of the marketing that we were already doing to customers on social media, and showed them the people quite frankly, behind the keep commerce running idea. So the people behind the technology, the people behind the service, because at the end of the day, business is about people, it's about delivering service in a way that makes your customers feel comfortable. Our goal is to have our customers view us as a trusted partner. And those partners are well, so we felt like this #keepcommercerunning campaign and the #ThankaCE campaign, or a phenomenal way to engage not only our employees in that story, but also our customers, prospects, partners and other external stakeholders to do the same. And we had a phenomenal response.

Kerry Guard: Oh, my gosh, that is amazing. And you know, the podcast is over. That's it, folks, that's all you need to know is that this is about people and, and wow, yes, I. And to bring it to life in such a beautiful way where it wasn't about being external at all, initially. It was really about just showing internal gratitude towards those frontline workers like that alone is so important in my mind. I'm going to come back to this in a second because I have a ton of questions for you, Delitha, as well as just waiting to unpack it. But first, I truly believe that we're all people, and we're in the business of people working together as people. And so part of my role here in starting a podcast was to help other marketers, like yourself, hear from each other to sort of, like, get that I'm not alone feeling. And so one of my questions that I like to ask, every new guest is, and I think this will delve nicely into what you just said, and maybe we'll get a little bit duplicate, but that's totally fine. But what's one challenge that you're personally facing in your role right now?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Great question. You know, more and more, we're starting to see the sort of lights at the end of the tunnel, if you will, with the pandemic. I mean, as more and more people get vaccinated. Here at our company, we're already talking about the steps that we plan to take to help our employees return to the office. The ones who have been working from home, yeah, from home for some time, how do you return them to the office safely? And that's our number one priority, right, is to make sure that we're doing this in a way that makes sense, that's measured and well considered, and keeps the safety of our people first.

And so I think one of the biggest challenges right now is making sure that we get that right because that's really important. And then as I think back to our frontline workers, it's how do we sustain this feeling of gratitude? And how do we continue to pour into them so that they can continue to feel encouraged and motivated and so that they really do see, you know, the value that they bring and understand that, that we as their peers, appreciate what they do. You know, one of the things that we aspire to at NCR is to quite literally be the trusted partner that restaurants, banks, and stores go to, to help run their businesses. Because with us running their technology, it gives them more time to create a phenomenal experience for their customers. And so think about let's say, if we took a restaurant example, restaurants are focused on reopening as well and rehiring staff and retraining staff. And so that takes up time, not not only that, once the customers do start to come back into restaurants, they want to have the time to create a phenomenal experience for that customer so that they come back. And so that's the time that's left to deal with, you know, a point of sale system that's not working properly. There isn't much of that. So there really is an opportunity for them to hand that off to NCR. But in order for them to do that confidently, they have to be assured that we're truly trained and ready to support them. And again, it's like I said before, it's not just the technology, it's about the people behind the technology. It's do I trust you, you know, this individual, this frontline worker, the CE to run my technology. And so that's the other piece that we're working on now.

So it's returned to the office safely. And it's, you know, continuing to pour into those very important frontline workers, and continuing to build that confidence with our customers, as we all continue to manage towards this new normal.

Kerry Guard: Oh, my gosh, yes. I think a lot of us can connect to the challenges you're facing, especially the I mean, not all marketers are working in companies that have frontline workers like you do. I think that's really special and unique. A lot of us have gone remote overnight, and could stay that way for a while. I know some companies are trying to figure out how to get back into the office, but it doesn't affect us the same way. But I do think that when you do go remote, I think gratitude’s important. Period. I think it's harder to show when it's really great.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah, you know, Kerry, you've made an excellent point, I completely agree with you. And I'll be honest with you, I'll tell you, that's something else that we've grappled with over these past 14 months in particular, is how do we make, not just our frontline workers, but certainly them, but also all of our employees? How do we help them continue to feel engaged throughout this process? And so I really had to take my hat off to our senior leaders, our CEO and COO. And SVP of communications, marketing and Public Affairs have done a phenomenal job of establishing a regular cadence for all employees to stay connected through webcasts. And so you know, I in my role have been building on that and finding ways to repurpose that content, as an example to market to our frontline workers. So while they don't have the ability, necessarily to, to participate in a live one hour webcast, and then you think about a global company like ours, you know, there isn't always that opportunity. So what we've been doing is repurposing a lot of that content into podcasts that are very short, much like this, it was straightforward to the point very concise, because they don't have a lot of time to spend offline, they're out servicing our customers during you know, what really has been a challenging time for all of us. So we want to make sure that they have the time to get the information that they need to, you know, stay up to date with what's happening in the business, to hear those kudos from our CEO and COO to them, thanking them for the amazing things that they're doing to continue to keep commerce running.

And you're right. You know, while many of us have been working from home, our frontline workers have not not had that, they have still been out servicing our customers, and we want them to know how much we appreciate that. And I've had this conversation quite a bit with our HR partners. And I think we have an opportunity to think differently about recognition. A lot of times we think of recognition as being compensation or promotion and those kinds of things. And all of those things are fantastic, don't get me wrong, and certainly preferred. But I do think that there are opportunities for us to think differently about recognition. Recognition could be, being assigned a special project. Recognition could be, being added to a new team to take on a temporary, new assignment. So there are so many different ways, I think, for us to think about recognition that I think we, the pandemic the last 12 to 14 months in particular, especially when you think about the remote nature of our work these days, and a lot of ways it's created more opportunities for us to work together. I remember talking to one of our salespeople who said we did a project during the pandemic that normally would have taken us about six months to do, but we did it in about three months. And the reason for that is because everybody was very focused. They weren't traveling, we figured out how to work remotely more efficiently. And so it gives them more time, it's giving them more time to focus on things. So I think there are some bright spots that we can look to here, especially when it comes to recognition and thinking differently about what that means.

Kerry Guard: I love that. And I totally agree. We actually do a couple things internally in terms of recognition because it is so important, especially when you're remote trying to get the word out there of your appreciation for your people. So one thing we do is we use an app called bonusly, bonus.ly. And it allows your peers to give each other stars for the great work that they do. And then you tie that back to your company core values. So it's this really nice, full circle. And then you can redeem the stars for gift cards from Amazon and Starbucks or you can donate them to good causes, from the Red Cross to, you name it, the companies, and they're the nonprofits in there, which is amazing. So in terms of recognition, that's one way we've done it.

The other way we've done it, which has been so special for me, and we've been doing it for we've been actually remote. And if you know this, Delitha, but we've been remote for the last 10 years. So when the whole world went remote was actually just another day, not quite just another day at the office, because people like kids at home all of a sudden, or they've been cut off from the world. But in terms of work, it didn't change. And so the other thing we've been doing for probably six years now is every Friday, we get together, and we talk about how the week went. And at the very end, we all go around and say one thing we're thankful for. And that could be the weather, that could be our families, that could be something that happened that week, or it could be the people that we work with. And so often it's the people thanking the people they work with. It's amazing. And it's, I love what you're saying, yes to promotions, yes to more compensation, of course, but there's other things that are more sustainable that you can do on a more regular basis. I love this idea of projects too, and now this sort of got my brain thinking like, Oh, yeah, like we have definitely things we could be tackling. And if we could pull the team in on these special projects, like what would that feel like?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Absolutely, absolutely, and I love your idea of these stars, and that you can redeem those for other things. And I love the weekly gratitude. I think everybody has a different way, I think of managing through the past few months, which quite frankly, have been challenging for all of us, you know, professionally, from a business perspective, for sure. But I think, again, like you said, one of the things that that brings us all together is that we're all in the same boat, right? And we were all having to pivot and adjust and continue to focus on you know, our customers or our families, you know, whatever our priorities might be.

One of the things that I think, again, that is a positive that has come out of this is it's forced me as I call myself an internal marketer to refocus on how do we pivot and take some of those face to face in person high touch activities, and virtualize them. So thinking again about recognition, one of the things that we did is we established a set of Ecard that any employee could send to someone else. And we marketed it in such a way on the intranet where we said, Hey, have you seen someone do something great, or heard about something wonderful, some wonderful news, here's an E-card, fill this in and send it out to your peers. They made it very easy, accessible to all, you'd have to wait for your manager to recognize you or anything like that. I'm a huge fan of empowering employees to train themselves to recognize each other to get better in their roles, I feel like that's part of my responsibility. So, peer to peer recognition is definitely something that's close to my heart. And so we've enabled that over the past few months. And I think about the role of leaders, right and a time like this and a time, quite frankly, of crisis if I'm thinking about the height of the pandemic, and trying to keep this focus on business continuity, but also keeping in mind the people's side of things, right. So we really took the opportunity to amp up a lot of our safety communications, especially when it comes to those frontline workers that I keep mentioning over and over again, who continued to service our customers around the world.

But one of the marketing programs we established for leaders was called trending for leaders. So it was this whole idea of every month, I would send a bulleted list of things that managers could consider doing to keep their teams connected. So like that weekly update that you mentioned, where the teams got together and shared what they're grateful for. We would suggest things like play virtual games with your teams,pick up the phone and call your people individually every now and then just check on them and see how they're doing they'll talk about work help them understand and see that you really care and share with them that you appreciate what they're doing so it's almost like a more personalized version of the #ThankaCE campaign that I talked about earlier.

So I think again this period of time has given us an opportunity to take a step back and in the example I use with the sales team focus on those things that are truly most important and at the end of the day, that really is our people, yes we market to customers we will always market to customers. Yes, we market to prospects will always do that. That's how we grow, same with our partners. But let's not also forget that it's important for us to market to our people, as well. Because at the end of the day, those are the folks who are going to make our customers, our prospects and our partners happy.

Kerry Guard: So let's talk about that now that you've identified, we've been talking about it, but you've put a name on it that I think is so powerful and we can really talk about the structure of it, and really bring it to life for people. Marketing internally, marketing to your people, is not anything I've ever heard of. I think we do it to a certain extent naturally. Like we have, you know, quarterly all hands meetings, I do a video every week that I send out to all my employees, just to say, these are the updates for the week that we should be thinking about. My CEO does a one pager of company updates, pulling through the threat of our vision and our mission and who we are and reminding people of that and our core values. So I think, you know, and I'm sure other companies are doing things like this, but I don't know that we've ever thought about it in terms of marketing internally. Is this something you've heard of, or you've done before this company?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Absolutely, Kerry. You know, I have to tell you about my sort of side joke to you is we're gonna flip the script on your marketing podcast here and talk about marketing to our people, marketing to internal employees. But yes, absolutely, I'm proud to say that I have more than 25 years of experience and communications and marketing and I've held various roles throughout my career, whether it be PR, to media relations, to analyst relations, to events, management, marketing, analytics, demand generation campaigns, I mean, so many different roles. And I have to say, of all of those over the years, most of its been in B2B, by the way, especially in high tech, but of all of those, my absolute favorite roles, if I look back at my career, have really been focused on employees, and employee engagement and employee communication. And in particular, you know, those who I consider to be, I don't wanna say underserved, but a lot of times they're our frontline employees, the ones who don't necessarily sit in an office, right. So think of those service technicians who go out and service our customers around the world. But sometimes these are some of the most challenging audiences, quite frankly, to engage, and to market to internally. And I tend to like a challenge every now and then. So you know, the idea of thinking outside the box and understanding, you know, having a deep understanding, quite frankly, of how employees use various channels, communication channels, and marketing channels, and what kinds of information they want to receive. That's all very important to me and it helps me sort of stand in their shoes and understand how they're getting information, when they're getting it, the kind of information that they want to receive. And that gives me the information and insight that I need to focus on what's most important. So quite literally, the way that I might market internally to a leader who sits in our global headquarters in Midtown Atlanta, is very different from the way I've been to market to a customer care person who sits in Serbia as an example, a customer care or COE, a Center of Excellence employee who sits in Serbia.

So very different approaches, definitely a challenge. But yes, I'm a huge proponent. In fact, I'm passionate about employee engagement, and marketing internally, because again, at the end of the day, I can't engage with all of our customers directly, our CEO can't do that directly. So we're counting on our 35,000 plus employees around the world to do that. And so it's incumbent upon us, I believe, to help them feel motivated, engaged and valued to the point where they're excited to come to work every day, right? And they feel empowered to be able to deliver the best possible service to our customers, because that's what they're looking to our brand for. And that's the other thing, I think our employees also have the potential to be our greatest brand ambassadors. And so I feel like part of our role as marketers, communicators, who reach out to our internal employees is to help them feel that love helps them feel that empowerment. So yes, I'm absolutely charged by that.

Kerry Guard: I can tell. I could tell. I love it. I feel your energy leaping through the computer right now. Oh, yeah. I absolutely love it. So in terms of actually executing on this, because I do think all of the marketers' years have perked up but if they haven't, they should have, and how they're probably at least thinking about how my brain works and immediately going to the house. So do you actually take what you would normally do from an external standpoint, in terms of thinking about marketing holistically, and basically turning that inward? So what's your brand strategy? What's your messaging? You know, just like you mentioned, Delitha, of the fact that there are people all over the world who sit in different seats, so you're going to talk to them differently? So who's your audience? And how do you know what messaging is going to go where and then channel? Like, is that really how you think about it, just like you would a marketing strategy?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah, I think there are definitely some synergies, but I think, well, two things. Number one, one of the key indicators we look at are what we call our culture and engagement surveys. And so those are the annual surveys that our HR team launches that gives us “these are the things that are most important to me as an employee”, “here are some of the channels that I looking for”, “here's how I feel about working for the company”, like we quite literally look for a Net Promoter Score, if you will, from an employee perspective. Every quarter after I do a webcast for any of my clients that I support, we assess the performance of that webcast and people's behaviors, and the effectiveness of that webcast. And one of the questions we ask is, a Net Promoter Score question, “how likely are you to recommend this meeting to a colleague”. So that gives us what we call employee Net Promoter Score, which, by the way, is something that I've just created. Shout out to the trademark for NPS, which we do measure, by the way with our customers, we do an annual customer survey, then I thought, well, golly, you know, if we're doing that, so it's an example of taking an external marketing platform and applying it to our internal employees. So every quarter, I'm able to share with the clients I support and ENPS for each of their all all hands or webcasts for all employees.

If I think about this concept of being a brand ambassador, right, and like you were saying that this concept of how do we make sure that employees understand our strategy and our key messages, I mean, right now, that's something that we're working towards. And so we're looking to platforms of employees throughout the company, who are influencers, who are passionate about our brand, and many of them are involved in some of the, what we call Business Resource Groups, across the company, or communities of interest throughout the company. And we look to them for advice on how we can cascade, key messages or cascade messages around our brand promise and those kinds of things. And so those are absolutely things that start externally that I feel like we can bring internally, as well. I'm a huge proponent of, you know, we have an employee advisory group, as an example within the teams that I support, and we look to them for input on, you know, some of the communications and marketing that we do internally, there are times when I'll preview things with them before we roll them out to the broader audience and say, hey, I want to get you guys ideas and thoughts around this. And I want to double click on the concept of an internal influencer as well, because a lot of times, I think, we think that those are, they're our CEO or SVP or some senior leader and that's the case. And there certainly is a role for senior leaders, as I mentioned before, so we do market directly to them, to enable them to engage their teams. But sometimes those influencers can exist at different levels of the company. So I would say, to be very open minded when you're thinking about who your influencers are, who can help you cascade your brand and messaging and be those brand ambassadors, because they may not be a senior leader, but they still may be influential, extremely passionate about working for the company, passionate about keeping the customer first. And those are the kind of people and behaviors that you're looking for. And that job title isn't really a factor, in my opinion.

Kerry Guard: I agree with that. I've gotten to a place now where I don't, when we're recruiting, I don't meet with the people we're looking to potentially hire. One, because I just really like people and I tend to get along with most people and then I want to hire them and my team's like, they're not a good fit. I'm like both of them so I had to take myself out of the loop because I've just got a good indicator of that. But I also don't need to meet with them because I've found that the team that they're meeting with is more than enough and more than capable of communicating who we are without leadership needing to do it. It's pretty amazing, actually.

I had somebody who we were in the middle of interviewing and I always like to check in with people just to see how they're doing. It's a two way street, I fully believe that as much as we're looking to see if you're going to come work for us, we want to know whether you want to work for us, right? Like it's, it's that two way street. And so I like to do those check ins. And so I checked in with this woman, she's like, honestly, I don't have any questions for you. I just wanted to let you know how phenomenal your team is, and how the culture just came through loud and clear. And how special that is.

And I think that when you're thinking about marketing internally, and you're thinking about what that brand messaging is, and I'm hearing you say, at least that I'm going to just be a little heavy handed with it, it is that company culture, it is that mission, it is your values that you're essentially marketing internally, and when you do it and enough and all the time, that I agree, you don't need to be as leadership, you don't need to be the mouthpiece for the company of who you you are, your employees will do that for you. And even, it'll come off even better, because they're living it so much more.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Absolutely, I completely agree. It's more authentic, it's definitely more authentic. You know, it's interesting that you say that, because we just had a senior leader just join the company from the outside. And he's been here for about six months now. But within maybe the first three months that he was here, one of the things that he picked up was how passionate and how proud people are to work for the brand. And I felt so good that he could tell that, with everything that he's sort of drinking from a fire hose right now. Right, and probably still is in many ways, because there's a lot going on, he picked up immediately that people are extraordinarily proud to work for this company. And that motivated him. I mean, he was excited about the fact to lead this team that's so passionate about what they do for the brand and so passionate about what they do for our customers and it's that he's the leader of that team that I mentioned, that includes the frontline workers who provide service. So to hear that from him and at such an early stage of being with the company was very, I think motivating and very telling, I would say as well. So I completely agree with you. Those are, in my opinion, the best brand leaders or brand ambassadors we could have. And they're able to, I think, deliver those messages in a more authentic way, in a grassroots way. Because they truly are the touch between our brand and the customer.

Kerry Guard: And then they take that to the customers, right. And then they take that to the people who they're interviewing, and they take that to the dinner table, and then they take that to the dinner party they're having, and they bring the brand with them everywhere. And then all of a sudden, you're who you are has transpired beyond the walls of your organization. And it's just, I totally agree. If you can turn internally, as you know, not completely right, you're talking. We're not just talking about it, we are just talking about marketing internally, but we're not saying that's the only thing you should do. But we are saying it absolutely should be considered as part of your marketing efforts. And so how closely, you mentioned HR, do you work really closely with HR to some of this fall on to HR? Where's the line there? Because it does seem a little bit of a balance between the two?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Oh, for sure, absolutely. And I think when you think about a company of our size and scope, right, and there's some complexity there, too. You know, absolutely, there's no possible way that any single organization could accomplish all of this alone. So, right now, if, as I think about my day to day role, or even if I were to open up and look at my calendar today and see who I'm meeting with today, it could be anybody from HR, to IT to, actually somebody who's on a closer to our marketing side, working with customers, it could be global sales, it could be our partner team. I mean, there's so many different functions that I, in my role, interact with every day. And in fact, we often call ourselves as communications and marketing leaders, “the connectors”, because a lot of times we're the ones who get, you know, teams talking to each other who quite frankly, typically may not connect with each other. Because we're sort of responsible for carrying the brand together with our internal partners, externally, and we are responsible for managing our social media channels, our public facing website ncr.com. You know, internally, we're responsible for our intranet. So those are the major mouthpieces and communications and marketing hubs for the company. So it makes sense that we're constantly connecting with each other. And again, I tend to think of our team as being “the connectors”, and so you talk about HR for an example. Right now, as I mentioned before, we're talking about things like how do we continue to amp up and elevate our safety, communications and marketing for employees, especially as we're thinking about the return to office and what that looks like around the world? Absolutely. We'll be working with our EH&S, Environmental Health and Safety Team. Definitely our HR team, even corporate real estate, government affairs, I mean, so many different functions that we're engaging with right now. And you're right, I mean, you can clearly see how we're that you know, that thread, the route that connects varying teams that typically may not talk to each other. So absolutely, I completely agree there.

Kerry Guard: Oh, my gosh, I could talk about this all day. Because I think it's so powerful and so important, and not done. I think companies are probably doing it to some extent, but they're not putting this lens on it. I think it just makes it more intentional, versus just the things that you're sort of doing sporadically. And so, so good.

So listeners, to quickly pull the string through for you, in terms of what Delitha and I've talked about, we’ve been talking about marketing internally to your people, and the power of that, when it comes to telling your brand story and who you are. And let us know you have your thoughts and feelings, making them feel empowered to do their job to work with the people they're working with. And to continue to tell, be excited about working for your brand. It's just such a great way of doing it and Delitha and I laid out a whole bunch of ideas for y'all, we're gonna load up the notes section of this so you can find all the tools you mentioned, as well as some of the ideas will write a whole blog post out as well. So you build a read through some of the amazing ideas that Delitha laid out for us. So, so good. I have more questions, but I've got to stop there.

Delitha Morrow Coles: We have to do part two.

Kerry Guard: Maybe we will, yes. I think yes, because there's some things that you mentioned that I'm curious about in terms of like, you mentioned having an intranet and I think that's sort of gotten lost over the years. We have one, and I am talking about bringing that back and the power of the intranet for internal purposes and some of these other marketing things that you're doing. I think we could totally do part two and I would love to have you back to explore that.

Delitha Morrow Coles: I'd love to return to the dialogue Kerry and I'm super excited to have a chance to talk to you today. Thank you so much.

Kerry Guard: Before we close, I do have three quick questions for you because again, that people first element and pulling back the veil a little bit, more of who Delitha is and so, real quick. Are you ready?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah.

Kerry Guard: All right. My first question for you is, have you picked up any new hobbies this last year or is there something that you were doing but you gotta do more of that you love outside of work?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Oh, that's a great question. Kerry. I have to tell you I am the person who before the pandemic who would not even watch a movie that I'd already seen a second time. But now, I've totally gotten into binge watching. I promise you I did not understand how you could sit in one spot and watch the same show, different episodes of the same show back to back to back. Now I am so into it, and right now my favorite to totally binge out on and to continue laughing about is Schitts Creek.

Kerry Guard: Oh, it’s so good.

Delitha Morrow Coles: I was like oh my gosh, this show’s won all these awards and I've never seen it so now I am totally on board. I'm a fan and I get it.

Kerry Guard: It’s so good. I'm only on like season two. But I'm working my way through it. I absolutely love it.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah, it's fantastic. It's wonderful. Especially now.

Kerry Guard: If you could be in an office with your team, walking the floor, I know you're working your way to that, so maybe this will pump you up a bit. You're walking the floor, you’re seeing your team, what song would you want playing overhead?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Oh, so many. My gosh, that's the tough one. Well, first of all, I have to say I really miss being in the office and I mean, we just opened up. I don't know how much your listeners know about NCR. But we just opened a global headquarters in Midtown Atlanta, I think about two years ago. And so most of us have been away for just over a year or so. I cannot wait to get back. I am looking forward to it safely. So I think the song, there's so many, oh gosh. Probably the song that I would play first, and again, there are lots but the first one that would come to my mind would be, it's by Rakim and Eric B. It starts out thinking of a master plan, but it's called Paid in Full. So for me, it's thinking of a master plan because I feel like I'm constantly planning. I get my energy and inspiration from GHQ. It was what we call a Global Headquarters, GHQ. So for me, it would probably be that because I would probably be walking with a client or with a peer to sit down and develop a plan about something or a strategic plan about something or other. So that would probably be the first one I play.

Kerry Guard: I love it. I'm going to add it to our Spotify so we can get them blasted themselves and pretend they're walking around in the office thinking of a master plan as well.

Delitha Morrow Coles: I love it. That sounds great.

Kerry Guard: Last question for you. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be safely?

Delitha Morrow Coles: Oh, yes. And well, that's an easy one, I have to tell you. So last year was my husband and my 25th wedding anniversary. And we had planned to take a fabulous trip to Turks and Caicos. So as soon as it's safe-r to do so we're absolutely going to pick up where we left off and continue planning that trip. And I cannot wait.

Kerry Guard: That’s amazing. So good.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Yeah, I can't wait.

Kerry Guard: Well, congratulations on 25 years. That's amazing. And I hope that soon you'll get to go have that second honeymoon. That sounds awesome.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Oh, yeah. Can't wait. Looking forward to that for sure.

Kerry Guard: Delitha, thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to part two.

Delitha Morrow Coles: Absolutely. Thank you, Kerry for this time, and I'm looking forward to continuing the dialogue.

Outro

That was my conversation with Delitha. Inspiring, am I right? I'm going to have Delitha back on hopefully for season 10 or 11 to dig into more of the “how”. We talked a lot about why it's important to market internally to employees but we never really talked about how you do it. So she's going to come back on and we're going to lay out exactly how Delitha goes about marketing to her employees so that you can too. Stay tuned for the episode in the coming seasons and keep you posted.

Thank you for tuning into my conversation with Delitha Morrow Coles. If you'd like to learn more about Delitha and employee marketing, you can find her on LinkedIn. The link is in the show notes along with season nine’s Spotify playlist.

Thanks again for listening to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders. The podcast helps brands get found via transparent, measurable digital marketing. I'm your host Kerry Guard and until next time. This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing, our digital marketing agency of Agile experts who specialize in SEO, digital advertising, and analytics. It's hosted by me, Kerry Guard, CEO and co-founder of MKG. Music mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis and if you'd like to be a guest please visit mkgmarketinginc.com to apply.

Delitha Morrow Coles

Delitha is the Head of Employee Experience & Transformation at Travelport. She is an award-winning, results-driven leader who develops strategic communication programs that engage, educate and inspire employees and build company brand and reputation. She has extensive B2B experience with large global brands and is passionate about employee engagement