What is Internal Marketing?
Business owners often think that the most valuable part of their company is the products and services they provide to customers. After all, the products and services solve customers’ problems and what they trade their money for.
However, this type of thinking contains considerable oversight.
Seeing only the products and services in a business as valuable means you overlook the impact the people who work inside the company create.
This oversight can be fixed with a focus on internal marketing. While it might sound like a buzzword from a textbook, internal marketing is a practice that can dramatically increase the growth and revenue of a business.
A Definition of Internal Marketing
In the mid-1980’s Finnish academic Christian Grönroos coined the term’ internal marketing’ to represent care and support for customer-facing team members. Grönroos believed that “the higher employee satisfaction that will result will make it possible to develop a more customer-focused and market-oriented firm.”
Internal marketing is essentially promoting a company’s objectives, mission, products, and services to its employees.
Instead of “selling” to the public or potential consumers, your company sells to its employees. It might seem like a strange concept that your team needs to be sold on the company it works for, but very often, this is an overlooked problem.
If your team believes in and understands the company’s goals and vision themselves, they are more likely to espouse them and be a good representative of your brand.
Internal marketing aims to improve employee engagement so that they can provide the highest value to potential customers. This value comes in different forms, including knowledge, suggestions, solutions, and more.
How Internal Marketing Works
Most customers’ attitudes toward a company are not just based on the product or services, but the overall experience they have interacting with the team.
This means customer interactions with various employees in different departments will impact how they feel about your brand. Internal marketing also extends to prospects engaging with employees online via social, email, messages, etc.
Traditionally, internal marketing efforts will be by the HR department. But to make internal marketing a more significant success, it can make sense for the marketing team inside your business to work with the team to help them have a greater sense of loyalty towards the brand. This approach may include training or initiatives from the marketing team to the customer service teams.
Internal marketing aims to keep employees engaged, improve their knowledge about the organization’s activities, and ensure employees have a positive image of the brand.
In contrast, external marketing’s goal is to grow brand awareness that yields increased numbers of leads, opportunities, and revenue for the business.
Ultimately, internal marketing has more to do with selling the company to the team than selling products. Despite not being focused on increasing revenue, internal marketing still plays a vital role in ensuring the business’s success in the marketplace.
Why Is Internal Marketing Important?
Most businesses will offer refunds or replacements for products or services that don’t meet the customer’s expectations.
However, the reality is that customer satisfaction is deeply dependent on the interactions the team has with the people they serve.
Internal marketing’s goal is that customers’ attitudes toward a company are based on their entire experience with the business.
Internal marketing ensures everyone who has any contact directly or indirectly with the customer helps shape that customer’s experience.
What Are Some Examples of Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing has to do with educating employees on the company, the products, and services. This role will primarily and traditionally be in the hands of the HR department. However, it can also involve the marketing and sales team to help educate the rest of the business employees.
Internal marketing efforts can include:
- Educating employees on the company mission, goals, and values
- Encouraging employee input on corporate policies and leadership
- Asking for employee feedback and allowing open dialogue
- Nurturing communication and collaboration among employees in different departments
- Ensuring employees understand their contributions are essential to the success of the company
Having a monthly team training around new developments in the business, product, and service education can be an excellent way to boost your internal marketing efforts.
How To Create an Internal Marketing Plan
For all new employees, it is wise to help them understand the inner vision, goals, and plans of the business. You can begin by sharing some of the following:
- The story of how the company started
- Your company mission and vision
- How your products and services work
- Your average customer and why they buy
- An overview of the people on your team
For existing employees, plan a schedule to send a monthly internal newsletter. Use it as a chance to communicate with them and keep them up-to-speed with things happening.
Suppose you decide to offer new products and services or update the current offerings, then make sure to let your entire team know. Even if a person on the team isn’t customer-facing, they must understand what the business offers externally.
Treat Employees Like A Customer
Internal Marketing ensures that your team is up to speed and believe in what your business does.
Through education about their job and the service/product they sell, your team will become more confident when servicing external customers.
A considerable benefit of this internal marketing is that it builds company culture. It fosters the growth of a group of people working towards the same goal. It not only reduces employee turnover but also increases the brand image in your marketplace.