What is internal marketing and how does it help external marketing?
Definition: Internal marketing is the concept of aligning the core values of your business with those of your employees to facilitate a more efficient service and a better customer experience for long-term success. Your internal marketing plan informs all stakeholders and adopts a collaborative approach to the introduction of new initiatives.
Organisations thrive on the ability of employees and business partners. Optimising use of resources and competencies to convert opportunities into revenue is the objective of an efficiently run enterprise – internal marketing facilitates this by accurately and continually communicating the right message to all stakeholders.
In effect, a well managed internal marketing strategy ensures that your company’s policies and procedures are intimately understood and strictly adhered to by employees.
To achieve this, the following tools, strategies and processes need to be implemented.
Building your internal brand will strengthen your external brand
External marketing thrives on the premise of delivering long-term value to external customers. By the same token, internal marketing thrives on delivering long-term value to internal customers – your employees. It is far easier to convince external customers to believe in your brand if internal stakeholders believe in your brand.
You can influence how your organisation is perceived by employess through various approaches, including:
- Shared responsibility and accountability
- Actively encouraging participation
- Understanding personal hardships
- Ongoing training & upskilling
Improve service delivery by making employees aware of organisational goals and policies
The assumption that all staff understand your policies and procedures is a potentially huge flaw in your service delivery.
Are employees at all levels aware of external marketing plans? Are returns policies, warranty policies, after-sales service policies common knowledge amongst internal stakeholders?
Awareness and active participation in service delivery from all staff members facilitates stronger brand equity. Essentially, every member of your team is singing from the same hymn sheet, ensuring everyone is working towards the same goals.
Communicate your Internal Marketing strategies
There are various techniques and tools that help organisations implement effective internal brand building and marketing communications. These are:
- Extranets (partner communication on the web)
- Posters and pamphlets informing about new initiatives
- Better systems
- Company stores
- Company events
- Internal rules
To be effective, internal marketing needs to accurately segment internal customers into supporters, neutral, ‘opposers’. Each segment requires a different internal ‘marketing mix’ to deliver on internal marketing goals – essentially each segment will require a different approach to convince them to buy into your new initiative.
Best practice Internal Marketing has top management on board
Success in internal marketing requires constant top management support for a dedicated effort across the organisation. Internal marketing aligns, motivates and empowers people at all management levels to consistently deliver a satisfying internal and external customer experience.
If management isn’t on board and practicing what they preach, you’ll struggle to get employees doing the same.
The internet is an exceptional Internal Marketing tool
The internet offers one of the best platforms for a consistent internal marketing experience across regional, national and international sections of an organisation. The web’s self service function and anytime/anywhere accessibility allows employees to leverage internal marketing programmes without significantly impacting their primary job roles. Besides this, the web allows the employees to form communities based on their personal likings and unofficial designations/department affiliations. This ensures effective employee bonding, branding and learning at both the formal as well as informal (cultural) organisation levels.
Proven web tools include intranets or even an internal facing website that creates:
- Online events
- E-learning programmes
- ‘Expertise communities’
- Discussion forums
- E-commerce exchanges
Intranets/websites also serve to keep employees consistently and accurately informed about the latest organisational initiatives and innovations so that they can leverage them when interacting with external customers.
roi.com.au can assist you to implement proven Internal Marketing tools
If you are preparing to implement an internal marketing strategy for your business and looking to achieve sustainable success for your business, contact roi.com.au to find out how engaging in search engine optimisation and marketing services can help facilitate a more efficient internal and external marketing strategy.