Internal Marketing

What is Internal Marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) represent two different models of externally marketing products and services to different types of customers. External marketing describes the promotion and distribution of brands and products to customers of the business. Marketers at most organizations spend the majority of their time creating and executing on external marketing strategies that drive revenue and sales target attainment for the organization.

While organizations focus most of their marketing resources on external marketing, there’s a separate area of marketing that gets comparatively little attention: internal marketing. Internal marketing refers to the promotion of a company’s objectives, processes, culture, brands, products, and services to employees and staff members within the organization.

When companies market internally, they typically have different goals and intentions than when they market externally. The goal of internal marketing is to keep employees engaged, spread knowledge about the organization’s activities and help ensure that employees have a positive image of the organizational culture and brand. In contrast, the goal of external marketing is usually to generate brand awareness that yields increased numbers of leads, opportunities, and sales for the business.

Ultimately, internal marketing has more to do with selling the company vision and mission than selling products, but internal marketing still plays an important role in moderating employee behaviors and ensuring the success of the firm in the marketplace.

Why is Internal Marketing Important?

While external marketing focuses primarily on helping a company achieve its goals through brand awareness, lead generation, and sales, internal marketing plays a different but equally important role in business success. The most important objectives of internal marketing can be summarized as:

  • Increase employee engagement with the organization and its goals
  • Foster brand advocacy among employees
  • Empower staff to deliver the best information to prospective customers

When we consider what can happen when employers fail to meet these objectives, it should be clear that internal marketing is necessary to ensure ongoing business success.

Employee engagement is all about creating conditions where employees feel passionate about the work they do and are motivated to perform their best. Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to the organizations where they work.

Researchers have found positive relationships between employee engagement and key business metrics like employee retention and turnover, increased productivity and profitability, greater levels of loyalty and less absenteeism among workers.

Every business should use internal marketing to turn its employees into brand advocates. A brand advocate is someone that will positively publicize your brand through word-of-mouth advertising, recommend it to their friends and family, and use their own personal platform to promote your business.

In the same way that your sales team works to convince prospective customers of the value of your product, internal marketing efforts should work to convince employees of the value of your brand, product, and solutions.

Internal marketing can create a competitive advantage for your organization by providing a consistent flow of information and talking points that your staff can bring up when interacting with customers.

This empowers staff to use the most current available information when interacting with prospects. If your organization achieves a huge success, spreading the word through internal marketing can equip your sales team with new tools and discussion points to bring up with prospects.

Key Components of Effective Internal Marketing

We have already defined internal marketing and identified why it is important for businesses today. Let’s look at some of the most common internal marketing techniques and how they relate back to employee engagement, brand advocacy and empowering employees.

Corporate Strategy

Internal corporate strategy documents set forth the company’s objectives for the future, including its mission and values, how it will allocate resources, what markets it will participate in and how it will achieve a competitive advantage. From an internal marketing perspective, the corporate strategy creates an opportunity for managers and executives to generate buy-in from staff who can align their behaviors with organizational objectives and drive goal attainment.

Two-Way Trust Relationship

Maintaining a trusting relationship between the business and its employees is an essential aspect of internal marketing. If a business withholds information from its employees, misrepresents product features to prospective buyers or engages in other untrustworthy behavior, employees will not be motivated to recommend the brand to their family and friends.

Internal Communication

Effective internal communications play an important role in internal marketing. Messages and communications must flow seamlessly through the organization to ensure that the business can engage employees at all levels. If the business lands a big account or achieves a huge operational success, spreading the word throughout the company can increase employee engagement, build brand advocacy and equip staff members with additional talking points for customer interactions.

Onboarding Experience

The onboarding process lasts between two weeks and six months at most organizations and represents the first time that new hires are exposed to the company’s internal workings. The onboarding experience should be designed to set up a new hire for success while ensuring that they buy into the organizational culture, objectives and their role in helping the business reach its goals.

Workplace Culture

The culture of your workplace plays a significant role in internal marketing. If employees feel respected by their manager, believe that their opinions matter and their voices are heard, and enjoy coming to work each day, they’re much more likely to do their best work on a consistent basis. In contrast, an employee that dreads coming into work each morning is unlikely to ever act as a brand advocate for your organization.

What are the Benefits of Internal Marketing?

Internal marketing helps create alignment between organizational goals and objectives and the efforts and behavior of employees. Effective internal communications ensure that messages are spread throughout the company, keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest news and updates and constantly giving employees new reasons to feel proud of the organization they work for.

When employees believe in the company and its mission, feel positive about their workplace culture and environment and receive consistent communications about company success, you have created the ideal conditions to develop brand advocacy and marketing-sales alignment that leads to business success.

Directive Consulting Drives Internal Marketing Communication with Closed Loop Marketing

Breaking down silos in knowledge and communication is one of the major challenges for organizations looking to enhance their internal marketing efforts. A common problem we see is communication silos between marketing, sales, and operations.

In most organizations, the marketing team generates an opportunity, the sales team converts opportunities into sales, and operations teams service the accounts. A lack of communication between these departments means that:

  • Marketing teams don’t know which types or sources of leads are the most profitable or beneficial, so they focus on volume instead of quality
  • Sales teams don’t see how customers benefit from the product or service, so they end up highly focused on revenue generation and less focused on outcomes (what the customer cares about)
  • Operations teams lack transparency into the customer journey, so they may be ill-prepared to deliver on customer expectations

At Directive Consulting, we work to break down information silos through closed-loop analytics and effective internal communications that break down information silos.

Our end-to-end analytics system tracks lead from the first touchpoint through to customer close, ensuring full visibility into the customer journey for members of all departments. In doing so, we empower sales staff with the latest customer success stories and achieve better alignment between departments, all while optimizing marketing ROI.

Ready to learn more? Contact us for a free proposal.

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