What is Internal Marketing?
The term “internal marketing” may confuse you. Your employees are already aware of your products or services, why do you need to promote them to the people who create or provide them?
The internal marketing definition includes marketing your company’s products to your employees to foster brand advocacy as well as increase employe engagement. Internal marketing strategies are meant to not only educate your employees about the company’s products and services, but also encourage employee suggestions and feedback to improve the company’s products and workplace culture.
Internal marketing treats the people who work for you as though they were customers, but it requires a very different strategy from marketing to external customers. That’s because while the practice still involves your products, it is ultimately about promoting your organization’s values, mission, organizational culture, and objectives.
5 Benefits of Internal Marketing
Why is internal marketing important? Because if you want your company to thrive, you have to get your employees have to buy into its vision.
Engaged employees are not only more productive, but also more likely to speak positively of your product. Since word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing, employees who act as brand ambassadors can more valuable than any other form of advertising.
Here are just some of the many benefits an internal marketing strategy will bring to your workplace’s culture:
1. Internal Marketing Makes Employees More Engaged
Your employees deserve a job that doesn’t make them dread going to work. They deserve an environment that encourages them, fosters professional growth, and engages them.
According to Inc., 73% of employees are more engaged when they believe they work for a purpose-driven company. Having a mission they believe in gives workers the motivation and breathing room to do their best. A business that emphasizes its mission clearly and often (without being overbearing or too on-the-nose about it) creates a purpose-driven environment.
Your employees deserve an environment that fosters professional growth and keeps them engaged. That’s why internal marketing is essential: by communicating your company’s mission and goals consistently and putting your claims into action, you can create a company culture that employees are excited to participate in.
You can communicate your organization’s values in various ways. One effective method is using digital signage to promote related messages throughout your building. If your workplace culture is healthy, then displaying reminders, benefits, lists, updates, events, and other company information on TV screens positively influences your business’s atmosphere.
You can also use digital signage to notify employees about social gatherings. Social activities during and after the workday encourage collaboration, break up routine, and help employees get to know one another personally, which incentivizes engagement.
2. Internal Marketing Streamlines Communication
Organizations that take internal marketing seriously use streamlined communication protocols across email, phone calls, social media, online workspace chatting, and other methods. Mishandling information can hurt your company’s culture and frustrate everyone involved in the process because it makes you seem careless and disorganized.
If you have efficient internal marketing communication techniques in place, then you make yourself more accessible to your employees. Corporate communication should be a two-way street between everyone in the company hierarchy. A study from the Canadian Marketing Association notes that company leadership is critical for establishing your internal brand, but only 22% of respondents felt that management walked-the-walk besides talking-the-talk.
When employees can communicate with you easily, they’re more likely to feel that you value their input and appreciate their work. Reduce difficult communication by making yourself available on platforms like Slack and opening an appointment calendar so employees can approach you as needed.
3. Internal Marketing Encourages Collaboration
Does your company value teamwork and collaboration? If it doesn’t yet, do you want it to? Then implementing an internal marketing strategy can be an effective way to bring different teams and individuals together.
Strategic messaging can encourage company-wide unity. It’s not enough to repeat the words “work together,” though — your business needs to live by it. Enplug, for example, hosts regular meetings where employees can ask colleagues from separate teams whatever questions they have. This practice prevents teams from feeling isolated and enhances creative exchange. You can initiate such meetings yourself, or open a comment box so employees can write down anything they’d like to discuss.
4. Internal Marketing Makes You More Attractive to Talent
It’s unfortunate, but lackluster and outright toxic work environments are common. Potential hires who see a culture of collaboration, communication, and positivity, however, are much more likely to want to work for your company. In fact, organizational culture is just as, if not more, important than a job’s description so having internal marketing plans can be quite important.
Consider this: why do so many people want to work for companies like Disney, Netflix, and Google? It’s because they understand the power of internal marketing and follow through with employee benefits. The nap pods and recreational options at Google are famous. While Google’s company culture is certainly not perfect, it is home to a workplace culture that emphasizes flexibility and doing whatever you decide is necessary to accomplish your best work.
Ask employees for testimonials about your workplace’s culture and implement them into recruiting materials. You can also include pictures of people at work on your website’s career page to get applicants excited.
5. Employees Become Better Brand Advocates
As mentioned previously, consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends far more than they do brand messaging. If an employee who knows the behind-the-scenes of a product or service and is happy with it, the people in their lives are more likely to believe in its benefits as well.
But if your employees aren’t using the products of the company they work for, their friends and family will likely lose confidence in the brand – and may even stop buying it. And that’s just another great reason why you need to make sure you have an internal marketing strategy in place that promotes your brand. Offering incentives like employee discounts are critical for getting employees on board with using your company’s goods.
Running an internal marketing campaign is not guaranteed to improve your workplace’s culture; of course, it all depends on what particular messages you communicate. If you apply it wisely, though, internal marketing factors can be instrumental in building a workplace culture your employees are eager to be a part of.