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What is internal marketing?
Internal marketing strategies are designed to market businesses to their employees. It’s a way of promoting a sense of corporate identity and company culture.
External marketing, on the other hand, is the kind of marketing most people are likely already engaged in. Marketing products and services to potential customers.
If you want employees who are engaged and motivated they need a reason to be. Maintaining strong employer branding is the way to do it. In this article, I’m going to outline exactly how you can go about developing your employer brand by creating a solid internal marketing strategy.
Objectives of internal marketing
There are three main objectives when it comes to internal marketing.
First and foremost, the main objective is to sell the company as a great place to work. In a traditional brand-building marketing campaign, the goal is to establish the brand as an industry leader or authority. By doing so it adds perceived value to their products or services. Internal marketing works in much the same way by reinforcing the idea that the company is a good employer.
Projecting corporate values and ensuring employees understand the standard of work expected of them is the second objective of internal marketing. As the old saying goes “lead by example”. Encouraging employee engagement is best done by demonstrating first-hand examples of high-quality work. High-quality internal marketing materials that convey a consistent message effectively say ‘this is how we do it here and these are the standards you are expected to fit in with’.
Fostering a sense of teamwork and employee identity is another key aspect of internal marketing. You can compare it to sports, a football team will wear a uniform and have motivational team meetings to boost morale and reinforce the idea that they are a team. This drives home the message that working together will produce better results than working independently. The same goes when we apply it to a corporate setting. By reinforcing the company’s internal brand employees are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and ultimately be more engaged and productive. Happy environment = happy employees = happy customers.
Internal marketing tools
Like with any traditional marketing campaign, there are plenty of tools at an employer’s disposal when it comes to creating internal marketing strategies. There is plenty of scope to get creative here, so this is when marketing departments really earn their keep. Some of the more traditional strategies include:
- Internal marketing materials such as newsletters, handbooks and questionnaires, both digitally and print versions, are a great way to reinforce the internal brand on a regular basis. They don’t require a lot of resources to produce and are a cost-effective way of keeping employees up-to-date with company news.
- A more resource heavy and expensive tool is running corporate events. Running events is a very effective team building strategy that can also open up communication channels between employees and management.
- Hosting webinars are similar to hosting live events but much easier to organise at a fraction of the cost. It’s a great way to get your message across and engage with your workforce. Whether it’s a special announcement or just to keep everyone informed about what’s going on, webinars should be a part of your internal marketing plan.
- Launching products internally before releasing them to the public helps to generate a sense of being involved in the process as well as enthusiasm for the company’s new offerings. Running internal launch campaigns is an effective way of gaining initial momentum and ensuring your team is ready to hit the ground running when the public launch happens.
- Personalising messages to different departments. For example, the sales department gets a message about an upcoming product launch. That message should be relevant and specifically aimed at salespeople. Whereas the IT department should receive the same message but written with IT staff in mind.
- A common tactic is to create healthy competition between departments with a fun incentive to do well.
- Create social media accounts dedicated to showing what life is like within your organisation aimed at current and potential future employees. Take a look at Microsoft’s ‘Microsoft Life‘ Twitter account for a great example of this.
7 steps to creating strong internal marketing strategies
1 – Get personal
Personalise your internal communications with your team. Use the information you have available to make sure you are communicating in the most effective way you can. Each department should be receiving personalised messages. Messages that convey the same content but in a way that is relevant to the reader. Should managers get the same message about an upcoming product launch that employees working under them do? Probably not.
2 – Align external and internal brand
Make sure your message is consistent throughout the company. After all, the whole idea is to help your employees understand company culture better and your external image is a part of that. Be sure that your internal marketing strategies carry your external branding. Your brand’s colours, logo and font should all be present in both external and internal marketing materials.
3 – Be consistent
That means consistently producing materials, putting on events, hosting webinars etc… and being consistent in your message. Like I said before, you need to lead by example. The company should come across as being focused with a clear vision and having a strong leadership. Setting clear, achievable goals and expectations is key.
4 – Make giving and receiving feedback as easy as possible
Making the feedback process as smooth as possible helps when it comes to reviewing the effectiveness of internal marketing strategies. Simply asking employees about their job satisfaction is the best way to assess progress. There’s no need to complicate this step, anonymous email surveys are great for collecting important data.
5 – Recognise the achievements of team members
Setting clear goals and expectations is nothing if you don’t follow through. Employees should receive recognition when they achieve a goal. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to be engaged in future tasks. It’s been shown that more engaged employees increase the company’s overall performance.
6 – Find your A-Team (even if that means outsourcing)
You need to put together a team that can implement and monitor your internal marketing strategies. A lot of businesses let this responsibility lie with the Human Resources department due to its involvement of personnel. That’s a fundamental error. You need a team with a background in marketing, not people management. If you are a small business or don’t have an active marketing department with the resources to develop an internal marketing strategy, then you need to either hire additional marketers or outsource the task to a team who specialise in this area. That’s us by the way, so feel free to get in touch and we can discuss your options.
7 – Evaluate
After you have developed your plan, implemented it and gathered all the data you can, it’s time to evaluate its success. Have you seen an improvement in employee satisfaction? Productivity? Sales? Employee retention rate? All of these metrics help you to get an insight into the effectiveness of your chosen strategy. You should be looking at areas where you can improve and identifying potential new strategies you can implement.
Help with developing your internal marketing strategy
We help businesses with their internal marketing and employer branding all the time. It’s one of the areas we specialise in. So if you would like to know more about developing a bespoke strategy specifically with your business in mind, drop us a line. We are always happy to have a chat.
UK Phone: 01789 332 567 – Email: [email protected]
Hi, I’m Charlie, Content Writer and SEO here at WE ARE PYTHON. Over the years I’ve managed a number of successful blogs and helped them grow their traffic by staying a step ahead of the competition when it comes to finding innovative ways to attract organic visitors. Without trying to sound too cliche, I really do have a passion for SEO. Being able to reach people across the globe and help them solve a problem is what drives me to produce the most engaging and helpful content I can. A fun fact about me is that, aside from being an SEO geek, I’m also a qualified scuba diving instructor. So, in my spare time when I’m not behind a computer you’ll often find me underwater somewhere!