When it comes to marketing, we often think of external activities such as advertising and SEO that focus on promoting your brand’s message to those on the outside of the organisation.
However, it’s just as important to promote your business to those on the inside – the people responsible for selling your company to your customers. Utilising the power of engaging your employees to your brand’s goals and values can have a transformative effect on how your brand is perceived by customers.
So, what is internal marketing…?
Good question. Internal marketing is the process of creating support for your company and its activities among your own employees. Whilst this sounds like common sense, it’s something that as marketing professionals you should be paying close attention to, as for many in the B2B industry ‘People’ is one of the most important elements of the 7Ps of marketing.
A customer’s experience with one of your employees can often make the difference in their buying decision, and from your CEO to sales people, receptionists to customer service team, everyone that your customer could come in to contact with should understand your brand and its values. If your employees struggle to understand to your company’s products, services, goals or vision, it’s difficult to expect your customers to.
Why should I market to those inside my company?
Internal marketing is one of the best ways to form a stronger connection between your employees and the products and services that you sell. Without that connection, your employees may become disengaged and detached from your company’s messaging and the core customer expectations that are set by your advertising, which can lead to perceived poor customer service.
Employees unified by a common goal can develop a sense of purpose and identity within the organisation. People that care about the company they work for are more motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company increases.
To further emphasise the power that internal marketing can have on your overall brand success, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 42% of those surveyed didn’t know which companies or brands to trust, not an unsurprising statistic in the current ‘Fake News’ climate, however, more consumers were more likely to trust a company employee over its CEO in terms of credibility. This is even more prevalent when reported that content shared by employees receives 8x the amount of engagement of content shared on brand channels. With this level of trust and engagement, it’s imperative that your employees become your company’s biggest advocates.
How do I improve my internal marketing?
1) Keep your employees informed
No one likes to be left out. Not only can sharing company news and information help to keep your employees engaged with achievements in the organisation, but can also help to build staff rapport and a more collaborative workspace where employees learn more about each other. There are a number of potential ways to keep employees informed:
- Monthly Newsletters
- Company Noticeboards
- Group Emails
- Coffee Mornings
- Company Intranet
2) Empower your staff
To create employee advocates, it’s important that they feel integrated and valued within the business. An excellent example of this came from Jack Welch during his tenure as CEO of American firm General Electric. Looking for methods to push General Electric forward, Welch developed a boundary-less organisation.
Looking to encourage free-thinking within the organisation, Welch encouraged his team to brainstorm ideas without the need for someone higher up the chain to think of them first. Promising to listen to anyone at the company – from the bottom of the ladder to the top – Welch implemented an open-door policy to allow anyone to pitch a new idea.
General Electric went from success to success, and a large contributing factor to this was the empowerment that its staff felt to not only become advocates for their organisation but also to contribute ideas that identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements.
- Encourage ideas and feedback from anyone in the organisation to help them feel more involved the company direction.
- Inspire growth and a development culture within the organisation to help expand your organisation’s expertise.
- Involve more employees in the decision making process – as stakeholders, your team will be more inclined to be invested in the company’s performance.
3) Tell your story
Whilst those who work for the Ford Motor Company are likely to know the story of, their founder, Henry Ford’s goal to create an affordable vehicle for working and middle class families and their pioneering use of mass production from their Detroit factory – this is not the case for all businesses.
Employees will receive an induction when they join an organisation detailing its processes and operations, and will likely receive a bulky and informative handbook, however it’s important to ensure that the company’s vision, beliefs and personality are also shared with your employees. This can come in many forms:
- A company video detailing the brand’s history and values
- A timeline showing key moments in the company’s history.
- A culture book explaining the brand and how employees should be expected to uphold the brand values.
- Style guidelines – are your employees aware of your company typeface, colour palette and brand imagery?
How we can help
We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their goals and values through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy, design visuals and implementation – ensuring that those both inside and outside the organisation understand their unique company message.
Working with you to achieve the full potential of your brand, we can provide you with the services you need to ensure that your brand engages its employees through developing communications strategies, developing brand guidelines and crafting stories that share your company’s vision, beliefs and personality.
To find out more about how we can help, speak to one of our expert consultants today.