Don’t forget the value your internal customers bring to your organization.
When you think about marketing, your first thought it most likely about your external marketing strategy and communications. Your plan for reaching your target audience at all stages in their buyer’s journey is definitely the focus of most of your marketing systems and work — and it deserves to be the priority. But there is also another piece to your marketing strategy that you can’t afford to ignore: your internal marketing communications.
In an article for the American Marketing Institute’s Columbus branch, internal marketing is described as “communications specifically targeted to employees to drive measurable participation and change.” While external marketing is directed toward engaging and converting visitors to customers, internal marketing focuses on engaging and converting employees to brand advocates.
The Value of Internal Marketing
Going well beyond basic company-wide emails, an effective internal marketing strategy is far more comprehensive. It can include everything from employee-focused initiatives to campaigns that involve these employees in external marketing, such as upcoming events or product launches.
An effective internal marketing and communications program provides a number of significant benefits to your audience. If your internal campaigns are properly executed, they can increase engagement, provide further control of marketing messages and keep an organization on the same page in the event of a crisis.
Providing employees with more information — and more of a role — in communications and marketing gives them more of a sense of ownership in their job roles and within the company. A better clarity of purpose increases both employee engagement and employee satisfaction, which in turn will lead to higher customer satisfaction. When up to 71 percent of employees are not engaged at work, increasing your team members’ interest in their jobs can be a huge competitive advantage.
Control of Business and Marketing Messages
It is commonly understood in marketing that whether or not your business has a presence on different channels, customers will be using them to talk about your business. Being active on the same platforms as your customers allows you to be involved in directing the message that results from these conversations — and the same is true when it comes to internal communications.
Critical information about the business will reach employees one way or another, but it will be better received coming from their company rather than an outside source. In addition, an internal marketing program gives you the opportunity to better manage marketing messages that may be shared by employees, both in person and from online profiles. Providing them with marketing information can empower your team members to become effective brand ambassadors.
Cohesion in Crisis
Efficient and clear communication can mean the difference between disaster and recovery when the potential for a crisis arises. Any incident’s impact is significantly influenced in how that incident is viewed by employees and other stakeholders. While in many cases, management communicates less during a crisis situation, the right communication can turn difficult situations around much more quickly. Short-term and long-term plans for dealing with a crisis can also aid in using communication strategies to keep your team working on the same page during these issues.
When it comes to the overall success of your marketing and even your organization, internal marketing is of critical importance. Not only does it provide increased employee engagement and control of marketing messages, but it also offers a better way to deal with crisis situations as a team — contributing to a better work environment, increased customer satisfaction and increased revenue.