Internal marketing is all about the relationship an employer forms with its employees. It is said that staff should be seen as internal customers and their needs should be met. A company that concentrates solely on customer service for external customers and ignores internal customer service will struggle.
Internal Marketing? Why?
But why care about internal customers? This is quite simple to answer. Motivated staff will work harder and give your external customers a better service. This will help improve the firm's reputation, sales and market share over the long term.
A large part of internal marketing is good communication systems like the intranet and staff newsletters support communication. Whilst regular team meetings give employees the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas. Staff briefings and discussions about the company's performance and plans help employees feel involved. Regularly cascading information across all levels of staff contributes towards encouraging staff to share the overall vision, goals and values of the firm.
Empower and Train Employees
Empowerment and giving staff responsibility is an important part of the internal marketing role. Staff who are given responsibility usually perform better for the firm as they try their best to help the firm reach their goals. If staff need to be trained to take on responsibility then the firm should be able to offer this to show that they are interested in them and their development.
Understanding staff and what motivates them is also very important. Many motivation theories such as Maslow and Herzberg have tried to pinpoint how staff can reach their full potential. Whilst communication lets staff know what you would like them to do, motivational activities should inspire them to do it.
Reward and Recognise Employee Achievement
Rewards and recognition by the firm is also very important, staff that are praised feel a sense of satisfaction that encourages them to work harder. Staff can be motivated and rewarded through extra money e.g. bonuses, pay increases and non monetary/financial methods such as promotions and job rotation.
The culture of a firm defines how it behaves and it controls the atmosphere employees and visitors experience when they are in contact with a firm. Culture can motivate people, make them feel uncomfortable (stressed) or too relaxed. According to Charles Handy there are six types of culture Power, Role, Task, Person, Forward and Backward. Click on this link to learn more about Culture.
Just as in customer service for external customers the quality of interraction between members of staff is key. This includes the way they talk to each other, agreeing clear actions and implementing the actions agreed i.e. keeping the promises made. Just as for external customers if an action is going to take a while to complete regular progress updates will help the quality of the service provided.
There are many aspects to internal marketing but essentially it is all about all employees providing excellent customer service to anybody that makes contact with them. If you do not support your colleagues (Co-workers) it will make your colleagues and the firm less effective and ultimately impact the service provided to external customers and the firm's reputation.