It used to be that companies could use old-school marketing tactics aimed directly at their target customers.
Corporate social media accounts, advertising, white papers, conferences. You get the idea.
And for the most part, that was good enough.
But times have changed.
It’s no longer enough for a company to talk about itself. In 2017, for the first time in nearly two decades, people’s trust declined in every kind of institution - including business.
Instead, people are turning to people they know or can relate to:
- 96% of consumers don’t trust ads
- After a company’s technical experts, a “regular” employee is the most trusted voice a company has.
It’s clear: to truly reach their customers, companies need their employees’ buy-in and vocal support.
But how can companies get that support?
Enter: Internal Marketing.
What Is Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing is the promotion of a company’s vision, mission, and culture to its employees with the objective of gaining their support.
The companies that are the best at internal marketing treat employees as internal customers who need to be convinced of the company mission.
They don’t take their employees’ support of the company as a given, and instead make a deliberate effort to earn it.
Because these top companies know how powerful it is when their (often large) employee base buys-in to what the company is doing, then spreads the word outside of the company via interactions with customers, friends, family, and social media.
These businesses understand that their corporate voice isn’t enough, and that customers develop opinions about the company well before using their product or service.
Unsurprisingly, the benefits of internal marketing are numerous:
- Increased employee satisfaction and engagement
- Greater brand reach
- More trusted marketing
- Better customer service
- Improved recruiting and employer brand
Internal Marketing Examples
As with traditional marketing, you can execute internal marketing through a variety of tactics.
Internal marketing has one goal in mind: to earn your employees’ enthusiastic support. The idea being that that support will in turn be communicated externally by the employees themselves.
So how you get to that objective is really only limited by your creativity.
However, there are a few tried-and-true tactics that show up often in successful internal marketing.
Consistent Communication of Company’s Mission, Vision, & Values
Why This Matters: This is your company’s north star. It’s not enough to have your mission and values tucked away in a shared drive or plastered on the walls. You have to refer to them often, and have leadership that truly believes in them and adheres to them. Because employees care. In fact, 73% of employees who believe they work for a "purpose-driven" company are engaged, versus only 23% of those who don't.
How to Execute It: You probably already have a mission, vision, and values. The key is to identify opportunities to communicate and revisit them regularly as part of your internal marketing. Think weekly meetings, quarterly reviews, employee performance reviews, and so on.
A Strong 1-2 Year Plan
Why This Matters: Employees want to know what they’re building towards. While the mission and vision are great for big picture, long term thinking, they don’t spell out the details of the near term. Having a clear, positive plan for the next 12-24 months will help employees feel secure and optimistic. They’ll be on the same page with company leadership and know exactly what their day-to-day activities are leading up to in the near term.
How to Execute It: Work with leadership to document your 1-2 year plan. Then communicate it regularly with everyone in the company - a critical step given 71% of employees are unable to identify their company’s strategy. Each department and employee should understand exactly how they contribute to the success of the plan.
Notice a trend? We’re going from higher to lower level. Of course, you don’t need to execute all of these. But the more you can execute, the stronger your internal marketing will be.
Seeking & Acting on Employee Feedback
Why This Matters: The first two examples have been more “top-down” in nature. That’s why employee feedback is a critical element - it sends the message to employees that their voice is heard, too. Not all feedback can (or should) be implemented, of course. But all feedback should be acknowledged.
How to Execute It: Start getting feedback on your employee experience. You can use something simple and free like Google Forms, or more robust and purpose-built for employee feedback like TINYpulse. Heck, we’ve even seen teams use Trello boards to be fully transparent about their feedback and its implementation status. Whatever you choose, it’s important that you’re genuinely interested in the feedback, and are willing to make changes based on that feedback.
Clear, Centralized Internal Communication
Why This Matters: You’ve likely noticed by now that communication is a central theme when it comes to internal marketing. After all, communication is critical to any great relationship; the relationship between employer and employees is no exception. The key with internal marketing is to ensure your messages don’t get lost among email, chat, social media, and so on.
How to Execute It: Limit use of traditional communication channels for internal marketing. Tools like email and chat are designed for productivity. They’re not suited for delivering more thoughtful, “bigger picture” communications meant to boost morale, gain strategic buy-in, and gather feedback. Instead, focus your messaging on a dedicated, centralized communications hub like Swaybase.
A Social Media-Friendly Environment
Why This Matters: 8 in 10 workers report using social media in the workplace. And 98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use; 50% are already posting about their company online. It’s a given that employees are active on social media and they’re talking about you. Make sure it’s done the right way and supports the business.
How to Execute It: Start by creating a social media policy that embraces the modern realities of social media in the workplace. Clarify expectations of employee behavior online - and then make it easy for them to share pre-approved content with their personal networks through a more formal employee advocacy program.
Better Learning & Development
Why This Matters: Simply put, today’s talent cares about training. 94% percent of employees would stay with a company longer if that company invested in learning, and 40% of employees who receive poor training leave their positions in the first year with the company.
How to Execute It: Training (or Learning & Development, if you prefer a more holistic term) is a big topic. Start small. Begin by identifying the gaps in your employees’ skills. The best way to do this? Ask your employees.
Provide the Benefits Employees Want
Why This Matters: While salary is often top of mind, employees also care about benefits. So much so, that the right benefits can convince employees to choose a lower paying job over a higher paying one. Parents in particular value flexible hours and work-life balance more than salary.
How to Execute It: Ask your employees what they’d like. Then work with leadership and HR to make at least one positive change in the benefits offered at your company. Keep in mind: it doesn’t have to cost top dollar. As the chart shows, after health insurance, employees value relatively low-cost benefits, including flexible hours, more paid vacation time, and work-from-home options.
Make sure you can follow through. Start with a list of benefits that, if employees choose them, you’d be able to implement.
Eat Your Own (Product/Service) Dogfood
Why This Matters: Unappetizing image aside - it’s long been a mantra to “eat your own dogfood,” meaning use your own product or service. Why? Because doing so turns your employees into customers, which in turn helps your employees better understand your external customers. It also brings your employees closer to the very thing you’re creating and selling, enabling them to be better ambassadors for the company.
How to Execute It: Work with leadership to make your product or service available to employees. In some cases, full and unfettered access may be impossible or unfeasible. For instance, Airbnb can’t give away unlimited free stays to employees. But they could give away a handful of free stays a year. Find what’s right for you.
Additional Examples of Internal Marketing
Some additional examples include:
- More frequent promotion cycles
- Celebrating new business deals and major milestones
- Monthly employee spotlights
- Company-wide brainstorming for new products/services
- Creating and sharing the company’s “origin story”
- Process improvement workshops between departments
- Reorganized / improved office layout
- Free company swag/gear
- Performance-based incentives
- Interdepartmental rotational programs
Remember, you can be as creative as you like with your internal marketing.
The objective is always the same: to win your employees’ support.
So don’t feel restricted!
It’s completely up to you to determine the best means for achieving that objective.
Implementing Your Internal Marketing The Right Way
You’ve identified the need for internal marketing and communicated the benefits of it to company leadership.
You’ve brainstormed various examples and tactics you’re willing to consider.
How do you proceed from here?
Step 1: Identify Key Stakeholders
Everyone in the company will be impacted by your internal marketing. And for each department, that may look a little different. So identify a lead “point of contact” within each department who can weigh in on the ideal way to roll out your internal marketing for their department.
Step 2: Lay a Foundation for Communication
As we’ve seen, communication is a common thread throughout most of your internal marketing efforts. Establish a centralized internal communication method that is separate from the noisy, overcrowded traditional channels like email and chat.
Step 3: Prioritize Your Tactics
With a direct line of communication to your employees, you can begin to roll out your first tactic. Start small and focus on something from your list that is relatively easy for your organization to implement.
Step 4: Make it Foolproof for Employees to Spread the Word
Internal marketing done right leads to employees who will want to advocate for you outside your four walls. We mentioned it earlier, but you need to make it easy for your employees to communicate their positive take on the company with the people in their personal networks. If you’ve picked the right communications tool, then it already has a social media component built in that you and your employees can use.
Step 5: Measure the External Impact
This may be counterintuitive, but keep in mind that a main reason for doing internal marketing in the first place is for the external benefits it drives:
- Increased employee satisfaction and engagement
- Greater brand reach
- More trusted marketing
- Better customer service
- Improved recruiting and employer brand
Most of those benefits are external.
Therefore, it makes sense to track external performance indicators, such as:
- Marketing metrics (social media reach and engagement)
- Hiring metrics (time to hire, offer accept rate)
- Customer satisfaction (Net Promoter Score, customer turnover)
We may sound like a broken record, but ultimately your internal marketing will come down to how well you communicate with your employees.
After all, not only do you want your message to be heard.
You want employees to internalize it. And then to spread the word with the rest of the world.
Examples of internal marketing
Common internal marketing efforts include: Ensuring that all employees know that their contributions are essential to its success. Educating all employees about the company's products and services. Reinforcing the concept that customers are the source of employees' salaries.
Occasionally referred to as “employee marketing,” the purpose of internal marketing is to “sell” your business to your employees so they are more engaged, brand-aware, and knowledgeable about your organization. Like other forms of marketing and advertising, internal marketing is a necessity.What are three things you can do to enhance your internal marketing? ›
- Bring the business objectives into the marketing, get customer feedback and bring that feedback right back into your internal marketing. ...
- Organize and categorize your accounts. ...
- Make sure your sales and marketing departments are communicating effectively.
- Internal Email. Your employees want a consistent source for their daily scoop. ...
- Employee Surveys. With the right questions, employers can understand how their staff perceive their products, brand mission and values. ...
- Videos. ...
- Video Conferencing. ...
- Intranet Software.
- Get on the Phone and Cold Call. Whether they call current customers or members of the general public, companies often simply call people up on the phone and offer them services. ...
- Send a Punchy Newsletter. ...
- Search Engine Marketing. ...
- Meeting Customers at Trade Shows. ...
- Product Placement in Entertainment.
- Employees within a team. ...
- Employee to IT department. ...
- Employee to HR department. ...
- Internal employee to product. ...
- Connection to the company. ...
- Knowledge regarding the company and product. ...
- Customer service goals.
- Internal Influences on Marketing Objectives.
- Corporate objectives. ...
- Finance. ...
- Human resources. ...
- Operational issues. ...
- Business culture. ...
- External Influences on Marketing Objectives.
- Economic environment.
The Key Components of Internal Marketing
Effective internal communication. Great onboarding experience. Education on the company's products and services. Trust and transparent communication.
- Step 1: Assemble the best team for the job. ...
- Step 2: Assess your current internal marketing (even if it's nonexistent) ...
- Step 3: Align your internal and external marketing. ...
- Step 4: Create materials. ...
- Step 5: Execute.
Social media marketing is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses. It involves using social networks to promote and sell your products, services, and brand. Brands can use both unpaid (organic) and paid social media marketing tactics to increase online sales and generate awareness.
Internal tools are internally-facing software developed and utilised within an organization. They range from database GUIs to employee wikis, and are highly-tailored to an organizations processes. Internal tools have been around since the early days of software development.What is internal marketing analysis? ›
An internal analysis looks at factors within your business such as your strengths and weaknesses. Examining your internal and external analyses together gives you a complete picture of your current situation and the steps you can take to plan your marketing.What are 4 examples of marketing? ›
Product, price, place, and promotion are the Four Ps of marketing. The Four Ps collectively make up the essential mix a company needs to market a product or service. Neil Borden popularized the idea of the marketing mix and the concept of the Four Ps in the 1950s.What are the 4 main types of marketing? ›
What are the 4Ps of marketing? (Marketing mix explained) The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.What are 7 marketing types? ›
The 7 Ps of Marketing
These seven are: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people. As products, markets, customers and needs change rapidly, you must continually revisit these seven Ps to make sure you're on track and achieving the maximum results possible for you in today's marketplace.
Examples from Collins dictionaries
The country stepped up internal security. We now have a Europe without internal borders. Some of the internal walls of my house are made of plasterboard. Some drugs can cause internal bleeding, for example in the stomach or liver.
Internal customer needs
The needs of this internal audience group are reliant on the assistance they receive from other individuals or departments to complete their work. For example, a marketing department typically has to liaise with then complete collateral for various departments within a company.
Employees need to be able to find internal knowledge to get their jobs done. Internal support is good for employee satisfaction and retention because employees can more easily solve problems that impede their work, and they know someone will be there to help them whenever they need assistance.What are 2 examples of internal factors? ›
- Financial resources like funding, investment opportunities and sources of income.
- Physical resources like company's location, equipment, and facilities.
- Human resources like employees, target audiences, and volunteers.
Internal factors include values, mission/objectives, organizational structure, culture and management style, Human Resources, labor unions, and physical and technological resources.
Internal influences include: desires, likes, dislikes, personal values, and perceptions of social norms. External influences include: community members, family, culture and traditions, friends, technology, and the media.Who is the main focus of internal marketing? ›
What Is Internal Marketing? In the simplest terms, internal marketing is when a company “sells” itself to one of its largest groups of stakeholders — the employees. It often focuses on convincing employees to believe in the company philosophy or mission, thereby improving how engaged they are with their work.What are the most important internal factors? ›
- human resources.
- current technology.
Internal growth strategy seeks to optimize internal business processes to increase revenue. Similar to organic growth, this strategy relies on companies using their own internal resources. Internal growth strategy is all about using existing resources in the most purposeful way possible.How do you engage internal customers? ›
- Set clear expectations. ...
- Always keep customers informed on project progress. ...
- Get to know your teammates. ...
- Get the “big picture.” ...
- Publicize your schedule. ...
- Always Close The Loop. ...
- Make your co-workers feel valued. ...
- Develop a positive attitude.
- Change how you think about self-promoting. ...
- Understand your best skills and accomplishments. ...
- Focus on the projects. ...
- Share kudos with your team. ...
- Make yourself an industry expert.
- Ask for referrals. ...
- Network. ...
- Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
- Re-contact old customers. ...
- Improve your website. ...
- Partner with complementary businesses. ...
- Promote your expertise. ...
- Use online reviews to your advantage.
- ESD tools.
- Hand tools.
- Cleaning tools.
- Diagnostic tools.
Some examples of tools that are often used today are the hammer, the wrench (also called a spanner), saws, shovel, telephone, and the computer. Very basic things like knives, pens, and pencils are also tools.What is an example of an internal analysis? ›
A few of the most common examples of internal analysis frameworks include: Gap analysis: A gap analysis identifies the gap between a business goal and the current state of operations. Companies use gap analyses when they need to identify weaknesses in the business.
This method has you focusing your analysis on the 3C's or strategic triangle: the customers, the competitors and the corporation.Which is an example of internal marketing quizlet? ›
Which of the following is an example of internal marketing? A reminder for an appointment scheduled is an example of internal marketing.What is internal marketing give an example quizlet? ›
Internal marketing is any program geared to improve service to existing clients. This may. include newsletters, reminders, recalls, cli. ent education materials, Web sites, and social media.What is a internal market? ›
noun. a system in which goods and services are sold by the provider to a range of purchasers within the same organization, who compete to establish the price of the product.What are internal customers provide 2 examples? ›
- Restaurant staff: This group typically includes the employees serving food, cooks or chefs, dishwashers, managers and restaurant owners. ...
- Retail staff: Depending on a store's requirements, these internal customers can include cashiers, inventory staff and management.
- Distribution channels;
- Price points;
- Customer surveys;
- Social media impressions;
- Website and online store analytics.
The classic examples of an internal source of finance include retained profits, sale of operating assets, issue of capital, and leading collection of debt.What is the process of internal marketing? ›
Internal marketing is when a business markets its products, services and brand to its own employees. Instead of “selling” to consumers (external marketing), the business sells to its employees, treating them like internal consumers — which they are.What is internal marketing and its characteristics? ›
Internal marketing involves marketing tactics to earn employees' enthusiasm about the brand. Employees that believe in the brand are more likely to be more motivated, increase their productivity, communicate their enthusiasm to the clients and to become brand ambassadors on social media.What is an internal data source that marketers use give at least one example? ›
In a marketing information system, data from internal sources include: the number of visitors to a website, which ads customers are clicking on, sales trends and metrics, cash flow reports, email open rates, and contact information customers provide during the purchase process.
Internal marketing focuses on “selling” your products or services to your internal customer, while external marketing focuses on selling to your external customer.What are the best examples of marketing strategy? ›
- Business to business (B2B) Business-to-business (B2B) marketing targets businesses that sell to other businesses. ...
- Call to action (CTA) ...
- Close range marketing (CRM) ...
- Content. ...
- Direct. ...
- Diversity. ...
- Email. ...