What is internal marketing and why it works?

woman with question marks above her head

Richard Branson, CEO and Founder of Virgin Group said: “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”.

Internal marketing is a process of communicating and delivering the company’s ethos and beliefs to motivate employees.  These employees are the very people who will project these values externally to help increase and maintain satisfaction levels of current and potential clients. In some organisations, employees are considered as ‘internal customers’ and their attitude is worth as much as those externally. Portraying the company’s visions is central to the development and success of a business.

This is particularly pertinent for Prospect 13 right now as we begin to build a robust and effective team.  Managing Director Cerri McDonald strongly believes that uniform messaging for internal and external marketing efforts is essential for any organisation to thrive ensuring both staff and customers perspectives are fully aligned.

Why is internal marketing important?

Jodie Williams, co-founder and director of The Marketing Pod, said: “staff will make or break your brand. If there’s a disconnect between an organisation’s promises and what it delivers, the entire brand is undermined”.

Internal marketing is becoming as increasingly important as external. It is essential for organisations to get staff onboard and truly believe and share the values and philosophy towards the company, just as customers do. An employee’s attitude can affect external marketing efforts, for example, those who are passionate about the company are likely to share this passion and carry the core messages on their own social media platforms, at meetings and when networking and meeting new people.

McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity increases by 20% when an organisation is connected and regularly communicates with their employees.  This increase has the potential additional revenue of over £1trillion per year, therefore it is critical for an organisation to keep employees on their side in order to communicate key messages and must never by underestimated.

Furthermore, a brand’s reach is 561% higher when shared by employees and receives a considerable amount more engagement compared when shared through the official corporate channels. Moving towards traditional marketing techniques, a Nielsen study found that word of mouth is pivotal for the success of a brand’s marketing efforts as 84% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from colleagues and friends over an organisation’s corporate marketing efforts.

Internal marketing can benefit an organisations external marketing strategy

“Internal marketing is probably much more important than external marketing. That’s even more true today than it’s ever been”, said Tom Stewart.

In today’s digital era, many employees can feel out of touch with management.  Personal interaction in the UK’s office culture is slowly reducing as organisations focus on developing flexible working approaches. Over 12% of the UK workforce work remotely, therefore it is essential for organisations to execute an internal marketing strategy to maintain a positive and inclusive employee experience.

It is critical for an organisation to communicate timely and consistently to all colleagues, regardless of location as this helps to increase and maintain employee satisfaction which reduces the number of sick days and staff turnover, which can come at a great expense to the company.

Delivering an internal marketing strategy can be overlooked in some organisations, however direct links have been made between including increased productivity and turnover, therefore it is a strategy that should not be taken lightly.

Even in a business as new and small as Prospect 13, we have begun implementing our own internal marketing activities.  This doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan.  Some simple, personal touches to make staff feel welcome and part of a professional environment makes all the difference.