Internal marketing and the company's competitiveness

Employer branding
External PR, Internal Marketing

What is internal marketing? Thanks to it, your employees will finally feel appreciated, they will start working harder and their opinion of you will improve. And all this without making any specific changes to the company.

What will you learn from the article?

In the dynamically changing business world, more and more attention is paid to the company's intangible assets, such as its culture, mission and the way it is perceived by its employees. This is what prompted us to take a closer look at internal marketing, an integral element of building a strong employer brand.

What is internal marketing? So how can employees, identifying with the company's goals, become its greatest strength? While employer branding focuses on shaping a positive image of the company in the eyes of potential and current employees, internal marketing it works deeper - its task is to mobilize and engage the team so that each of its members feels an integral part of the organization. We'll walk through practical examples, both successful and not so successful, to illustrate how internal marketing strategies implemented properly (or incorrectly) can impact your business. We invite you to read our introduction to the world of internal marketing, where employees are the key to the success of every organization.

In accordance with the assumptions of internal marketing, the employee plays an important role in creating the image of the organization and building its success on the market. It consists in recognizing the needs and expectations of employees. Creating an appropriate organizational climate as well as a communication system. As a result of these activities, the company gains loyal, motivated and satisfied members of the working community. 

The source of the company's competitive advantage are its tangible and intangible resources. Taking into account the internal environment, intangible resources include: knowledge and competences of employees and relations between them, which allow to implement the chosen strategy of operation. 

The implementation of internal marketing tools is difficult as it requires an appropriate approach, knowledge and skills. Underestimating the role it plays internal communication, it leads to disappointment, a leadership crisis, and growing cynicism. Employees, in turn, are becoming more and more indifferent, not seeing the sense in the message addressed to them. 

What is internal marketing?

In a company focused on active activities in the field of internal marketing, the importance is increasing internal communication. As a consequence, it favors the process of mutual support and trust, resulting in cooperation between individual organizational cells. Employees identifying with the company's mission are also able to create a bond with its customers based on trust and partnership. They are also the most important external carrier of information about the company. 

Employees accumulate the most important resources of the company - its knowledge and experience. The aim of activities undertaken in the field of internal marketing is to strengthen employees' identification with the company and increase their effectiveness.

Employees who identify with the company's operating strategy are the center of attention of the company. They are aware of their place in the organizational structure, know the scope of their responsibilities and know what impact they have on the development of the company. They realize the importance of emerging relationships and cultivate contacts, both with external clients and colleagues. 

Internal Marketing

In order for employees to become the best ambassadors of the company, the following conditions must be met: 

- access to knowledge and providing employees with opportunities to improve their qualifications, 

- creating appropriate technical conditions enabling work in comfortable conditions, 

- appropriate motivation with the use of economic and non-economic incentives and means of persuasion. 

Employees do not identify with the company's goals?

Check how to turn them into brand ambassadors!

Employer branding as an element of internal marketing 

An essential part of a company's internal marketing is employer branding, i.e. activities aimed at shaping a positive image of the organization as an employer, both in relation to currently employed and potential employees. 

Employer branding is based on the concept that work in a specific company is a commodity that must be skillfully sold. It is "creating an employee" by influencing his character, values and approach to work, so that over time he becomes a living advertisement and company ambassador. Employer branding allows you to shape two basic strengths of the company: associations with the employer's brand and loyalty to her. 

It is commonly believed that recruitment is the selection of candidates for a job, which is based on formal criteria, which is carried out by verification of education in conjunction with qualification tests. Meanwhile, in a company that declares an internal marketing orientation, recruitment is a process of acquiring and collecting information about the candidate's expectations, not only in terms of technical means of work or roles, but also offering him a vision of the organization so that he can look at his duties from a broader perspective, while at the same time taking into account your expectations. 

Internal Marketing

Internal marketing - examples 

The image of the company it is more and more often treated as one of the most important resources which, if positive, may become a key factor of competitive advantage. Properly implemented internal marketing can stimulate the efficiency of employees, regulate tensions between them and provide new strategic perspectives for an active personnel policy. 

Examples of activities carried out as part of internal marketing are the following instruments: 

  1. strengthening loyalty to the company and maintaining good relations between employees (e.g. integration meetings), 
  1. increasing employee involvement in achieving the company's goals and strengthening the exchange of knowledge and experience (e.g. brainstorming), 
  1. facilitating the exchange of information and communication (formal and informal, e.g. information boards, instant messengers, e-mails, meetings, meetings with superiors, various types of reports), 
  1. motivational (financial and non-financial, e.g. payroll policy, bonus and reward allocation system, position-related prestige, social assistance packages), 
  1. supporting development (e.g. training, access to tools facilitating the acquisition of knowledge), 
  1. strengthening employees' identification with the company (e.g. uniform clothing, company gadgets, badges, company cars), 
  1. job monitoring (e.g. employee appraisal). 

Internal marketing should be part of an efficient system of integrated marketing communication. In order for the applied instruments to be effective, it requires a change in the way of thinking and awareness of both the management and employees as well as knowledge of the rules and faith in the effectiveness of the activities carried out. 

Do you know that your employees are your strength?

Brutal employee models, such as sieve strategy, they can easily take revenge on the employer especially where business success depends on the rank and file. More than one company got into problems precisely because of how employees expressed about it. Most of the charges that subordinates have to their bosses relate to communication:

  • lack of clarity in communication,
  • wrong way of communication,
  • lack of respect in communication,
  • lack of communication on important matters.

All these problems can be eliminated, among others, by conducting internal marketing. When you look after your customers with the utmost care, employees see the more contrast when looking at the internal conditions and methods of communication. Both real benefits and facilities, as well as symbolic gestures are important.

For example, one of the American stores handed over 55 thousand. of their employees, 15 percent. company shares. The bonus can also be linked to a business target, as in Hilcorp Energy Company, where everyone was promised $ 100,000. salary supplement dollars if the company doubles profits within a certain period of time. An additional plus is the fact that it is internal communication it is also good PR for the company outside. It is worth making employees aware that it depends on them how the company will be perceived by customers. When employees know what's going on in the company in advance, they are also more engaged and can better serve customers. It will also be easier for them to implement the established ones marketing goals.

Internal Marketing

Define your goals with internal marketing

Many Polish companies do not yet have a strategy. The ones that do, sometimes limit themselves to defining goals at a board meeting. Later, however, this does not translate into the everyday life of managers, or the tasks facing a regular employee. It is hardly surprising, because it is impossible to pass information on to every one of the thousands of employees. This is where internal marketing comes in handy communication strategy based on corporate goals. If you want employees to get to know them and start implementing them, you can use the following tools:

  • applications measuring progress and motivation,
  • competitions and challenges,
  • team competition,
  • additional measuring tools,
  • training.

Note that internal marketing includes activities that most bosses take anyway, such as training or competition, but here they work in your favor - they serve to achieve your goals.

How to influence an employee?

The same marketing tactics that you use to communicate with your customers can also be applied to employees. They, too, are driven by their own needs and desires to a large extent in life, so he will speak to them emotional branding, or the Lovemarks theory. When you build a message for them, follow trends as well as in communication with the client. Most companies do this, as can be seen on their corporate sites, where there is a lot of talk today about inclusiveness, equal opportunities and environmental protection.

Specific tools useful for internal marketing

In your internal marketing strategy, you can use:

  • internal newsletters,
  • movies, podcasts, photos,
  • group or chat for employees,
  • a real or virtual board with funny photos from work,
  • "Employee" hashtag,
  • indoor advertising,
  • opinion polls,
  • advertising gadgets,
  • decor elements, clothes, accessories with a company logo.

These are just some examples of actions that may be worth taking. In the budget for marketing or copywriting, take into account internal expenses.

Internal marketing - examples of failures

The Nike company is known for its fairly high-profile advertisements that have focused on female power in recent years. The results of an internal survey in 2018, which found that female employees are being humiliated and ignored, looked all the worse. What is worse, the head of Nike admitted that he had no idea about the problem, and the employees had to arrange the survey themselves, because they did not trust people from the HR department.

This case showed classic problems in internal marketing: lack of communication between employees and the boss and lack of trust. In such conditions, you can encourage the sharing of ideas or create employee applications, but employees will not be convinced. Another example is an email leaked to employees from a PayPal company boss. Maliciously, he advised his subordinates to look for work elsewhere if they did not want to install the application on their phone. Instead of trying to activate them and their belief in the product, he chose to instruct them, which backfired.

Internal Marketing

Of course, internal marketing must be based on realities. For years, for example, Amazon has been accused of treating employees almost like robots. In this situation, marketing alone will not help to change the opinions of employees, because it will be accompanied by their testimonies, the results of journalistic investigations and other materials. Incidentally, improper or non-existent internal marketing can even translate into the health of your company. Staff turnover sometimes it does not allow the achievement of business goals, and dissatisfied employees quit their jobs quickly and without any sentiment.

Internal Marketing - Commplace philosophy

At Commplace, we focus especially on the issue of internal communication. This, however, is inextricably linked with marketing, because together they create a message. When we help companies implement a new strategy, we act in six steps:

  • internal audit - what do employees think about the company today?
  • Summary of the situation - how to improve it?
  • Ready-made scenarios - scripts and guidelines that will help you control communication in the company
  • implementing the strategy
  • evaluation of implemented solutions
  • additional training for employees and management

Omitting one of these items would be fatal. We believe that only such a coherent strategy based on good understanding of the situation gives long-term results.

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