How can you help ensure that your employees are satisfied, and in turn satisfying your customers? Read on to see how you can consider internal marketing, how it impacts employees, and how it can have a big impact on your external brand - and your bottom line.
It is important to understand "holistic marketing":Holistic marketing is important as a philosophy, because it recognizes the need for the entire business to be moving in the same marketing direction. Not to get too textbooky (spellcheck tells me "textbooky" is not a real word), but in A Framework for Marketing Management, considered by many to be the gold standard on the topic, marketing is broadly defined using three core concepts:
A holistic marketing strategy is developed by thinking about the business as a whole, its place in the broader economy and society, and in the lives of its customers. It attempts to develop and maintain multiple perspectives on the company's commercial activities.
- Understanding needs
- Achieving value (by fulfilling needs)
Internal Communication of External MarketingMarketing should not simply be confined to the marketing department. Rather, it should be a function that the entire business represents. As a communication function, employee awareness helps eliminate confusion or mixed messages. If your 50 employees are considered spokespeople for your brand, then you ought to make sure that they are not spreading 50 different messages.
Because today's customers equate their experience with your brand as the brand itself, you need to ensure that your mission, culture, communication, and ability to achieve value are always present through all areas - including your employees. Looking back at our three core concepts of marketing, we could make the following statement regarding internal marketing for employee communication:
"Employees can best serve as an extension of my brand if they are equipped with the tools and information to understand customer needs, communicate clearly, and achieve value for the customer."But how does a manager or business owner equip their employees with such armory? By viewing the employee as their own customer. Thus, we could make a similar statement about employers/managers:
"As a manager, I can best equip my employees to serve as an extension of our brand if I understand their needs, communicate clearly, and achieve value for them."See what we did there? We took a basic marketing concept and flipped the audience so it could apply internally. This can achieve value for the employee in a variety of ways:
- Clarity to avoid confusion (for themselves, and in turn, customers)
- Engagement with the company culture
- Higher efficiency in their work
- Greater respect for management
- Positive company culture
As a manager, I can best equip my employees to serve as an extension of our brand if I understand their needs, communicate clearly, and achieve value for them.
Employee SatisfactionBeyond the communication role, internal marketing lends itself as a financial benefit for businesses in a variety of ways via employee satisfaction:
- Multiple studies show that employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction
- Loyalty is increased as employees become stronger brand ambassadors
- Reduce stress at workplace from confusion and annoyance
- Employee engagement is of high importance in a competitive employer landscape
- Limiting turnover reduces the cost of searching, hiring, and training new staff
"My employees will be happiest and most engaged if I understand their needs, communicate clearly, and achieve value for them - both personally and professionally."In the above statement, "personally" refers to the HR function - benefits, work environment, comfort, etc. "Professionally" refers to the idea of job satisfaction - autonomy, recognition, success, development, etc.
Smarketing (Joint Sales/Marketing Effort)As we worked on an inbound marketing campaign with a recent client, we understood that the most likely customer for the product/service in question was "existing customers." This piece of information prompted the question - "Do your salesepeople or account managers know to promote this new product/service alongside the campaign?"
Arming salespeople with the information from this campaign allows them to be a better extension of the marketing function. It would at the same time achieve value for those employees and achieve value for their customers; employees want to feel "in the know" and effective. Hubspot calls this joint sales/marketing effort "smarketing," and it is a key mechanism in a holistic marketing approach.
What are some ways to keep your internal marketing on point?
- Segment your internal market
Think about your internal market like you do your external markets. There are unique personas within your business, and they might not all be employees (think vendors, contractors). Just like personalized marketing works externally, it works internally too. Are your employees new or old? Do they care more about flexibility or pay? Do they interact with clients or not?
- Personal communication is key
Internal marketing needs to account for management styles and culture, but they have the best effects when approached individually. Much like a salesperson should have a closer relationship with a specific customer, managers should be closer to their employees than anyone else, as they are best suited to individualize their communication.
- Cross departments
Look for ways to find synergy and for departments to be able to support one another. A big marketing campaign should have the sales team and even the customer service team involved to market to existing customers. Front-line service people should be aware of company objectives and included within tactics. Share goals with all levels so that all are a part of the holistic mix.
- Consider your employee a "customer"
Just as you want customers to be loyal, enthusiastic, and engaged with your brand, you should put that same effort into getting those traits from employees. Looking through this lens will help your marketing efforts be truly brand-wide.
TBH Creative has over a decade of experience helping businesses and nonprofits find their brand, and leverage that brand in a modern economy. With our wide range of services, we can help you achieve the best marketing mix to make the most of every piece of your brand – including your employees.
Contact us to learn more about TBH's custom marketing solutions.