Internal marketing
Internal marketing (IM) is a process that occurs within a company or organization whereby the functional process aligns, motivates and empowers employees at all management levels to deliver a satisfying customer experience. Over recent years internal marketing has increasingly been integrated with employer branding
Employer branding
The term employer brand was first used in the early 1990s to denote an organisation’s reputation as an employer. Since then, it has become widely adopted by the global management community...

, and employer brand management, which strives to build stronger links between the employee brand experience and customer brand experience. According to Burkitt and Zealley, "the challenge for internal marketing is not only to get the right messages across, but to embed them in such a way that they both change and reinforce employee behaviour".

Key concepts

Key concepts of internal marketing include:
  • IM functioning as a continual internal 'upskilling' process.
  • Alignment of the organization’s purpose with employee behavior.
  • Employees internalizing the core values of the organization.
  • Motivation, reframing and empowerment of employee attitude.
  • Inside-out management approach.
  • Retaining a positive customer experience throughout the business objectives

Internal marketing-oriented business

Features of an internal marketing-oriented business:
  1. Creating enabling culture: this is done when employees are empowered by management through allowing creativity, innovation, allowing initiatives and accountability and responsibility of their decisions.
  2. Practicing participative hiring: that is involving current employees in the process of hiring new employees.
  3. Ensuring equitable recognition and reward: business must exercise employee recognition with reward to what employee has achieved.
  4. Demonstrating fairness during hard times: fair treatment of employees when faced with hard times and difficult moments like death of the near family members. This can be achieved by setting aside emergency funds.
  5. Good organization structure that allows learning, total quality management
    Quality management
    The term Quality management has a specific meaning within many business sectors. This specific definition, which does not aim to assure 'good quality' by the more general definition , can be considered to have four main components: quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality...

     and re-engineering.


Benefits of Internal Marketing:
  • encourages the internal market (employees) to perform better;
  • empowers employees and gives them accountability and responsibility;
  • creates common understanding of the business organisation;
  • encourages employees to offer superb service to clients by appreciating their valuable contribution to the success of the business;
  • helps non-marketing staff to learn and be able to perform their tasks in a marketing-like manner;
  • improves customers retention
    Retention may refer to:* Retention, in learning, the ability to retain facts and figures in memory ** Selective retention* Cultural retention* Customer retention...

     and individual employee development;
  • integrates business culture, structure, human resources
    Human resources
    Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

    management, vision and strategy with the employees' professional and social needs;
  • creates good coordination and cooperation among departments of the business.
proper information flow within the organisation.
proper guideness to employee..(retraining if needs).
periodic evaluation of employee perfomence.

Problems affecting successful implementation of Internal Marketing

The following are the problems affecting effective implementation of internal marketing.
  1. Managerial incompetence in interpersonal, technical and conceptual skills is some of the stumbling blocks against successful internal marketing.
  2. Poor understanding of internal marketing concept.
  3. Individual conflict and conflict between departments makes the implementation of internal marketing difficult.
  4. Rigid organisational structure coupled by bureaucratic leadership hinders success of internal Marketing.
  5. Ignoring and not listening to subordinate staff.
  6. The tendency of ignoring employees' importance and treating them like any other tools of the business.
  7. Unnecessary protection of information against employees.
  8. Resistance to change.
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