Internal Marketing vs. External Marketing

 

“Happy internal clients mean happy external clients!”

Internal marketing is the process of motivating and empowering the employees of a company to work as a team for the overall wellbeing of the customers and thereby the company itself. This is actually the core to the success of a company. A harmonised effort within the company is an utmost necessity to provide customers with services at a desired level.

Internal marketing (IM) has, in recent years, been viewed as an element that has an important influence on employee satisfaction and therefore on service quality. The interaction of employees with customers can influence service quality and customer satisfaction to such an extent that it has become important for service organisations to focus on ways to influence and manage such interactions.

In service industries employees represent the organisation to customers through their interactions with them, and therefore these encounters become the representations of the organisation to the client.

With an internal marketing strategy, employees are treated as “internal customers” who must be convinced of a company’s vision and worth just as aggressively as “external customers.” The goal of internal marketing is to align every aspect of a company’s internal operations to ensure they are as capable as possible of providing value to customers. If a company can operate in a coordinated and standardised way, that company can provide a more consistent experience to their customers.

Some view IM as an internal process of initiating, maintaining and developing relationships between employees, their management and the organisation for the purpose of creating superior value for clients. IM can also be viewed as a form of marketing within an organisation which focusses on staff and the internal activities used or required that affect and drive customer satisfaction from these actions. IM as a marketing tool or an internal process, can be used to improve service quality. There is thus a connection or link between IM activates, employee satisfaction, employee engagement, service quality and customer satisfaction. In other words, look after your staff and they will look after your clients.

Strictly speaking, any company can implement an internal marketing campaign. Even the smallest businesses will want to train employees to project the vision and goals of the business. Think of a small bakery that trains its staff to greet customers with a smile and a positive attitude when providing service. Aligning the attitudes of employees with the mission of the business is crucial for any company that wants to engage with their customers.

In companies which employ IM activities properly it ensures that employees are effectively carrying out the organisation’s programs and policies. Staff usually become more engaged and invested in the organisation’s outcomes. Internal marketing creates an environment that enables organisations to focus on whatever needs changing internally so they can enhance their external marketplace performance. Happy internal clients mean happy external clients.

For more information contact Ben vd Westhuyzen at ben@succeedgroup.co.za

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.