When you think of “marketing,” you probably picture a Super Bowl commercial or viral YouTube video, aimed at getting a company’s product or service in front of millions of potential users. But have you ever considered that one of the most important types of marketing strategy is internal marketing — that is, communicating your company story with your internal employees as avidly as with your external customers?
Why Internal Marketing Matters
When you consider that 98 percent of employees agree with the statement, “Employee morale is affected by how much we know about the company’s plans,” it’s clear that HR has a starring role to play in marketing to that crucial internal customer base.
If you’re worried about attracting and retaining superstar employees — and these days who isn’t — a Gallup poll finds that more than 3/4 of employees who know what their company stands for strongly agree that they intend to be with that company for more than a year.
A successful internal marketing program also extends externally when you realize the impact it has on customer experience. “The goal of internal marketing is to align every aspect of a company’s internal operations to ensure [employees] are as capable as possible of providing value to customers,” according to MarketingSchools.org.
Effective Internal Marketing Strategy
A successful internal marketing strategy starts at the base — identifying areas where the organization touches customers. Then, use internal marketing to strategize against those touch points:
- Identify internal marketing goals, such as emphasizing company mission and your unique brand identity
- Develop a campaign-oriented approach, spearheaded by HR and created in conjunction with other stakeholders
- Target your messages to resonate with staff at all levels of management, customizing it for different departments and different mediums
- Determine the best ways to roll out your internal marketing effort, from onboarding programs to ongoing education initiatives, maintaining a steady link between HR and marketing
- Augment that with a consistent, steady drumbeat of bite-sized information, shared in a variety of content formats, such as video, surveys, posters – the whole gamut of communication vehicles for different audiences
- Encourage employee feedback to continually update and improve messages
- Utilize advanced performance analytics to determine what tactics to change
- Maintain a steady focus on the goals of the internal marketing initiative and new ways to communicate the
Employee Communication Tools and Technologies to Drive Success
In internal marketing, remember that one size doesn’t fit all. What works for one employee won’t necessarily work for another so it’s vital to think broadly when considering the objective that will drive your campaign.
Multi-channel content, powered by software, should come in a variety of formats:
- Digital documents
- Mobile-ready apps
- Text messages
- Even posters and print vehicles for deskless workers
And then, couple your multi-platform employee communication messages with robust analytics that will help you decipher the best mediums.
No matter what mix of tools is right for your team, HR and marketing have to realize that both what you present – and how you present it counts. When trying to reach a diverse group of employees, engaging content – presented in multiple formats – is the only way to capture their attention and their mindshare.