Are you doing this type of marketing? You should.
It’s a form of marketing that many people completely forget about when curating their marketing plan.
What is Internal Marketing?
Well, Internal Marketing is really about helping your employees (or other people you work with) to feel valued, celebrated and part of a community. In my last employed executive role, I was looking after Internal Marketing for the Head Office team (approx. 50 staff) as well as a team of staff in-store (approx. 660 across three countries). What I told the company's MD (my manager) to think about back then is what I tell people today:
Consider someone who works for you. Imagine they attend a BBQ and are asked two questions:
1) Where do you work?
2) What’s it like working at / with <your brand>?
Whatever answer they provide for #2, will tell the people at that BBQ more about your brand, in a manner they trust (word of mouth), than any TV advert, social media post or in-store video campaign ever could.
How are you nurturing the people around you, to ensure they remain loyal to your brand?
“But I work for myself, Fiona!” Well, consider the suppliers, contractors, stockists and clients you deal with day in, day out. How are you using Internal Marketing to keep them coming back, and ensure they have a consistently great experience with you? For me, this may be graphic designers or copywriters I bring on board to work on clients, or collaborators. What would they tell someone if asked at a BBQ about their experience with me?
“Ugh! I have so many other things in my week – how can I fit in yet another stream of marketing, Fiona?”
Internal Marketing doesn’t have to be heavy on resources (time or financial).
Examples of Internal Marketing include:
Sharing your biz goals with your team; ensuring they feel they are part of the greater vision and can provide input
Making the effort to remember people’s birthdays (be they a collaborator or the buyer at your main stockist - and mapping these into your marketing calendar so you don't forget)
Providing a welcome gift for new staff (which are often snapped and shared on IG #ILoveMyJob)
Hosting a networking lunch for all of your clients “just because”
Celebrating wins - for your brand or for an individual's personal goals
Calling out your awesome collaborator or contractor on a social media post
Spending time in a 1:1 coffee or Skype catch up with a stockist to really see how they’re going and what they’re observing about your industry
Sending a bottle of wine at the end of financial year to say “congrats” to your stockists
Asking your team for two things they'd change about the company and one thing they think you could drop completely
Gifting people time off to volunteer or devote hours to their "side hustle"
Before you complain that you just don’t have the time to implement these tactics, ask yourself: If I continue without nurturing these people, what is the cost? If you have staff leave your biz, how much is it costing you to find their replacement and then train them? If you work for yourself, how will leaving a negative impression on that graphic designer, copywriter or collaborator impact your business? For many small biz owners (myself included) much of our work comes from recommendations, so it’s in our best interest to nurture those relationships that foster word of mouth marketing.
People really are a company’s best assets. Internal Marketing ensures that you’re looking out for the people who help you stay in business.