Most businesses see their marketing efforts as an outward-focused process. Advertising and promotional materials serve to raise awareness about the brand, and ultimately help grow the business by bringing in new customers.
But in reality, marketing is much more inclusive. Especially as businesses grow and increase their operations, they increasingly realize both the potential and necessity of inward-focused marketing efforts. And the only way to succeed in this internal marketing endeavor is through consistent, printed materials.
In its basic meaning, internal marketing is the promotion of a firm and its policies to employees, as if they were the internal customers of the firm. In other words, it’s applying known marketing concepts and tactics, such as branding, and establishing credibility to your internal stakeholders.
Why Internal Marketing Matters
There are three major benefits to internal marketing, and its effects are undeniable. A good internal marketing campaign:
Improves Customer Service
First, employees who buy into the company’s vision and personality are more likely to provide satisfactory service and interactions with current and potential customers. Seventy-eight percent of consumers fail to become customers because they experience bad customer service, and too often, that experience is bad simply because the employee does not buy into the company vision. Creating a consistent image of your company within your workforce conveys the feeling of inclusiveness, and your customer service will improve as a result.
That same feeling of inclusiveness will also lead to increased productivity among your employees. Workers who feel included as a part of something bigger than themselves are proven to put more effort into their work. In fact, one study found that companies with engaged employees outperformed their counterparts by more than 200 percent.
Creates Brand Loyalists
Every marketer’s dream is the creation of a reliable word-of-mouth network, helping you spread the word about your brand, products, and services without any effort on your end. On its most successful level, internal marketing can do just that. Not only does it improve customer service, which in itself will lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it also turns your employees into brand loyalists, who will be happy to talk about the business and its offering to their personal network. The result is a more positive image of your company, which will ultimately result in higher brand recognition—and customer growth.
How To Improve Internal Marketing With Business Printing in St. Louis
Managed correctly, internal marketing can become a crucial part of your business strategy. But because its framework is so different from more ‘traditional’ marketing efforts, too many businesses stay away from the concept, even if they realize that in theory, it can help them succeed.
In fact, getting started with internal marketing is easier than you might think. Every business has material needs for internal purposes, whether we’re talking about notepads, presentation folders, labels, or dry erase boards. But not many of them put effort into branding these materials, simply because they will never be seen by potential customers.
In reality, however, they will be seen by an audience that is (almost) as important: your employees. And a strategic approach to conceptualizing and printing these types of materials can help you create a consistent brand identity among your workers, which is a core aspect of internal marketing.
From Individual Materials To A Consistent Brand
Notepads, for example, will likely be part of your employees’ desks and appear frequently during meetings. Presentation folders help your workers organize their paperwork during important get-togethers as well as their everyday work lives. Labels make it easy to sort and ship materials, while dry erase wall coverings are a perfect fit for the conference room and to jot down ideas, goal progression, and calendars.
All of these printed materials fulfill a very functional purpose—but that doesn’t mean they can’t be branded. In fact, creating a consistent design through items that your employees handle and manage on an everyday basis will help you establish a consistent brand identity in their minds, a first step to achieving the benefits of internal marketing listed above.
To accomplish that goal, you should approach your printing as strategically as you would for materials that are seen by your customers. Understand your audience and the function of the individual pieces, then create a design—with your logo and tagline, of course—that matches both.
Once you’ve established that brand identity in everyday item, it’s time to think about more in-depth internal marketing. That might include traditionally outbound materials like banners and table talkers lining your employee-only spaces, or even brochures that clearly outline your company’s vision and values to your employees. The key is to make them feel involved in the inner workings of your company, which will in turn motivate them, connect them closer with your customers, and turn them into brand loyalists.
In many ways, internal marketing is the last frontier of marketing: while businesses of all sizes are increasingly grasping the value of strategic and integrated online and offline promotional efforts, most of these efforts are still customer-facing. And while this outbound focus is undoubtedly crucial to the success of your business, getting your employees on board with your brand can matter just as much. Done correctly, internal marketing can help you keep employees happy while at the same time growing your business.