Many SME owners are so busy with the day-to-day running of their business that marketing often takes a back seat; or at least internal marketing does. This is mainly because the benefits of internal marketing are not always as obvious as those of external marketing.
However, internal marketing is vital if you want your business to grow; because if your employees are not satisfied at work, how can you expect them to have the drive and motivation to push your business forward and work to the best of their abilities?
Of course, you wouldn’t. Employees need to feel valued and listened to. Most importantly, they need to feel involved in the goals of the business if you want them to work hard, and work smart, for you.
What is internal marketing?
In the same way that external marketing is all about attracting customers, internal marketing is all about your employees. More specifically, how you promote your business’s goals, products, services and future aspirations to your employees so that they feel involved in all aspects of the business.
Why is internal marketing so important?
Internal marketing is important for all businesses, but this is particularly true for SMEs who rely heavily on their employees to promote their brand and engage with customers in a way that directly correlates with the business’s ethos.
1. It keeps your employees loyal
By establishing an emotional connection between your employees and your brand, internal marketing should result in less employee turnover and therefore, less money that you have to spend on recruiting new team members. Loyalty also encourages employees to be more productive as they feel as though they are working towards a common goal.
2. It can help synergize different departments
Often different departments such as IT or admin can become too insular in their approach to your business; becoming focused only on a particular project or meeting their own specific targets. However, by getting your whole team together to discuss your ongoing mission as a company and your aspirations for the future, each department can see how they are contributing to the bigger picture.
3. It can increase employee engagement
Carrying out regular employee surveys from an employee engagement firm like Inpulse can help you to better understand your employees’ needs, leading to a more creative and enthusiastic work force.
4. It can create a positive company culture
Getting your employees involved in events such as planning the Christmas work party or organizing the annual summer BBQ can boost employee morale and encourage a positive working culture which breeds creativity and productivity.
Employees spend a large proportion of their lives in their place of work, so it makes sense that this time should be enjoyable as well as profitable. Business owners should never overlook the importance of employees feeling like they are more than just a cog in a machine; they are part of a work family.
5. It emphasizes your brand values
Making sure that your employees not only understand, but embrace the core values of your brand, is extremely important to your business. Your employees should effectively be ‘brand ambassadors’ of your business, and therefore need to be up to date and knowledgeable about how you want your company to be represented; both in the present and in the future.
Your internal team should be one of your strongest assets as an SME owner, but failure to involve them in your business can result in them becoming your weakest link.