Internal marketing - Marketing Strategy

No discussion relating to the ease, or otherwise, of implementation would be complete without considering the potential use of internal marketing. Internal marketing focuses on the relationship between the organization and its employees. Berry and Paraguayan (1991) define the process in terms of viewing employees (or groups of employees) as internal customers.

Definitions of this type encompass the work traditionally within the remit of the personnel/human resource management function(recruitment, training, motivation, etc.). Few would argue with the importance of staff in relation to implementation. Therefore, can marketing techniques be used to motivate employees and ease the path of project implementation?By applying the marketing concept internally, it may be possible to enhance the likely success of a project. Factors such as internal segmentation and application of the ‘mix’ may well have a role to play.

Consider the following:

  • Segmentation : The process of dividing groups into sub-groups with similar characteristics. This is perfectly feasible within anyorganization.For example, senior managers may have different training needs from other staff. By grouping like types together more effective training and communication is possible.
  • Product : This may well be the focus of strategy and accompanying process of change. Equally, the individual’s job or function could be viewed as an‘internal product’. The internal product, service or task is a component in delivering the overall strategy.
  • Promotion : Clear communication has a vital role to play in establishing success. The project manager could design a ‘promotional campaign’stressing the benefits of a new strategy. In all cases, communication is an issue that must be considered when planning implementation.
  • Place :How to get the ‘product’ to the internal customer. Channels of distribution for information, services and training can be developed and optimized. These could include team briefings, seminars and day-to-day business interactions.
  • Price :This is a complex issue. While it is relatively easy to cost factors like training, communications vehicles and other associated tangible costs,it is worth remembering that a price is also paid by the group and/or individual.This ‘psychological’ price is difficult to measure, but important. It takes the form of uncertainty, loss of status, stress and loss (hopefully short-term) of operational efficiency.

Internal marketing

Internal marketing

In its simplest form internal marketing offers a framework (the4 P’s) which can lay the foundations of successful policy implementation. It offers the marketing concept as a way to achieve specific strategic goals. Figure.illustrates how the concept could be applied to an organization. Here we segment by level of support. However, other criteria (e.g. department or management level) could be applied.

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