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INTERNAL MARKETING

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Introduction

MARKETING MANAGEMENT-MKT3001DL INTERNAL MARKETING DATE: 21 OCTOBER 2010 Outline and explain the concept of internal marketing and why it is important in service products. How would you introduce an effective internal marketing programme to an organization? Internal marketing (IM) is a process that occurs within a company or organization whereby the functional process aligns, motivates and empowers employees at all management levels to deliver a satisfying customer experience. According to Burkitt and Zealley, "the challenge for internal marketing is not only to get the right messages across, but to embed them in such a way that they both change and reinforce employee behaviour". Key concepts of internal marketing include: * Functioning as a continual internal 'upskilling' process. * Alignment of the organization's purpose with employee behavior. * Employees internalizing the core values of the organization. * Motivation, reframing and empowerment of employee attitude. * Inside-out management approach. * Retaining a positive customer experience throughout the business objectives. The modern marketing department has evolved through the years from a simple sales department to an organizational structure where marketing personnel work mainly on cross-disciplinary teams. Modern marketing departments can be organized in a number of ways. Some companies are organized by functional specialization, although others focus on geography and regionalization. Still others emphasize product and brand management or market-segment management. Some companies establish a matrix organization consisting of both product and market managers. ...read more.

Middle

The internal market's expectations and needs have to be met. If the organization is unable to meet its employees' needs, it is likely that they will defect to other jobs before being able to build long-lasting relationship with customers (p.272). Internal marketing is a management approach which enables and motivates all members of the organization to examine their own role and communication competence and to adopt a customer consciousness and service orientation. Customer orientation and internal marketing are complementary. Internal marketing appears to be a philosophy of emphasizing the importance of employees in an organization's efforts to satisfy its external customers. Internal marketing is important to the success of service-centered firms. It has been suggested that effective service depend on the success of internal marketing. A firm that values its customers and aims to establish a long-lasting and profitable with them needs to satisfy the needs of the internal customers first. The needs of employees are what internal marketing aims to fulfill. According to the research conducted by Batesan (1995), the creation of two related but different climates is important for service-oriented organizations. These climates are: climate for service and a climate for employee well-being. The climate for employee well-being serves as a foundation for climate for service. Employees need to be assured that their needs have been met before they can show interest and concern for meeting the needs of customers. ...read more.

Conclusion

The employee embodies both a prospective important resource of the organization as well as an important element of the external value offering. In the external context, this means going beyond the traditional mix and addressing the details of service provided to the customer and attending to the elements that affect the customer experience. The organization needs to establish a strong relationship with the internal customers. This entails the enhancement of the service environment such that this group can be developed as a part of the product offering made to the external market. The employees are seen as a competitive advantage. The marketing mix must aim to attract and retain valuable employees. This incorporates issues of benefits, incentives, work environment and skills. It should also create a satisfied customer who believes in, supports and enhances the organization. An acceptable product is first and foremost, the requirement of a sound marketing plan. This rule also applies to internal marketing. The product offered in the internal market must be of value to the employees. The product offering of the organization is the employee's job and role within the organization. In order to satisfy the employees, the organization must develop a variety of sources from which employees can derive personal value, and these in turn include financial, psychological and psychics variables. The internal marketing program, also requires a deep understanding of the target group (values and motives) in the same way that a marketing programme for the company's products and services requires an understanding of prospective customers (Barnes 1989 cited in Vernes and Lewis 2000, p.202). ...read more.

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