#7, August 1998
Need for Internal Communications
of Through the Loop's focus in BrandLoops has so
far been the external face of the brand in terms
of attributes, properties and expression. This
BrandLoop examines the internal face of the brand
and how this affects the process of Internal
Marketing in the organisation. There are many
signals that Internal Marketing can be just as
potently used as external marketing. There are
some clear forces of change driving this momentum.
enterprises are continually in some form of
transformation-mergers, alliances, downsizing,
rightsizing, etc, generating the need for
enterprises may rename themselves as a result
and this rebranding requires internal
companies are empowering staff to take on
increased focus in the customer relationship.
This needs full involvement, immersion and
training in brand values.
is more contract and less full-time
employment. Project staff also need to
understand the brand vision. This force of
change is accentuated with the increasing
trend to outsourcing.
is less reciprocal loyalty between employer
and employee, the employee's time becomes
transactional. The "internal" brand
can be a way to bind the two parties together
with shared values.
ways of working require organisations and
staff to constantly learn new skills and
sometimes these are acquired through
alliances. Building a learning company will be
an important future consideration. Internal
brand values can be a cover for this effort.
Old to New
are some clear changes in the expected pattern of
employment in the future and it is useful to look
how Unisys summarise these prospective changes:
= a privilege
= a right
of these drivers is increasing the need for
Internal Marketing. However, to date, there has
been a considerable knowledge gap about the
effectiveness of components of Internal Marketing.
To reinforce this point, a study by Intercommunic8
reported in Marketing Week showed that 85% of
companies did not even have a human resources or
marketing budget for internal promotions.
build its knowledge base in this area, Through the
Loop awarded a prize to reward Margaret Baker Moss
of Kingston University for marketing insight. Her
dissertation demonstrates that there are some
critical values of vision, reward and development
which always need to be taken into consideration
in terms of Internal Marketing. Too few companies
benchmark themselves against the holistic range of
these three concepts.
Must Live the Brand
are the face of the corporate brand. Internal
Marketing should encompass mission, philosophy and
core values. Communication should flow
horizontally, vertically (upwards and downwards).
There are many organisations which do not achieve
even one of these flows. In the future, forms of
Internal Marketing will require the involvement of
an empowered Human Resource function.
values may need re-expression with the advantage
of Human Resource input rather than just the
consider what happens if the internal and external
faces of the brand are not co-ordinated.
ground and in-flight service can totally alter
your perception of a "customer
friendly" airline. The delivery does not
live up to the brand.
catering facilities in leisure attractions are
sometimes unable to carry the same values as
the theme park.
grumpy waiter in a fast food outlet can
totally destroy welcoming family brand values.
Nordstrom staff in the US enhance the brand
offer by being empowered to serve the client.
They select staff who fit their culture, those
who have likeable personalities.
customer care through call centres surrounds
the brand with a service halo.
Direct can treat all of its customers the same
way because they understand their customers'
very recent example of merging the two power
telecom brands of AT&T and BT was apparently
enhanced by a joint internal culture exercise.
This helped the two managements evolve a new
possible culture for the merged international
operations. Similar processes would have been
invoked after the creation of Diageo and more
recently of UBS.
of Human Resources
has been much criticism of Human Resources in the
past and with the new focus on Internal Marketing,
a considerable transformation will be needed.
Earlier this year, Dave Ulrich in a New Mandate
for Human Resources (Harvard Business Review)
January 1998 stated that HR could deliver
operational excellence in four ways:
should become a partner with senior management
in strategy execution.
should become expert in the way in which work
is organised and executed.
function should become a champion for
HR should become an agent of continuous
restaging requires HR to have new tools and
tactics available to them.
Tools and Tactics
the Loop has been talking to a number of partners
who are leading various processes of Internal
Marketing. For example, it is now possible to
undertake staff surveys either using the Internet
as a platform or via an Intranet. Working with
Quantime, gives a very efficient delivery
mechanism, for achieving staff interviews at all
kinds of levels of seniority. Through the Loop is
now collecting examples of best practice in this
area to build on its branding best practice work.
hypotheses about Internal Marketing:
Marketing can help to establish an important
framework of legitimacy for new directions and
Marketing is set to grow more important due to
the emerging employment patterns. Achieving
key values may be the only way to move the
Marketing can accommodate the constant process
of change that most companies ride at the end
of the 1990s.
Marketing helps the process of knowledge
development. Intellectual capital will be one
of the main sources of growth in the future.
Marketing can help to enhance customer loyalty
(the subject of an earlier MarketLoop). The
customer builds a bond of trust and
expectations with employees. When employees
leave this bond is broken. The processes of
Internal Marketing can minimise this because
service values should be a known process.
the end of the 1990s, marketing attention is
becoming more introspective because the
synchronisation of the external and internal
expression of the brand is vital. Good examples of
such synchronisation prove to be comparatively
rare. Disney World, Nordstrom, some parts of the
Virgin organisation, at one time, British Airways
and also First Direct. Internal Marketing needs
very strong discipline that can enpower the
organisation in new directions. Continued
diminution of loyalty is dangerous. However, there
is a very strong "health risk" involved
and that is the following:
not undertake an internal communications review if
you have no intention of following the results
through with your staff. There is no point in
consultation if there is no follow through from