Internal marketing studies aim to conceive employees as internal clients, implement their thoughts and feelings into every step of service and production, and prioritise internal clients above external clients in terms of appropriate marketing strategies (Ergan, Yıldırım, Bayram, 2017)1.
Coaching services for internal marketing provide a practical, economic, result-oriented, sustainable and innovative approach to improving the organisational values of enterprises. Coaching improves employee commitment and increases customer satisfaction from inner to outer circles.
Sectors that offer services while experiencing globalisation and an increase in competition, can study internal marketing concepts and lead their sectors with their acquired understanding and assistance from coaching services.
Even though there are not yet enough scientific articles or studies about the implementation of coaching services, the area has gained attention during the pandemic.
The importance of internal marketing has become even more important for new employees and demonstrates their commitment to the enterprise in the presence of unemployment, poverty, and contraction in the sector during the pandemic.
The enterprise includes constructive internal marketing methods that are effective on superior- subordinate relations as well as in terms of employees adopting a sense of being part of the enterprise, maintaining an emotional connection with the brand, a tendency to adapt to the vision of the enterprise and adopting goals of the enterprise.
The enterprise also reinforces employees to interact with the management and services, including criticism.
Human resources in internal marketing
Human resources offer strategies and applications to track internal and external client satisfaction. In internal marketing, human resources must keep track of contributions of employees regarding development of new brands and products, as well as their interest in the area. The extent of the duty of human resources includes subjects related to the communications revolving around the enterprise as well as managing personal traits of employees and their ability to explain themselves on areas of service that suit them best.
Internal benefits of HR
Whitmore (2017)2 has listed the following benefits of human resources for both the managers and the employees:
· Increased performance and productivity
· Personnel education and increased education capacity
· Improved relationships
· Improvement in life quality of individuals
· Better time management for managers
· More creative ideas
· Better use of employee skills and traits
· Faster and more effective emergency response
· Improved flexibility and adoption to change
· Better motivated personnel
· Change of culture, and
· Improvement on supportive measures regarding developing life-improving traits
While defining internal marketing terms, some enterprises that present their products to their employees use the term ‘internal client’ for the employees, while calling their customer base as their external clients. Internal evaluations regarding production, by the HR, involve coaching methods with regard to present management practices.
Managers conventionally enable employees to join the processes of evaluating and releasing the product in the market. Opinions and acquisition decisions of employees regarding the product they produce together are important. New forms of demand and supply begin to take shape and are embraced from inside out.
The desires of all employees across ranks to be understood and their expectation to be understood by the HR department from a coaching perspective (Tekinsoy, 2019)3, can be summarised as follows:
1. Having employees feel they are listened to and understood by their managers
2. Having a secure, safe environment away from gossip culture
3. Setting short-, mid- and long-term company goals and policies from inside out
4. Clarifying target and action plans
5. Asking the right questions during the application process of the laid-out plan
6. Looking for solutions together for any issues encountered along the way and making sure employees take initiative
7. Evaluating, grading, and observing the devotion of employees towards their peers, their company and their assignments
8. Adopting an HR policy where feedback to every employee is provided
9. Making sure employees believe they will be evaluated fairly by the HR and the management,
10. Striving for managers to have the potential to ask strong questions and be open to innovation,
11. It is the final expectation that the strategies are adopted by the managers of the company at all levels and implemented in an understandable way.
12. It is necessary for the company to provide an environment where employees can freely defend their ideas in an open-minded environment and have their thoughts heard, for the company to realise their expectations. Disagreements, arguments, and differences of opinion between employees also contribute to an environment where criticism is allowed. All in all, HR should hold meetings where brain storming is encouraged. This way, employees can feel they are an important part of the work environment and their bonds with the enterprise are strengthened.
13. HR should provide in-house trainings for employees to have inner motivation and maintain it.
14. HR should provide quick and equal access to promotions and similar rights to all employees, while they are advancing through their careers, step by step.
15. In an enterprise where privileges are seen as an opportunity and risky divergent areas are considered as potentials for profit, owners of the enterprise should conceive their employees as one with their understanding of client and should pursue a management style that integrates this concept.
The development of employees who act with a common consciousness within the company, as well as the sustainability that supports the internal marketing production process are targeted. HR and management teams that demonstrate a consistent and sustainable approach to these improvements and continue to do so invest in their companies and help create a common culture around the company. These are the probable risks and approaches to avoid during the application of internal marketing (Tekinsoy, 2019)3:
Secure relations formed in the company may keep people in their safe zone. This is especially true for long-term employees who perform the same duties for a long period of time and develop an area of comfort. For these reasons, implementing internal marketing in already consistent and further developing safe zones could lead to creation of a blind spot for the company and may hinder its own development.
In case of a blind spot, the obstacles must be handled and be overcome professionally.
Coaching applications and approaches on how to incentivise a prolonged state of inaction that hinders the company’s potential and methods to use this as a means to energise the company should be researched.
A reason why internal marketing can be interrupted is the lack of cohesion between employees and the difficulties attached to it due to the constant change in personnel. Coaching allows this cohesion to be renewed again and allows these problems to be finalised, leading to easy and profitable company investments.
Coaching approaches in internal marketing
Coaching supports employees to respond rapidly, so that there is minimal burden or damage, to ask strong questions, to manage chaos, to strengthen their creativity, and to rapidly transition as per changing business demands. It provides an effective way to smoothly operate in an environment of constant change that we live in, while bringing flexibility to the situation.
Successful organisations have discovered that continuous training of their workforce is necessary to remain competitive. However, they also realise that these trainings, only when combined with coaching, provide permanent behaviour change. Coaching also enables both projects and people to progress immediately and with less effort (Tekinsoy, 2019)3.
Walt Disney’s quote reveals this fact: “If you are not good with your employees, you will never be good with your customers”.
To summarise, coaching in businesses, regardless of the task level of the employees, reveals the potential to change their position in the business while maximising their own performance. It aims to help businesses learn, instead of teaching their employees.
Want to take your business to the next level, and see the benefits of internal marketing, try coaching yourself!
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 50,000-plus members located in more than 145 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organisations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities and the world through coaching.
In India, ICF is represented by six vibrant chapters, all led by volunteers — ICF Bengaluru, ICF Chennai, ICF Delhi NCR, ICF Hyderabad, ICF Mumbai, and ICF Pune.
The author Pelin Tekinsoy has been a qualified coach since 2008. She’s interested in career, relations, AD/HD, education, happiness and sports coaching, in addition to laughter yoga, hypnosis and NLP. Tekinsoy book, ‘Money Coaching, Completely Emotional’ was first published in 2013 and translated into English in 2019. She has been teaching coaching courses since 2014. She has been running Money Coaching since 2015 and Coaching Programme since 2019 approved from ICF.Having acquired Vocational Qualifications Authority (MYK) certificate in 2018, Tekinsoy can coach in EU as well as Turkey. While completing the two-year psychotherapy programme, she started attending group psychodynamic studies. She completed an MD in ‘Executive Coaching and Mentorship’ from the Alt?nba? University in 2019, and is working towards an MD in psychology from Arel University.
1. Ergan, S., Yıldırım, Y., Bayram, A., (2017). “Relationship Between Coaching Practices and Internal Marketing”, Conference: III. International Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences Congress Serie at: Edirne
2. Whitmore, J. (2017). “Coaching for Performance: Principles and Applications of Coaching and Leadership” (5th Edition). B. Erol (Trans.), İstanbul: Paloma Yayınevi.
3. Tekinsoy, P., (2019). “Use of Coaching Applications in Internal Marketing”, Altınbaş University Institute of Social Sciences, Postgraduate Thesis, Department of Management, Manager Coaching and Mentorship Postgraduate Program