Marketing from Inside-Out

              I am always excited when I get to write about marketing and its aspects from my very experiences and perspectives. Marketing has many faces and all of them have their roles to play in the business world. Personally, there is one marketing concept I am the most interesting in and that is “Internal Marketing”. In short, internal marketing is the promotion of a company’s visions, goals, etc. within the organization. Furthermore, internal marketing is helping to build brand awareness and establish valid foundations for its expansion. Nowadays, with the situation we are going through, more and more companies are adopting this process to create a bubble of brand security between the organization itself and its customers. So, why internal marketing is important in the short- and long-term business growth and development?

            Nothing else has such high importance when linking external and internal marketing than starting from the internal communications. When a message or a value proposition is marketed externally, then the same message needs to be passed on to the staff within otherwise it leads to huge misunderstandings on the company’s integrity and brand confusion. Also, I have seen that many companies have misjudged that it is their product or service that creates value between the two. While this statement is correct in some way, the actual engaging and emotionally evocative value creation can be achieved only by creating the brand first from the inside. Companies need to look at their employees as the people that are working with them and not for them. They need to look at them as a source of customer understanding and as brand advocates. Only then the link can be strengthened, and true branding creation can be made.

             Another important thing to consider is how message communication can be done successfully without any misleads. The answer to that is through storytelling marketing. There is no greater tool to communicate with your audience than stories. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand and, stories are captivating for a reason. We are mostly drawn and learned by our life experiences, the journeys we embark upon, and then when we get the opportunity to unleash them, we evoke such emotions that with no other “tool” can be done. Storytelling marketing can create personal connections not only to your customers but also to your employees. When an employee sees and feels the vision and the story behind the company, he tends to react to it in the most positive way possible.

            Equally important to the previous points mentioned is that internal marketing is the most successful way to increase productivity inside the organization. When an employee has understood and personally connected with the company, he tries his best to achieve the best possible outcome for him and his workplace. In my opinion, you need to also give them the understanding that, they do not work for you, they work with you. People inside an organization need to be treated equally for them to feel welcomed and connected with the managerial sector. Besides, including the employees in the company’s vision and mission, increases their engagement thus, making them more productive. In addition, internal marketing increases productivity by making people feel they are part of a team that is brainstorming and working to reach the desired outcome.

            In conclusion, I believe the three points mentioned in the previous paragraphs answer the question that was set in the beginning. The link between internal and external marketing communications is vital for an organization to avoid any confusion and negative thoughts on the brand. Moreover, we give the audience value and brand connection by correctly communicating it through the means of storytelling. Emotion, authenticity, and engagement. That’s what storytelling is. Additionally, productivity can be achieved through either with the previous points mentioned above or by itself with the inclusion of the employees to the company’s activities. If a company is struggling to grow and develop, maybe looking to build the foundations internally is the way of achieving ultimate growth and development.

How important is Planning in Business and in Life?

To simplify, I will put it like this: Imagine yourself living with no strategy, ambitions, goals to achieve, and missions to complete. You will be a human being without a soul!

Storytime: I was like this with no goals or unrealistic ones without a strategy or again if I had it must have been unclear. I was living like a zombie for 5 years trying to find moments of peace and silence.

When all of a sudden it hit me, what if I had an ACTUAL plan of my life in 5 years’ time? Long story short my planning led me to move out and change countries. Simple as that, I just went for it.

Whatever I was planning ahead that included me staying in the same country just didn’t match with my ambitions and goals. In the conclusion of this short story, I just wanted to point out that without planning even in your personal life nothing essential will come out. Same as in businesses, with no planning you cannot share the importance, the vision(s), the difference, the objectives, the achievements you set out to reach.

From my perspective I see five points on why an organization or a company needs a strategy regardless their aims or missions:

Prioritize

  • First and foremost, you need a strategy to set a direction and establish priorities for your company. The direction will define your visions and the priorities the actions you need to take to make these visions a reality.

Simplifies decisions

  • Secondly, having a strategy set in mind, decision-making will be simplified and more easily done since the goals or objectives are clear to everyone and the decision-makers.

Maximize performance

  • Also, in your organization, you may have people working hard but with no effect, because without a strategy, they are not following a scheduled and prioritized plan resulting in not maximizing their efforts.

Communication

  • Having and understanding all the parts of the strategy are vital to better communicate the “message” to others that are working with you towards the same path of the company’s success.

Strategic thinking vs. planning

The difference between strategic planning and strategic thinking is simple. Strategic thinking’s purpose is when we imagine or envision the future of the organization to rewrite and develop strategies that have a greater chance of success and competitive advantage. To think strategically you answer the questions “what?” and “why?”.

As opposed to that, strategic planning is when you lay down the plans to achieve the visioning by answering the questions “how?”, “when?” and “to whom”. It includes the steps your organization needs to take.

Instantly when I think “strategy” it comes to mind the strategic video and non-video games I used to play when I was little. When you had to figure out your next move to crush the competition and win the game. This is no different than leading a company only that this is real life.

Thinking of strategy now also brings images of people working together brainstorming and being creative when setting the foundations called planning. In my opinion, the best way to transfer the vision from a few to the many is by setting a story behind it.

Stories are what make people empathize with each other and the company’s vision. Share a story on what makes this company and how do you see it in the future and people will share with you their thoughts and empathy. The rest will fall into place.