Internal and External Marketing – The Holistic Approach to Branding

Internal and External Marketing – The Holistic Approach to Branding
October 29, 2015 Joy Whittemore

One of the most common misconceptions I see from a marketing perspective is that companies mistake customer satisfaction for customer loyalty. For instance, you may really enjoy that latte at that big name shop down the street, with the frosty whipped cream and decadent frothy top, but today you just drove by that pleasant little independent coffee shop a little out of the way. Sure, they may be priced a bit more, but their frappes are divine, rich and chocolaty and they have much better service. In fact, they know your name AND throw in a free cookie when you go in. They may be your new ‘hot spot’ for a caffeine fix… for now.
Customer satisfaction is important, but how are you planning to keep your customer base loyal? Let’s move to your own company, whether you sell retail goods, real estate, or perhaps financial services: what is it that makes your customers loyal? How do you find your weaknesses and continually improve your brand to pursue ongoing loyalty greatness?
The answers to loyalty lie in continual dedication to evolving your organization through ‘Internal and External Marketing’. This is truly the holistic approach, and is the only one I believe will create real growth and real return.
Internal Marketing: Your Team (People)
Internal marketing is a focus on your employees, how they represent your services and treat your customers. Marketing materials and ongoing product and customer service training are also integral parts of success. I sum this up in a short sentence, but really, this takes years to refine and is an ongoing task that takes dedication. Your efforts to improve upon Internal Marketing will take time, but are well worth the return on investment. Over time you will see a return through increased employee and customer retention. This equivocates to less new hires to train and more loyal customers to buy your products and services.
Action Steps: Your team is the REAL gateway to your customers.
Take some time this year to survey your employees, find out how they feel about the company and what they would recommend as improvements. This involves asking them about their product knowledge, how they view their working environment and how they communicate with the customer and each other. Also, you may be able to glean some knowledge about new products and services the customers are asking for.
Note: Beautiful marketing materials will never compensate for a poorly trained representative.
External Marketing: Product or Service, Price, Promotion and Placement
External marketing is really anything that has to do with a companies products/services, pricing structure, promotion and placement strategy. Add In Marketing assists many companies with ‘all of the above’ on a daily basis. From experience, improving these practices involves studying year-over-year sales history, facilitating test marketing and many other necessary tasks. The string that weaves all of these items together is consistent branding and a positive representation of your company. If your team is humming and your marketing material essentials are in alignment, your company will sound like a symphony.
Action Steps: Take Marketing in Phases
Look, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes years of refinement and fine-tuning to get a nice marketing rhythm down. Segment your marketing plan into reachable goals. Find your strengths, opportunities and weaknesses and map out strategies that will lead to sustainable growth. Partner with reliable internal and external marketing partners that can withstand the test of time.
Note: A house (or company) that is well built cannot be shaken!
Maintaining customer loyalty takes persistence and perseverance! Get started! Go beyond satisfaction and seek real commitment from your team and your customers through a holistic, balanced approach….your ROI will be glad that you did!


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