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Defining Internal Marketing

    According to Gronroos (2016), the marketing process is fourfold.  First, to understand the marketplace and customer needs and wants.  Second, to determine which market niches, segments and audiences to target.  Third, to construct integrated marketing programmes that deliver superior value.  Fourth, to prepare the organization through internal marketing so that the integrated marketing programmes can be carried out successfully.  Internal marketing, which is significant to this research, is often excluded as organizations believe as soon as the marketing choices are made they are carried out as planned.  However, as the internal marketing stresses employees are the first market of the company (Voima, 2000), it is dangerous to ignore its importance in capturing value from internal and external customers.  Internal marketing must precede external marketing as there is no point to vow exceptional service when the company's personnel is not ready to offer it (Kolter, 2003).

    Traditionally, the marketing task is taken solely by the full-time marketers who work in the sales and marketing department.  Little responsibility is placed in the hands of the rest of the organization who are not trained or recruited to be customer- and market-orientated.  As the interaction between organization and customer increases in service (Rathmell, 1974), the customers and the employees take active roles in the service production process.  Internal marketing comes in place to attract, retain and motivates  customer conscious  and sales minded personnel to enhance service quality and achieve effective external marketing for competitive advantage (Varey & Lewis, 1999). Even the most sophisticated external marketing campaign can fail if it is not linked to internal marketing.  The identical marketing techniques which are employed to target external audience can be used internally  to influence personnel and let them know their importance roles in the firm's financial performance (Reardon & Enis,1990). Internal marketing extends the marketing responsibility to all departments in the organization, and proactively sell to the employees their roles in creating customer satisfaction within a supportive organizational environment (Gilmore & Carson, 1995).

    The internal marketing concept has continuously been a concern in the service marketing literature in the past forty years (Line & Runyan, 2012; Prakash & Briggs, 2016; Oh, Kim & Shin., 2004).  Internal marketing is first regarded as a solution to solve the problem of service inconsistency (Berry, Hensel & Burke, 1976).  It is a prerequisite for successful external marketing as it improves employee satisfaction and motivation, service quality and customer satisfaction (Gronroos, 1994).  By viewing employees through the customer lens, employees are more satisfied and more willing to put in extra effort to achieve customer satisfaction (Berry, 1981).  He also believes that based on this view, internal marketing is to use a similar marketing techniques towards staff, so that employees will be attract by the job product and remain in the company.  Gronroos (1985) expands the interpretation of internal marketing, pointing out that the organization can take a marketing-like approach and implement similar marketing activities to encourage and influence employees, so that employees have customer consciousness, market orientation and sales mindedness. Greene, Walls and Schrest (1994) argue that internal marketing is the application of marketing philosophy and methods to the customer contact employees and ensures that employees can serves clients better.  Internal marketing is the use of external marketing activities within the organization, the staff as internal customers, work as internal products, creating internal customer satisfaction, thereby enhancing the staff of external customers satisfaction (Berry, 1984).


Gronroos (1981) argues the main concern of internal marketing is to obtain and develop customer conscious and service minded employees.   Johnson and Seymour (1985) suggest that internal marketing refers to creating an organizational environment that can support customer orientation and generate service awareness among organizational members. Johnson, Scheuing and Gaida (1986) also argue that internal marketing is a clear understanding of the organization vision and goals, and through internal marketing activities to achieve the desired objectives of the organization. Piercy and Morgan (1991) emphasize that internal marketing is the use of marketing techniques in the company\'s internal market, the development of a set of marketing plans within the company to stimulate service mindedness and customer-oriented behavior. George (1990), Gronroos (1994) and Mishra (2010) similarly define internal marketing as the use of active, marketing-like approach and activities in a coordinated way to influence and motivate service mindedness and customer orientation in employees.   Internal marketing is a process of treating employees as a customer, conducting a series of human resources management activities with a marketing concept and organizational motivation to gain organizational commitment and stimulate customer -oriented behavior (Arnett, German & Hunt, 2003; Chang & Chang, 2008; Kale, 2006; Kelemen & Papsolomou-Doukakis, 2004).

From the perspective of human resources management, the concept of internal marketing is focused on human resources management activities. Tansuhaj, Randall and McCullough (1988) points out that internal marketing programs are immersively focused on employee development. A successful internal marketing program should include employee recruitment, training, motivation, communication and retention. Georges and Gronroos (1989) argue that internal marketing is the management of human resources in the organization with a marketing perspective. Berry and Parasuraman (1991) argue that internal marketing is the development of job products that meet the employee's needs to attract, develop, motivate and retain best employees.  

Based on the social exchange theory, internal marketing is a process of internal social exchange which affect the organization\'s capacity to combine information across departmental barriers and increase its capability to effectively exploit new opportunities (De Clercq, Dimov & Thongpapanl, 2010).  Bak, Vogt, George and Greentree (1994) argue that internal exchange relationship between the organization and its employees must be run effectively for organizations to achieve their goals in the external market.  Cahill (1996) argues that in the larger service sector, members of the organization should regard each other as a customer and the service provider will be customer-oriented to the external customer.  Internal marketing is a marketing concept to manage the activities involved in the social exchange within the organization by creating a positive internal environment which fosters the norm of reciprocity to improve employee work attitude (Gouldner, 1960; Lings & Greenley, 2010; Yu & To, 2013).

Based on the above-mentioned the definition of internal marketing, internal marketing is defined as a way to join marketing concept management, employee-centric, while focusing on marketing, organizational behavior, human resources.  Therefore, this study will be based on the concept of marketing to the marketing concept, as the organization of employees for internal customers to meet their needs, training staff with customer orientation and service awareness, and to attract, develop, encourage, etc., to stay in the organization of outstanding staff , And then achieve organizational goals.

The Evolution of Internal Marketing

    The concept of internal marketing comes from the service industry Berry and Gronroos (1981), from Sasser and

Arbeit in 1976, after many scholars to discuss and research, has a considerable theoretical basis for the relevant literature, the internal development of the theoretical development can be summarized into four important meanings:

(a) as employees for internal customers

Gronroos (1981) proposed the concept of internal marketing, that the organization should regard employees as internal customers, but also internal staff engaged in internal marketing, and employees through interactive marketing continued to provide good customer service, and \"as employees for internal customers\" To define the internal marketing, he believes that employees should be regarded as customers, and stressed the importance of the organization sold to employees, put forward internal marketing strategic approach. Xiao Fufeng (1997) proposed marketing operations are no longer just for external customers, with the importance of the staff, marketing operations are also applied to the internal customers. Therefore, the initial concept of internal marketing is the staff as an internal customer.

(B) to train staff according to customer orientation and service awareness

George and Gronroos (1991) argue that internal marketing is the implementation of an approximation within the organization

The marketing method of activity refers to the ability to inspire employees\' service and service-oriented behavior. Gummesson (1992) is the concept of part-time marketing staff, that is, when the members of the organization interact with customers regardless of whether it is a marketing department members, are indirectly play the role of marketing staff. (1985) suggests that internal marketing means creating relationships between members of the organization, through training, motivation, and education, to create a way to support customer orientation, and to provide a sense of customer orientation and service awareness. And the production and sales service awareness of the organization\'s internal environment. (2002) argues that internal marketing is a combination of employees as a customer, a series of human resources management activities with marketing concepts and organizational motivation to achieve organizational commitment and stimulate employee-oriented behavior. The purpose of internal marketing is to create an active and customer-conscious employee to provide quality service (Papasolomou, 2006).

(C) the view of human resources strategy

Berry and Parasuramen (1991) Internal marketing is defined as meeting the needs of employees through development

Of the product to attract, develop, motivate and retain the organization to the outstanding staff, is a strategic management philosophy, is also a staff to employees such as customer management philosophy, is to develop products to meet the needs of employees (work) development strategy to Build employee loyalty. Joseph (1996) also pointed out that the internal marketing application of marketing concepts and human resources management, combined with the theory, technology and principles. Cooper and Cronin (2000) argue that internal marketing is made up of an organization\'s efforts to train and motivate its employees to provide better service. Conduit and


Mavondo (2001) argues that the areas of organizational motivation and human resource management programs are internal marketing as the essence of development, such as education and training, management support, effective internal communication and human resource management activities are the establishment of internal customer orientation and market (external customers) The key to the guide. Ahmed, Rafiq and Saad (2003) argue that internal marketing is a comprehensive management principle and commitment to all employees, making inter-departmental cooperation and integration more efficient. Keppmen and Papasolomou-Doukakis (2004) and Joseph (1996) mentioned that internal marketing should be based on marketing and human resources management to stimulate, encourage, mobilize, recruit and manage all employees within an organization to improve access to external and internal service.

(D) views of the internal exchange Cahill (1996) that the members of the organization should regard each other as a customer, the service provider will be in the customer

Oriented products and services to external customers. Wu Jirui (2001) argues that internal marketing is a marketing concept to manage the activities involved in the various relationships within an organization, creating an efficient internal business environment and cultivating employees with customer orientation and service awareness to achieve organizational goals.

In the context of the above, the term \"internal marketing\" means that the organization should use the concept of marketing as an \"internal customer\" and use the internal communication methods such as training, incentive and evaluation to manage the activities involved in the organization , To create an efficient internal business environment, so that employees within the organization clearly understand the organizational mission and objectives, and further develop a customer-oriented and service awareness of the staff, so instead of its internal marketing as a marketing function, it is better regarded as a With marketing


Concept of management. In other words, internal marketing is actually a kind of marketing and human resource management applications, set theory, technology and rules to encourage, use and manage the various levels of staff within the organization, summed up the internal marketing is not only employee-centered, the ultimate goal or Customer-centric.


De Clercq, D., Dimov, D. & Thongpapanl, N. (2010) ‘The moderating impact of internal social exchange processes on the entrepreneurial orientation–performance relationship'. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(1), pp.87-103.

Grönroos, C. (1994) ‘From Scientific Management to Service Management'. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 5(1), pp.5-20.

Line, N. & Runyan, R. (2012) ‘Hospitality marketing research: Recent trends and future directions'. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(2), pp.477-488.

Lings, P. and Greenley, P. (2010) ‘Internal Market Orientation and Market Oriented Behaviours'. Journal of Service Management, 21(3), pp. 321-343.

Oh, H., Kim, B. & Shin, J. (2004) ‘Hospitality and tourism marketing: recent developments in research and future directions'.  International Journal of Hospitality Management, 23(5), pp.425-447.

Yu, B. and To, W. (2013). The effect of internal information generation and dissemination on casino employee work related behaviors. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33, pp.475-483.

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