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Internal Marketing - A Conceptual Framework

By Dr.S.Praveen Kumar - Associate Professor, Panimalar Engineering College, Chennai.
Dr.S.Durga Rao – Professor, S.V.University, Tirupati.

In the knowledge economy of today, more than the material and capital resources, ideas and knowledge serve as valuable currency. Firms which have talented, committed and engaged employees enjoy significant advantages over their rivals. Therefore, companies spend a great deal of time and effort in building, engaging, motivating and retaining talent. An important way of accomplishing this task is by Internal Marketing.

The concept of Internal Marketing (IM) was first proposed in the mid 1970’s as a way of achieving consistent service quality – a major issue in the services area. Its basic premise was ‘to have satisfied customers, the firm must also have satisfied employees’. This could be best achieved by treating employees as customers, i.e. by applying the principles of marketing to job design and employee motivation. Since then, the concept has seen a number of major developments and its application today is no longer confined to the services area.


Figure 1.1: The link between internal and external marketing programmes. Source: Piercy, N.and Morgan,N.(1991). Internal marketing-the missing half of the marketing programme. Long Range Planning, 24 (2),82-93.


It is commonly believed that sole role of marketing is to sell products and services outwardly to customers. In fact, the first and most urgent job of marketing is often to sell inwardly toward a company’s people. For, it is only when the people of the company fully understand and are committed to the value proposition of the organization and its brands, that external marketing can reach its full potential.

The concept of Internal Marketing has evolved and the following definition was proposed by Rafiq and Ahmed:

‘Internal marketing is a planned effort using a marketing-like approach directed at motivating employees, for implementing and integrating organizational strategies towards customer orientation’.

Internal marketing is about, how a company can market its mission, vision and values to each of its major stakeholders. The company has to view its customers as its strategic starting point and address them in their full humanity and with attention to their needs and concerns. Employees are the most intimate consumers of the company’s practices. They need to be empowered with authentic values.


Figure 1.2: The relationship between internal marketing, external marketing, interactive marketing and relationship marketing.


Internal marketing evolves from the idea that employees represent an internal market within the organization. This market needs to be educated and informed about the organization’s mission, the benefits of its products and services and the expectations of its customers. The rationale for this is that successful ‘marketing’ to this group will contribute significantly towards achieving ultimate collective success in the delivery of all marketing activity to external customers. Thus, the overwhelming purpose of internal marketing is to ‘involve’ employees in the organization’s mission and strategic direction, and to help them understand and value the corporate objectives. In doing so, it will achieve a ‘balance’ between operational efficiency and management objectives.

“Paying Attention to people pays” – Elton Mayo



Berry, L.L and Parasuraman, A. (1991). Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality. New York: The Free Press.

George, W.R.(1990). Internal marketing and organizational behavior: a partnership in developing customer-conscious employees at every level. Journal of Business Research, 20, 63 – 70.

Gronroos, C (1985). Internal marketing – theory and practice. American Marketing Association’s Services Conference Proceedings, pp 41-7.

Gummesson,E. (1991) ‘Market-orientation Revisited: The crucial role of the part-time marketer’, European Journal of Marketing 25(2):60-75.

Kotler, Philip and Setiwan, Ivan (2010). Marketing 3.0. Times Group Books, New Delhi.

Piercy,N. and Morgan,N.(1991) ‘Internal Marketing: The Missing Half of the Marketing Program’, Long Range Planning 24(2):82-93.

Rafiq, M. and P.K. Ahmed, 1993. The Scope of Internal Marketing: Defining the Boundary between Marketing and Human Resource. Management. Journal of Marketing Management., 9 (3): 219-232.

Winter, J.P.(1985). Getting your house in order with internal marketing: a marketing prerequisite. Health Marketing Quarterly, 3 (1), 69 – 77.



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Status: 01. Juli 2015