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Impact of Integrated Marketing Communications Programs in Enhancing Manager and Employee Performance

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The global marketplace consists of an increasingly complex arena of competitors within a rapidly changing international environment. New companies are formed on a daily basis, from small businesses to Internet-based operations, to expanding global conglomerates originating from major takeovers and mergers. In the face of these sophisticated and cluttered market conditions, firms try to be heard. They attempt to speak with clear voices about the natures of their operations and the benefits associated with the firm’s goods and services. With so many choices available, and so many media bombarding potential customers with messages, it is vital that what should be communicated is reaching buyers in a clear and consistent manner.
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by benedict on March 24th, 2011 at 07:27 am
u are doing a good work
by Total Compensation Statements on August 17th, 2011 at 01:52 pm
Thanks for sharing -- more companies should think about expanding communications to include total compensation reporting software!
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International Conference on Human and Economic Resources, Izmir, 2006

Human Resources

Impact of Integrated Marketing Communications
Programs in Enhancing
Manager and Employee Performance

Dr. Figen Ebren
Akdeniz University

The global marketplace consists of an increasingly complex arena of competitors within a
rapidly changing international environment. New companies are formed on a daily basis, from
small businesses to Internet-based operations, to expanding global conglomerates originating
from major takeovers and mergers.
In the face of these sophisticated and cluttered market conditions, firms try to be heard. They
attempt to speak with clear voices about the natures of their operations and the benefits
associated with the firm’s goods and services.
With so many choices available, and so many media bombarding potential customers with
messages, it is vital that what should be communicated is reaching buyers in a clear and
consistent manner.
External customers are influenced by the internal promise deliverers: the employees, channel
partners, customer service personnel, packing and delivery people. Marketing can help by
working with human resources departments to identify the key elements in employee
motivation, including the effect of incentives and the development of training and
improvement programs.
This paper explores the impact of integrated marketing communications (IMC) programs in
enhancing manager and employee performance and so productivity. From a managerial
context, response to this apparently cluttered and amorphous marketing environment has led
many organizations to desirable integration of their communications efforts under the
umbrella of one strategic marketing communications function - namely integrated marketing
communications. The logic of this strategic move would seem to rest partly on assumptions
concerning the desire for organizational influence of consumer perceptions.
Manager performance and development is possibly an overlooked part of an IMC program.
Effective marketing departments and advertising agencies must develop pipelines of new,
talented creatives, media buyers, promotions managers, database Web masters, and others in
order to succeed in the long term. Also, new people must be trained and prepared for
promotions for more important roles over time. Employee performance attitudes reflect
morale within the marketing department and also relations with other departments and groups.
An effective IMC plan consists of building bridges with other internal departments so that
everyone is aware of the thrust and theme of the program. Satisfied and positive employees
are more likely to help the firm promote its image.










17

Human Resources

Introduction

The global marketplace consists of an increasingly complex arena of competitors within a
rapidly changing international environment. New companies are formed on a daily basis, from
small businesses, to Internet-based operations, to expanding global conglomerates originating from
major takeovers and mergers.
In the face of these sophisticated and cluttered market conditions, firms try to be heard.
They attempt to speak with clear voices about the natures of their operations and the benefits
associated with the firm’s goods and services.
With so many choices available, and so many media bombarding potential customers with
messages, it is vital that what should be communicated is reaching buyers in a clear and consistent
manner.
The internal promise deliverers influence external customers: the employees, channel
partners, customer service personnel, packing and delivery people. Marketing can help by working
with human resources departments to identify the key elements in employee motivation, including
the effect of incentives and the development of training and improvement programs.
From a managerial context, response to this apparently cluttered and amorphous marketing
environment has led many organizations to desirable integration of their communications efforts
under the umbrella of one strategic marketing communications function - namely integrated
marketing communications. The logic of this strategic move would seem to rest partly on
assumptions concerning the desire for organizational influence of consumer perceptions.
Manager performance and development is possibly an overlooked part of an IMC program.
Effective marketing departments and advertising agencies must develop pipelines of new, talented
creatives, media buyers, promotions managers, database Web masters, and others in order to
succeed in the long term. Also, new people must be trained and prepared for promotions for more
important roles over time. Employee performance attitudes reflect morale within the marketing
department and also relations with other departments and groups.

IMC in the Literature

Although the concept of IMC – managing customer relationships – is not new, the processes
used in managing IMC are new. In the early 1990s, some academics as well as some professionals
thought IMC was just a fad. But it has proved successful and is being increasingly used in a variety
of forms. One of the best ways marketing can take advantage of the new communication and
database technologies is by using IMC (Zinkham and Watson, 1996: 165).
Kitchen and Schultz (2000) had indicated that IMC needed to move well beyond such a
simple juxtaposition of promotional mix elements, i.e. every element speaks with one voice; to
become an integrated philosophy that reaches out and touches every facet of the business that
claims to be customer-oriented.
Schultz (1996) stressed that the integration of production, operations, marketing,
distribution, finance, communications and all other forms of business activity was inevitable
because of the technological revolution occurring throughout the world.
As a basic level, IMC means that all the company’s key product and corporate messages,
positioning, image, and identity are coordinated (Lindel, 1997). Furthermore, the basic premise of
integrated marketing communications is that there are a number of communication objectives for a
brand and a number of different means of communication to achieve each of these objectives
(Keller, 2001).
Any definition needs to include or refer to concepts such as added value, relationship
marketing, corporate branding and the blending of internal and external communications because
IMC is seen to include all consistent interactions a stakeholder has with an organization (Fill, 2001).


18

International Conference on Human and Economic Resources, Izmir, 2006
Internal Marketing

Integrated marketing communication is often compared to an orchestra. Like IMC’s various
marketing communication functions and all the different media, an orchestra has many different
instruments, each of which produces a different sound. If the sounds of these instruments are not
coordinated according to a plan, the orchestra produces noise rather than music (Duncan, 2002:
193).
A new trend emerging as the twenty-first century begins is the growing importance of
internal integrated marketing communications. Internal marketing communications efforts include
creating, packaging, and delivering the organization’s IMC marketing message to all employees of
the organization. Employees must understand and believe in the firm’s image and its marketing
position. Employees need to comprehend what each company brand stands for and the benefits it
offers consumers. Most importantly, each employee must believe in the company and its mission.
Spending more time marketing internally produces more knowledgeable and dedicated employees,
who will, in turn, seek the goal of providing excellent service to customers (Clow and Baack, 2004:
116).
Internal marketing has been advocated as a distinctive requirement for service industries in
general and for educational marketing in particular. Before selling the services to outsiders, you
have to sell what you have on offer inside your organization.
Human Resources Development (HRD) specialists, when marketing their services inside
their organization, should apply the same strategies which marketing specialists use to promote
products and services outside the organization. Because there are at least two internal "customers",
i.e. the short- and long-term, strategic business targets and the people who work in the
organization. It is suggested that there should be:
(1) A business-oriented marketing plan, which should include a training marketing mission
statement, reflecting the strategic, business-related goals of the HRM/HRD department and shaping
its plan of action; cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis techniques, which demonstrate the
contribution of selected programmes to business results; and competitive pricing strategies, which
take into account the balance between purchasing external training and designing internal
programmes.
(2) People oriented marketing of HRD, because no training/HRD effort can succeed without
the active support of the people whom it is designed to serve. Those responsible for HRD should
develop ongoing market research to gather critical information about employee attitudes, perceived
development needs and views and attitudes about past HRD efforts; internal promotion materials;
external materials such as newsletters, brochures, news releases, etc (Frank, 1994: 5).
Marketing can help by working with HR to identify the key elements in employee
motivation, including the effect of incentives and the development of training and improvement
programs. But marketing can help most of all with research, working with HR to determine,
internally, what can be done to improve the delivery of "customer-facing" people and help
understand what motivates employees, channel partners and customer service people. If we are
good at understanding customers, consumers and end-users of our products and services, we should
be able to lend those talents to HR to help understand what has often been called internal marketing
conducted by internal marketers (Schultz, 2002: 8).

Manager and Employee Performance

As strange as it might seem, many employees do not have a basic understanding of what
their company makes, how their company operates, or what their role is in building customer
relationships. They simply have not been integrated into the company, and many, especially, have
not been educated about the need for being customer focused. One way to integrate employees into
the spirit of serving customers is through internal marketing. This is an ongoing program that
promotes the customer-focus philosophy and keeps employees informed of important marketing

19

Human Resources
activities that affect both them and the company’s customers. In a world of increasing interactivity
due to the Internet and other two-way communication opportunities, internal marketing is important
because more and more employees have the opportunity to touch the customer. In case of service
brands, where there is personal interaction with customers, employees are the brand. How they
perform is how customers perceive the brand’s performance. Finally, the more that employees feel
like part of the company and the better informed they are about its business strategies, the higher
their morale. Research has shown that companies with high employee morale have higher levels of
customer satisfaction (Duncan, 2002: 22-23).
One of the primary responsibilities for marketing departments is to interpret the needs of the
customer and the marketplace and bring that information to all departments. In addition, MC
planners must involve other departments in the planning processs, and then inform these other
departments of the final plan and why it is worth supporting. Marketing needs buy-in and support
from all departments whose work affects customers. That’s everyone: Even employees who do not
deal directly with customers support other employees who do.
This communication to internal stakeholders is called internal marketing. It is defined as
“the application of marketing inside the organization to instill customer-focused values”.
Employees especially those touching the customer, should be thought of as customer also. The more
they are satisfied, the more they will satisfy customers. Companies can increase morale and
productivity keeping employees informed so they aren’t embarrassed when asked about certain
programs, letting them have a sneak preview of promotional materials before they begin running,
and letting them know the results of their efforts to build strong brand relationships.
It is important to note that in some industries (e.g., office machines, automobiles), service
personnel rather than sales and marketing people are the ones most likely to have ongoing contact
with customers. For suppliers to grocery and discount stores, the truck’s driver may be an important
contact point and may even have the responsibility of shelving the products or setting up
merchandising materials. Thus, the truck drivers do not represent the company but also are the first
to be aware of product and marketing communication problems and other customer concerns.
Customer-contact employees can be a primary resource about the state of the marketplace, product
performance, and provide opportunities for continuing sales and relationship marketing
communication.
Internal marketing puts a process in place for employees to report back to marketing. Front-
line employees, in particular, need to be linked to a company’s information-gathering system in
order to give feedback about what customers are thinking and how they are acting. Formal
programs enable customers to participate in roudtables, where customers are brought together to
discuss a brand’s and company’s operations and product performance (Duncan, 2002: 225).
Like external marketing, internal marketing is communication-dependent. This
communication takes many forms including intranets, company newsletters, e-mail, voice mail, and
bulletin boards. There are three basic aspects of internal communication: informing employees,
empowering them, and listening to them (Duncan, 2002: 225).


Informing

Communicating a customer-first business policy, as well as other marketing programs to
employees, is a responsibility of internal marketing. Such a philosophy is an out growth of the
recent upsurge in emphasis on customer service and customer relationship management (CRM).
Another objective is to continually impress on employees the importance of being responsive to
customers.






20

International Conference on Human and Economic Resources, Izmir, 2006
Empowering

Internal marketing, because it provides employees with more information, is also a natural
program to support employee empowerment programs, which mean giving front-line employees the
power to make decisions about problems that affect customer relationships. As companies downsize
and place more responsibility at lower levels, more decisions that affect customer relations are
being made by service employees have, generally the better decisions they will make.
Empowerment programs must therefore be supported by training and information about company
policies. The necessary elements of a support program that creates empowered and responsive
employees are presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Empowering Employees

The more employees are empowered to make their own decisions when responding to
customers, the more they need to be:
• informed of their role in satisfying customers
• informed of their role in the company’ s success
• rewarded based on a balance of their individual performance and the company’s overall
performance
• listened to when they have ideas how to better serve customers even when those ideas
involve other areas of operations
• given easy access to customer information files and other databases that enable them to
make quick and knowledgeable responses

Listening

Just as external marketing should include two-way communication, so should internal
marketing. If an internal marketing program only sends messages, employees will see the program
as propaganda. In order for its messages to have integrity, internal marketing must encourage and
facilitate employee feedback, which then enables managers to know if employees understand the
internal marketing messages, agree with these messages, and are willing to support the various
marketing programs. Even more important, because employees usually are closer to customers than
are managers, internal marketing feedback can provide valuable real-time customer research to help
in planning and budgeting.
Moreover, listening to employees can provide valuable real-time customer research that
helps in budgeting, planning and adjusting MC plans. A justified criticism of some MC plans is that
they’re made in corporate office ivory towers. Such plans don’t address the real problems and
opportunities in the marketplace. Customer-contact employees can be a valuable source of
competitive and product performance information (Duncan, 2005: 200).
The internal promise deliverers influence external consumers: the employees, channel
partners, customer service personnel, and packing and delivery people. All those people who are
supposed to deliver the “fast, friendly service” and well-made, error-free products and services that
every organization promises but has such difficulty delivering on a consistent basis influence them
(Schultz, 2002: 8).
Manager performance and development is possibly an overlooked part of an IMC program.
Effective marketing departments and advertising agencies must develop pipelines of new, talented
creatives, media buyers, promotions managers, database Web masters, and others in order to
succeed in the long term. Also, new people must be trained and prepared for promotion for more
important roles over time (Donald and Baack, 2004: 514).
Employee performance and attitudes reflect not only morale within the marketing
department but also relations with other departments and groups. An effective IMC plan consists of
building bridges with other internal departments so that everyone is aware of the thrust and theme

21

Human Resources
of the program. Satisfied and positive employees are more likely to help the firm promote its IMC
image (Donald and Baack, 2004: 514).
The primary internal stakeholders are the employees of the organization, unions, and
corporate shareholders. Employees should receive a constant stream of information from the
company. Many employees are quite distant from the marketing department, yet they should still be
aware of what the company is trying to achieve with its IMC program, even if this means only basic
knowledge. Those closest to the marketing department are going to be more acutely aware of the
nature of the IMC plan, including how the company’s message theme is being sent to all other
constituents (Donald and Baack, 2004: 404).
To work effectively in communicating with employees, the public relations department must
keep in close contact with the human resource (HR) department. Publications and communications
aimed at employees must be consistent with the image and message that the firm is espousing to
customers and other groups. For example, any firm that uses advertising to suggest that employees
are always ready to assist customers should make sure those employees are aware of the message.
Employee behaviors should then be consistent with the advertising theme that is being conveyed to
customers. The HR department should try to hire the kind of worker who is attracted to such an
approach and structure performance appraisals and rewards to favor those who buy into the
company’s overall IMC approach. The emphasis on providing information about company activities
must logically extend to every public relations event and sponsorship program (Donald and Baack,
2004: 405).

Guidelines On Internal Marketing

Internal marketing requires the same discipline as external marketing, but it needs a different
focus. Here's how to get it right:
• Insiders want to be on the 'inside track', so trying to communicate with them using
external campaigns merely distances them. Equally, running employee surveys - a typical human
resources practice - won't engage employees either.
• Employees need to be targeted as a distinct audience, and most organisations would
benefit from some kind of internal communications specialist to distil the best of marketing and HR
into a tailored employee-focused campaign.
• Internal communications should sit within corporate communications or marketing. If it
sits within HR, it often becomes a vehicle to communicate HR issues and misses out on broader
areas.
• Don't forget that, unlike customers, staff are part of your brand, not just recipients. You
have to educate them, motivate them and measure them as well as simply communicate with them.
But engaging and involving them in the brand is crucial.
• Ensure that staff know everything about your brand before the customers do. There is
nothing worse for an employee than being in a shop with a customer who knows more than you do.
It's such an obvious point, but often overlooked.
• Try to achieve interaction between marketing and HR. Sharing each others' viewpoints
will bring better results (Simms, 2003: 27).
Developing a customer-focused organization is not a marketing task, it's a management task.
Top managers are the only ones who can provide the resources, facilities, information and, yes,
even the tools to create customer-centric organizations. The real key to building a customer-
oriented organization starts with knowledge—customer knowledge and lots of it. This includes
knowledge of customers' relation- customers. To many managers, this means lots of high-tech,
whiz-bang technology, such as on-line systems, interactive re-sources, pull-down windows and the
like.
But customer knowledge need not depend on the latest technology. It depends on making
what the people who touch, interact with and relate to them every day already know about
customers and prospects inside the organization available. In other words, customer knowledge can

22

International Conference on Human and Economic Resources, Izmir, 2006
be passed around by sharing what the organization already knows, or making what is inherent in
customer relationships available to the people who need to know.
The academic community is beginning to recognize the need to relate internal customer
orientation to organizational market orientation. Using variables such as internal marketing
processes, training, management support, internal communication, personnel management and
involvement in external communication, it is demonstrated that internal customers (employees) are
very important to the external market orientation of the firm.
It is becoming increasingly clear that employees enhance or destroy the value of marketing
and marketing communication programs delivered to external customers.
Employees are customers of the marketing organization. Management's responsibility is to
empower, if not emancipate, employees to become customer-focused and customer service
providers. And to do that, management must provide the tools and resources that allow employees
to become customer intimate (Schultz, 1998: 6).
Like external efforts, internal marketing identifies the audience, finds out what media best
reach that audience and the message is disseminated promptly and accurately. Unlike external
marketing, a company's own managers can control most of the variables of the project. Either way,
the channels of communication must be established long before news breaks, so that messages can
be transmitted clearly (Cleaver, 1998: 1).
Internal marketing has been defined as selling the firm to its employees or the process of
attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining qualified employees through job products that
satisfy the needs. Internal market of employees is best motivated for service mindedness and
customer-oriented behavior by an active, marketing-like activities are used. As the building of
customer orientation among employees by training and motivating both customer-contact and
support staff to work as a team. As an expanded explanation, internal marketing is the application of
marketing, human resources management and allied theories, techniques, and principles to
motivate, mobilize, co-opt, and manage employees at all levels of the organization to continuously
improve the way they serve external customers and each other. Effective internal marketing
responds to employee needs as it advances the organization’s mission and goals. This revised
definition reminds us that internal marketing is both customer-focused and employee-focused.
Marketing has no exclusive claims to this important marketing function; it demands an integrative
approach, drawing not just from marketing but also from organizational behavior, human resources
management, and other fields. This definition also alerts that the term customer orientation should
be broadened to include external as well as internal customers, the latter being any department or
unit that is served by another unit within the same organization. Internal marketing is then not just
for front-line employees, important as they may be to the delivery of quality service to ultimate
consumers (Benoy, 1996: 54-55).
The three components of internal marketing are rewards (rewarding and motivating
employees), development and providing a vision. In order to implement internal marketing, external
marketing techniques, including market research, segmentation, developing a marketing mix, and
controlling marketing activity may be used within the organization. These activities are also likely
to be structured in a formal internal marketing plan, even though some uncertainty may remain as to
who should be involved in the implementation stage of the process. The ultimate responsibility for
initiating internal marketing rests with senior management and the internal marketing programme
requires continuous management support to be effective. To implement internal marketing, cross-
functional co-ordination is often needed, particularly between the human resources and marketing
departments. The internal marketing plan can then be integrated with the external marketing plan.
Research, both within marketing and human resources management (HRM), has explored
the impact of employee friendly supervision and management on the behavior of frontline staff.
Within the marketing domain, internal marketing has been proposed as a set of employee friendly
managerial behaviors that have several internal and external consequences for the firm. This is also
reflected within the HRM literature, where it is generally accepted that aligning HR policies with
marketing can have beneficial impacts on both employee behaviors and attitudes, and on

23

Human Resources
organizational outcomes. Internal marketing uses a marketing perspective for managing an
organization’s human resources. It is based on the philosophy of viewing organizations’ jobs as
internal products and employees as internal customers of these. This allows organizations to
manage the employee-employer exchange by modifying existing marketing tools and techniques to
the internal environment of the firm. This has led to operationalizations of internal marketing that
directly reflect those of external marketing. Two researchers developed an internal marketing mix
that directly parallels the external marketing mix. In operationalizing internal marketing this way,
researchers suggest that jobs or projects constitute internal products, the price is what the employee
has to give up to complete the job, promotions are presented by internal communications, and
distribution by meetings in which ideas are presented to employees (Lings and Greenley, 2005:
290-291).

Conclusion

IMC programs must communicate internally to employees and departments so that the firm
can reach outward with a consistent, strong voice projecting the qualities and benefits of the firm’s
goods and services. Those companies that incorporate effective business-to-business components
into their overall IMC plans stand better chance of remaining successful in future years of
operation.
Internal marketing communications efforts include creating, packaging, and delivering the
organization’s IMC marketing message to all employees of the organization. The firm’s image, its
marketing position and its mission should be understood and believed by the employees. Employees
need to comprehend what each company brand stands for and the benefits it offers consumers.
Spending more time marketing internally produces more knowledgeable and dedicated employees,
who will, in turn, seek the goal of providing excellent service to customers.




























24

International Conference on Human and Economic Resources, Izmir, 2006
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Cleaver, Joanne (1998), “An Inside Job”, Marketing News, Volume 32, No. 4, 1.

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Communications
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25

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