Don’t get confused by all this “marketing” stuff that marketing con-
sultants (myself included) talk about – it still comes down to someone
selling something. Unfortunately, that’s a part of marketing that some
people overlook. Sales are not as glamorous as producing advertising
campaigns and creative promotions, but it’s what brings the money in
for any company. Marketing is focused on maximizing the number of
people you can sell to, providing the products/services they want to
buy at prices they are willing to pay, and thereby increasing the
number that will buy from you.
For most companies, this last step still requires a salesperson to
close the sale – so don’t overlook or short change this vital step.
A Quick Review
Marketing is finding a need and filling it. Marketing is understanding
your customers’ needs (both actual and psychological) and delivering
your product/services in a manner that satisfies their needs. More
specifically, marketing is the consistent integration of your product
(or service), your pricing, your distribution channels AND your pro-
motion in a manner that achieves your well-defined objectives. You’ll
notice that nowhere in these definitions are the words “advertising”
or “sales.” Those are both subsets of promotion and although they are
important, advertising and sales are not “marketing.”
Internal marketing is the term used to refer to everything you do
internally (in your company) to achieve your business objectives. For
example, your full marketing plan may be to sell widgets to large com-
panies that need widgets. Your promotion and sales efforts can create
the initial sales. Internal marketing says now that you have a cus-
tomer “in” your company, use a marketing approach to as sure they are
happy with their purchase, they purchase again, and they purchase the
most widgets possible. In addition, good internal marketing will maxi-
mize your customer referrals and extend the life of your customers.
Internal Marketing IS sales since internal marketing concerns itself
with moving your products more effectively. If one of your business
goals is to increase sales (and whose isn’t), then implementing an
internal marketing approach should be a priority. There are a hundred
ways to accomplish this goal for most businesses, but it may take some
The following case study is a good example of an opportunity and how
new thinking could have seized this opportunity.
I was recently in a suit store that sells both new and used suits. A
women came in with her two large sons and asked the salesman, “Do you
rent suits?” He replied, “No, no we don’t rent suits.” The women asked
him if he knew anyone that did because they were getting desperate.
He suggested the tux rental store across the street, but she said they
didn’t want to rent a tux.
Had he been a little creative or better trained, he would have rea-
lized that he could have sold them two suits and told them that he
would buy the suits back as long as they were not damaged. The differ-
ence would have been their “rental” rate. This would have created two
suit sales, new loyal customers, and “worse” case they would buy the
suits back at half the sales price and then be able to sell them again!
(Best case, they decide to keep the suits and the sale was made.)
This is just one example of internal marketing being focused on
“getting more out of each customer who comes to your business.” Out of
100 people, a certain percentage would have bought suits and a certain
percentage of them would have never brought them back to sell them
back to the store.
Before you start your next advertising campaign or special promotion,
ask yourselves these four questions:
1. Are we selling all that we can to each of our customers?
2. How can we lengthen the life of our customer relationships?
3. How can we convert more prospects into customers?
4. How can we get more of our customers to refer more customers?
This article gave you one insight into just one small aspect of ques-
tion number one for one specific business. Having an internal marketing
focus allowed me to spot an opportunity that these people did not.
Creating an Internal marketing focus in your company will produce
better results for your company as well.
Joey Soloman is a freelance writer who specializes in marketing issues. She is based in Encino.