Internal Marketing – New Definition

Internal marketing is a critical management concept that is difficult to explain, let alone define. Throughout my work in the field, I’ve defined internal marketing simply as “the application of marketing inside an organization to instill customer-focused values.”

But now there’s a new, more comprehensive definition – thanks to the Fall 2005 graduate class in internal marketing, part of Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program.

“Internal Marketing is the ongoing process whereby an organization aligns, motivates and empowers employees at all functions and levels to consistently deliver a positive customer experience that helps achieve business objectives.”

What I love about this expanded definition is that it captures aspects of both internal marketing and internal branding. The new definition is a result of an Internal Marketing Best Practice Study funded by the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement.

I’ll have more on this study in my next post.


  • Pingback: Take Their Breath Away | Top Three Employee Engagement Challenges and How to Overcome Them

  • Sybil March 23, 2009 Reply

    Jashim, it’s marketing a “service” such as healthcare, education, equipment repair, legal or professional assistance, etc., rather than a tangible product (that you can see, touch, and feel) such as a car, computer, appliance, furniture, clothing, or food item. It’s different than marketing a packaged product, because the consumer judges the quality of a service based on the interactions with the person delivering the service and the outcome of the overall experience. So the human element is more prominent in services marketing. You can learn more by reading Leonard Berry (author of “In Great Service” and co-author of “Marketing Services”) and Harry Beckwith (“Selling the Invisible”). If you want a great textbook, check out “Services Marketing” by Val Zeithaml and Mary Jo Bitner.

  • jashim March 17, 2009 Reply

    plz define service marketing.

  • Sybil October 19, 2007 Reply

    Gaitree, the definition comes from the graduate class who conducted the research for the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement ( If you have trouble opening the link from here, please try the link listed in my blog’s Relevant Links on the left.

  • Gaitree October 19, 2007 Reply

    Greetings to you follk,
    No doubt the above definition on Internal marketing emcompasses all the necessary aspects of any organisational objectives. But, it it possible to know who is the one who put forward this definition as I would like to quote this on my Phd thesis.
    Many thanks

  • vanessa October 19, 2007 Reply

    I am a Research student in the field of Internal Marketing at the University of Technology, Mauritius.T he new definition is commendable, but still I feel it is kind of confined at management/employee level.
    I would wish to be able to network with you folk, as you have the necessary experience on the field. Our networking may also ennoble my knowledge on IM.
    Keep it up

Leave a Reply