Many industrial and construction companies neglect internal marketing to focus on external strategies. The latter is vital to company success and growth, of course. But what happens to organizations that overlook employee marketing strategies as part of cohesive internal marketing for construction and industrial companies?
Construction firms that ignore internal marketing are missing half their marketing program. As a result, they find it harder to attract and retain workers and foster healthy cultures. This oversight results in lower productivity compared to those that embrace in-house marketing. As such, the internal part of marketing management is critical to operational success.
This piece explores the importance of employee marketing in the construction and industrial sector. It shows how internal marketing strategies help you stand out from competitors and thus attract and retain the best talent. We’ll start with an overview of internal marketing and why you will struggle to survive without it in 2023 and beyond.
What Is Internal Marketing and Why Is It Important?
In contrast to the sales-driving purpose of external marketing, internal marketing focuses on an organization’s in-house audience. Its primary purpose is to increase employee engagement and build advocacy from within your company. This employee marketing strategy reaffirms your company values and promotes the quality of your construction services or industrial products to your workers. The overall goal of internal marketing is to reaffirm with your employees that your company is a fantastic place to work and convey the expectations of the customer service employees are meant to uphold.
A successful internal marketing strategy offers several benefits. It fosters a work culture workers are happy to be part of to help increase their engagement and retention. Research shows that happy employees work hard and boost profitability by 22%.
Contented workers are also more likely to embrace your mission and core values to become your top advocates.  The importance of this cannot be overstated. People want to partner with companies that have happy, helpful employees.
Moreover, a successful internal marketing strategy can:
- Cultivate a healthy company culture
- Build employee knowledge of your products and services
- Strengthen teamwork
- Increase productivity
- Lower employee turnover
- Attract high quality talent and improve onboarding
- Improve overall customer service
Both internal and external marketing develop brand awareness; the difference lies in the audience and your approach to reach that audience.
Targeting an Internal Audience
In-house marketing sells to the employee. The approach differs from an external strategy as you already have a captive audience. Thus, your focus is less attention-grabbing. Instead, you gear it towards strengthening existing relationships through in-house brand awareness, audience engagement, and proving the quality of your company and its offerings to employees.
When successful, the knock-on effect is better all-around service and engagement with your external customers. And internal marketing boosts employee engagement, job attraction, and worker satisfaction. Higher employee satisfaction also results in higher retention rates, which is a primary concern for companies in the construction and industrial industries.
Employee Marketing Matters More than Ever
There’s a massive labor shortage slowing growth within the construction and industrial sectors. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the US construction workforce will be 500,000 laborers short in 2023. This shortfall has created intense competition for hiring and keeping skilled construction industry workers. Not only is there stiff rivalry to attract the best people, but poaching has become a major concern for many firms. 
Fortunately, it’s hard for poachers to convince happy employees to leave their current jobs. Successful employee marketing strategies help retain valued workers and make them less poachable. The four key internal factors that lead to job satisfaction include:
- Training and development opportunities 
- Motivation and occupational rewards  
- Employee empowerment 
- Internal communication 
However, not all recruitment woes are economic or work culture in nature. It’s becoming more of an issue of generational and cultural turnover. For more information on this, see our article on Why Millennials Are Not Interested in Trade Jobs.
We’ll look at how employee advocacy can support recruitment efforts later. First, let’s discuss the difference between marketing and branding for internal audiences.
Differences Between Internal Marketing and Branding
Internal marketing involves the strategies and means used to draw in, motivate, and keep employees. In many businesses, HR specialists are the ones planning and directing these efforts. These could include employee appreciation events, newsletters, videos, job fairs, and the like. The focus is on getting staff members on board, conveying the mission and vision, and making sure they feel a sense of belonging.
Internal branding is about making a connection between employees and the brand, and getting them to represent the brand. For internal branding to be effective, it must link workers to the identity of the company’s brand. Of course, a poster or a memo alone won’t be enough. So, internal branding must be planned out with care, taking into account the positioning and tone, as well as how it aligns with the external brand to guarantee consistency and unified messaging.
Before you develop an internal marketing campaign, it is important to consider your internal branding. This is also true for those companies that have already implemented internal marketing initiatives and are evaluating their effectiveness. Beginning with internal branding will allow you to gain an understanding of what message you are trying to communicate to your employees through your internal marketing activities.
Internal Marketing Campaigns: Strategies and Tools
You have countless tools at your disposal to build effective internal marketing strategies. However, whatever channels you use, remember the purpose is to engage your workers meaningfully and promote employee advocacy.
Here are six effective avenues and channels used by construction and industrial firms.
- Employee advocacy to influence recruiting initiatives
- Online interactions via company websites and social media channels
- In-house newsletters to foster communities
- Ongoing team-building activities
- Training and development opportunities
- Feedback using internal communication, e.g., polls, quizzes, etc.
Your approach will depend on your industry, workforce, and other variables.
How Internal Marketing Can Increase Recruiting Success
A strong internal employee strategy will radiate outside the workplace. Engaged employees are loyal advocates who share with friends, family, and peers how much they enjoy working for their employer. Strong word-of-mouth referrals from your employee advocates will significantly aid your recruitment efforts.
You can use your internal marketing to ensure staff knows the existence and details of all current job openings. Armed with the knowledge of openings, they can promote your company opportunities to their network and speak to how great an employer you are.
As an added incentive, consider an employee referral initiative to encourage your workers to look for prospects outside their social circle. Employees who join HR recruitment drives are a massive help in finding recruiting success in this time of skilled labor shortage. Employee support also helps reduce overall recruitment costs.
Think Like a Job Seeker
It’s a job seeker’s market, so candidates will skip over lackluster or vague job descriptions. Today, construction and industrial sectors must speak to prospects in layperson’s terms. So, to attract the best talent, your ads should answer three questions.
- Why would I want to work for you?
- What will I be doing—exactly?
- What do I get back in return?
These questions are another great way where you can leverage your internal marketing to write a better job description that will speak directly to what job seekers want to know. If you have strong internal marketing backing your company culture, the employees you interview will be able to provide you with insightful and truthful answers to these questions. Using their answers to craft a job description that answers the above questions will greatly increase the response to your job postings.
How Employee Advocacy Can Influence Job Applicants
Beyond word-of-mouth referrals and job ads, you can use the effects of your internal marketing to build a portfolio of employee testimonials for job prospects to discover as they learn more about your company as an employer.
Written testimonials are great, but audio and video recordings of testimonials are even better. They represent an opportunity to show a person who actually works at your company talking about how much they love working for you, the company’s amazing culture, and the strong, dedicated team of people a job seeker can join when they decide to become an employee.
Potential job candidates take notice when honest workers support their employer. They get to relate at a more personal level and determine whether they’re a good cultural fit. And remember, one highly-targeted candidate is better than a hundred virtual tire-kickers.
So, make sure to use your internal testimonials, company events, and employees to showcase your branding to potential clients and employees. Your people should be represented all across your external marketing, including your website, social media, and community involvement.
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Showcase Your Company Culture
Your website should describe what it means to work for your organization. You can showcase photos and videos of projects and workers engaged in company activities on your About and Careers pages. You may also want to display employee success stories or highlight each employee with a more personal biography on your About page.
Newsletters to Promote Employee Advocacy
Employee newsletters are an excellent internal marketing channel. They typically inform the reader of company news and upcoming events of interest. Your in-house newsletter helps create a sense of community among workers across the board. Another effective strategy to make employees feel connected is to invite them to contribute to the newsletter’s content.
Team-building activities work well as an ongoing part of internal marketing strategies. These bonding events are a great way to promote camaraderie among individuals and groups. The secret is choosing the type of activities everyone can enjoy and look forward to. They could be simple icebreakers, shared activities, and cross-team events. Your industrial or construction marketing teams may need to experiment a little here.
Below are seven ideas to consider for construction and industrial worker activities:
- After-work team happy hours
- Sporting event outings
- Team games/challenges
- Movie night
- Employer-sponsored family outing
The examples above foster trust, improve communication, and encourage creativity. Another way to motivate workers is to involve them in the planning and decision-making processes. A team-building survey is a great way to gather helpful feedback. Include questions on times, days, dates, and the type of activities your employees want to engage in.
With the right balance, team building enhances social relations and helps employees get to know each other better. Forming lasting relationships in this way results in more positive interactions at work.
The best in-house marketing strategies use internal communication channels to gather employees’ thoughts. A survey, for example, is invaluable for collecting complex feedback. Anonymous questionnaires are perfect for collecting sensitive, honest responses without fearing retribution. Other channels can be more fun-orientated, such as polls and quizzes.
Whatever methods you use, employee feedback helps internal marketers build stronger, more harmonious workplaces.
Wrapping Up Internal Marketing for Construction and Industrial Companies
Internal marketing strategies take care of your employees. This in-house focus matters more than ever as the construction and industrial worker pools continue to shrink. Firms that strengthen relationships with employees are less likely to lose them to rivals and more likely to attract fresh talent. Brand awareness is only part of the fix, though.
Your internal processes must also cater to the new worker’s demands and support overall health and well-being. Get it right, and you will develop a tight-knit workforce proud to be part of your organization.
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Do you need a new way to attract and retain the best workers? Bold Entity is a professional digital marketing resource/partner for US businesses. We recognize the modern challenges and complexity of creating effective in-house marketing strategies. Our personalized services help firms like yours expand and enhance their employee branding and engagement initiatives.
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