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Common Marketing Misconceptions - Internal Marketing 2023: Part One

Internal Marketing: Marketing is marketing is marketing.

There’s a lot of emphasis put on digital marketing as our world becomes more and more digital. I have argued that the principles of marketing are the same regardless of the medium; digital or print. The same can be said when you bring internal marketing into the equation. The only thing that truly varies is the quality of marketing that is taking place; there is a lot of bad marketing.

You Are In Marketing, Whether You Like It Or Not

As a human resource professional, you might wonder what marketing has to do with your position. Marketing is someone else’s responsibility, right? The truth is you engage in marketing daily. Every time you post a job opening, respond to an application, or host an interview, you are marketing a product. That product is a job offer.

This part of internal marketing sets the tone for all the rest. It’s important to get it right. Learning and rejecting some common marketing misconceptions is the best place to start.

4 Common Marketing Misconceptions and their Internal Marketing Applications

Misconception #1: If I have a good product, customers will show up.

Too often, businesses want to believe that the quality of their product will sell that product. This is rarely the case. People buy things because words they see or hear convince them to do so. Those words matter.

It’s not enough to have a great product. You have to communicate effectively about that product or potential customers will buy from a competitor that does, even if the product is inferior.

Internal Marketing Application: It is not enough to have a great job offer. You must communicate effectively about that job offer or you will lose potential talent to competing offers.

Misconception #2: I must talk about my company values, mission, and history so that potential customers will relate to me, understand me, and want to buy from me.

What this really communicates is that this isn’t for them or about them. It is for and about the company.

A business’s website is the biggest culprit of this error. That said, the number of billboards I’ve seen boasting similar platitudes is downright alarming. When potential customers find your company or product for the first time, they don’t give half a cent about your values or history. They don’t care about the awards you’ve won. They don’t care about how many years you’ve been around.

They care about what you’re offering and how it will help them solve a problem. They want to know what’s in it for them.

The biggest problem with starting any piece of marketing off with something like a company mission statement is that your potential customer won’t read it and won’t likely read the rest of the ad.

You have to catch their attention by talking about them, their problems, their pain, and how your offer will make everything better.

Internal Marketing Application: Starting off a job posting with values, mission statements, and/or company history turns off potential candidates and prevents them from reading the rest of your posting.

Misconception #3: My product is what the customer wants.

The product or service a business offers is always a means to an end, not the end itself.

For example, if you sell headphones, you’re actually selling the ability to listen to music on the go. The customer wants the ability to listen to music on the go. The fact that they can’t is extremely frustrating and makes their day boring. That’s what you need to market.

The majority of your marketing should focus on what the customer actually wants and the pain they feel without it.

Internal Marketing Application: Your job offer isn’t the thing your potential employee actually wants, it’s the means to an end. Identify what it is they want and how they feel without it and make that the focus of your job posting.

Misconception #4: I must explain my product in great detail so that potential customers fully understand what they’re buying.

The more words you include, the less likely anyone will read it. This applies to just about everything.

In any piece of marketing collateral, you have to get to the point quickly while being clear and compelling. It sounds a lot like juggling. The alternative is making your potential customers do the juggling to figure out what your product does and why they should buy it. The harder that task is, the less likely they’re going to buy anything.

The reality is, most of them are going to scan your ad for key information before actually reading anything. If they can’t find that information, they’re going to move on to something else.

Internal Marketing Application: Being overly descriptive about roles & responsibilities, requirements, and even benefits creates a noisy ad that potential candidates won’t take the time to read.

What You Need To Do Now

Information is only as good as its application. If you want to see a difference, take action. Here are two steps I recommend you take immediately:

  1. Take inventory of and assess all the ways you are promoting job openings. Identify which of these misconceptions might apply. (Take notes on where you see these misconceptions play out)

  2. Read part two of this series: 5 Guiding Principles for Marketing Your Job Offer (Available Monday, May 8th, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST)

Free Live Training Event

Crucial Message has partnered with Christine Morse of Avid Marketing Alliance in an effort to help businesses transform their workplace culture into one that is world-class and everyone is talking about. We believe that employees should be happy at work, highly motivated and productive, and fully engaged in moving their company forward. This happens when they are individually aligned with the overall company mission and empowered in their role. Internal Marketing is the key to this transformation.

Christine will be hosting a live training event on Thursday, May 18th at 3:30 - 4:30 PM. You can sign up for that event here:

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About Christine and Avid Marketing Alliance

Christine has over 20 years of experience in marketing, team leadership, client relations, and sales with companies such as Herman Miller, Amway International, Spectrum Health, and Disability Advocates of Kent County.

Christine excels at providing strategic counsel in marketing, training her clients' team on how to execute the marketing plan, and/or walking alongside them as their marketing department.