Branding Communications vs. Brand Marketing: What’s the Difference?
If the language of digital brand marketing and communications puzzles you, you are not alone. Sometimes even professionals confuse the two. To build a successful online presence, your company needs to weave both marketing and communications into an overall Houston search engine optimization plan. And, each requires its own set of strategies.
What Is the Difference?
In its simplest form, brand marketing is your company’s promotion of a product or service. You devise Houston social media marketing campaigns to reach potential customers and promote products or services with sales as the end goal. Your logo and company name is part of each marketing campaign but getting the company brand out there is not the main objective.
Brand communications, on the other hand, is the essence of your business. It is the foundation of everything the business does.
Think of your business as a tree. Brand communications are the trunk. The trunk represents your business’s core. The tree’s branches grow out of the trunk but reach out in various directions. The branches symbolize the marketing avenues used to keep the business healthy and growing. Like a tree, a business needs both the core and outreach to succeed.
Why It Matters
Clearly, the difference between brand marketing and brand communications is not just a matter of semantics. Marketing creates sales opportunities. Brand communications build customer loyalty.
Marketing strategies include Houston Pay Per Click ad campaigns, social media marketing and effective sales promotions. Brand communications include presenting the business as an expert in the industry with a stellar reputation. Using effective Houston search engine optimization, high-quality content and blog posts can inform customers of products or services that meet their expectations.
Meeting the Challenges of Brand Marketing and Communications
Developing a business brand that signifies the strength of a product or service based on name alone is the goal of every company. Branding communications do not have to be as fluid as brand marketing. Strong and steady strategies build brands.
Your brand marketing strategies, however, have to keep up with market fluctuations and changes. New products and services, the latest trends and seasonal changes mean your marketing has to change to keep up.
Google’s periodic updates and algorithm changes throw another wrench in the works. A once-first page organic search result drops quickly if your company’s digital marketing tactics do not keep up.
The Relationship Between Marketing & Communication
The expression “marketing and communications” is often used to denote all facets of a company’s marketing process, including communication. In reality, marketing is an umbrella concept and communication is a key component of it, along with market research and customer service. Companies use market research to understand customers and then prepare benefits messages used in communication.
The Four Ps
Marketing communications, or “marcom” is the final part of the Marketing Mix of product, price, place and promotion, also know as The Four Ps. Promotion, this definition, includes advertising, public relations, social media, promotions, native advertising and other product or service messaging efforts.
Audience Selection and Messaging
Before you can effectively promote or communicate benefits, you need to understand the audience. This is why the research element of marketing is critical. When companies develop a marketing plan, they identify particular customer segments with potential interest in products and services.
From this list, one or more target markets are identified for emphasis in promotional campaigns. Research within targeted customer groups allows for better understanding of customer needs and buying motives and helps guide the creation of targeted marketing and communications.
Message Development Strategies
Establishing marketing objectives and developing messages are another key part of a marketing plan. Objectives include increasing marketing share, growing the customer base, creating more favorable brand attitudes, encouraging brand switching and generating sales.
With the objective and audience in mind, the next phase of transition into the communication side of marketing is message formulation. Companies need to impress targeted customers with a valuable mixture of desired benefits and a reasonable price.
Methods of Communication
Marketing communication or promotion typically centers around three major elements: advertising, public relations and selling. Some companies use all three communication approaches, while others focus on one or two. Using more than one type of messaging channel creates an integrated marketing communications strategy, explains Management Study Guide. Advertising includes paid messages presented through media. Public relations is unpaid-for or “earned” media coverage.
Companies that sell high-end or complex products often use sales professionals to assertively present product or service benefits to customers. Picking the right methods of communication, as well as the right media to reach the target audience, carries major weight in achieving communication objectives.
Retaining customers is another function of marketing. This includes customer service strategies and techniques where service and support employees communicate with customers about their experiences. Follow-up communication helps ensure resolution of any problems and allows the business to learn about any common issues experienced by customers. Additionally, post-sale technical support is needed with complex products, such as technology, to enable customers to get maximum benefits.
Corporate vs. Marketing Communications: Everything You Need to Know
Yes, you’re losing customers. A recent report from McKinsey & Company revealed that only 13% of customers remained loyal to a brand in 2017. 87% considered other brands while 58% switched to a new one.
These customers ain’t loyal.
People are jumping ship. But why? One likely culprit is poor marketing communication, or marcom. And the other? “When companies fail to achieve growth targets,” says Workday, “90 percent of the time the root causes are internal— not external.” That’s right: poor corporate communication can also cost you customers.
Dynamic Signal’s 2018 State of Employee Communication and Engagement report, which surveyed 1,072 U.S. workers, found that half of them are completely overwhelmed by the glut of disjointed communication systems in the workplace. So overwhelmed, in fact, that they’ve even considered quitting. Yikes.
When you do the math, that means one out of every three employees has considered calling it quits because of shoddy communication at work.
The fact of the matter is that, as a business, you should be able to clearly explain company policies to anyone you work with. Customers and clients want their questions answered. Employees and investors want their voices heard. Good communication, both external and internal, can bridge the gap between the two and ensure your company delivers on its brand promise.
In this guide, we’ll go over what corporate and marketing communication is, key differences between the two, and important trends to look out for in 2019.
What is corporate communication?
Corporate comms is the practice of developing, executing, and managing communications intended to create a favourable point of view among stakeholders. Companies and stakeholders rely on each other to keep day-to-day processes moving forward. That’s why good communication between the two is so important. Any message a business delivers to its audience, including employees, the media, and/or the public, is considered a form of corporate communication. Its goal is twofold: (1) to explain a company’s mission cohesively and (2) to communicate that same message to every stakeholder.
As mentioned in our previous blog post, corporate comms is inherently cross-functional and involves employees from every level. Its primary responsibility is to shape and maintain a company’s reputation by overseeing communication strategy, branding initiatives, internal/employee communications, organizational identity, responsibility, reputation, crisis communications, investor relations, and public relations.
What is marketing communication?
Marcom refers to various communication strategies companies employ to reach their target markets. Holistically, it’s all the messages and media you use to communicate with your audience. Marcom includes the message you’re sending, the means through which you’re sending it, and the people you want the message to reach.
The primary goal of marketing communication is to reach a clearly defined audience and influence its purchasing behavior. To do so, businesses must continuously inform and persuade prospective customers by building awareness and inducing customer trials. Marcom’s secondary objective is to create and maintain relationships with customers, prospects, and other external audiences. It’s incredibly useful for retaining customers and reinforcing their purchase behavior.
How does corporate communication differ from marketing communication?
The type of audience you’re reaching out to is the main distinguishing factor between the two. “Corporate communications are structured to convey the attitudes, beliefs and goals of an organization or company as an institution,” says Chron, “while marketing messages are meant to inform the consuming public of a good or service. Where corporate communication is intended to represent the uniform opinions, strategies and motivations of a singular corporate entity, marketing communications are designed uniquely to influence consumers to purchase the goods and services that the corporate entity produces.”
The takeaway: corporate communications apply to internal audiences (investors, stockholders, etc.). Marketing communications apply to external audiences (consumers).
Communications trends worth following in 2019
1. Better, more customer-centric storytelling
Once upon a time, simple ads riddled with misleading product claims were enough to convince customers to buy anything. But with technology changing the media landscape today, customers themselves are assuming the mantle and becoming unofficial salespeople for brands around the world
Companies aren’t bragging anymore. Instead, they’re relying on happy customers to do it for them. How? By leveraging the power of social proof in their communication strategies. 90% of people trust peer recommendations over advertising. Next year, more businesses will use testimonials to create persuasive, compelling narratives and turn customers into brand advocates on social media, Internet forums, and blogs.
2. Less emails, more face-to-face meetings at work
Everybody loves email, right? It’s fast, it’s convenient, and (best of all) it’s free.
But a recent report published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that the almighty email isn’t nearly as powerful as we think it is. Instead, it suggests that face-to-face interactions are actually 34x more successful.
It makes sense. An email isn’t exactly ideal for a first client meeting. Moreover, it won’t get the job done in large-scale team/corporate meetings. Hiding behind them won’t build effective working relationships with clients or coworkers either.
In 2019, businesses will make face-to-face communication a priority. And with remote work on the rise, platforms such as Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime will put more pressure on email and help reduce traffic.
Examples of corporate and marketing communications
Still can’t tell one from the other? Don’t fret. We’ve included examples of both below. Take a look.
The contents of the following two publications are geared towards employees and stakeholders (instead of customers or the general public). The information spotlights company policies and procedures, investor relations, quarterly updates, and other important internal processes. Accordingly, these are examples of corporate communications.