Strategy Discussion

Marketing and Corporate Communications | What’s the Difference?

For brands, connection is everything. Connection with customers. Connection with employees. And connection with stakeholders across the board. So, is there a difference between marketing and corporate communications? Competition is fierce out there.  Customers and employees are feeling disjointed. Furthermore, they are uncertain about how the ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) will affect their personal and work lives.

In fact, a recent report from Glint compared employee morale before the pandemic to now, and found the following: 

  • 31% of employees feel less connected to their leaders 
  • 37% of employees feel less connected to their teammates

And in the midst of being concerned about employee welfare, brands are incredibly busy trying to navigate the economy, stay engaged with customers, and operate as close to normal as they can. While selling their products and services, of course. So, what can brands do when faced with employee disengagement and a need to up their competitive stakes in the market?

Corporate building with individuals talking to each other

This is where understanding the difference between corporate communications and marketing becomes even more vital than ever before. Let’s take a look.

Corporate Communications and the Marketing Mix

Corporate communications and marketing communications are the (almost) identical twins of the communications world. In other words, at face value they look similar. However, they are in fact different, with their own actions and goals. 

Companies can often confuse the two, or not give enough weight to one. Resulting in, missed opportunities to connect with the target audience, employees or stakeholders. As Chron puts it, “Corporate messages are structured to convey the attitudes, beliefs and goals of an organization or company as an institution, while marketing messages are meant to inform the consuming public of a good or service.”

Let’s look in more detail…

What’s the point of corporate communications?

Corporate communications exist to present your brand to the world, telling them who you are, what you stand for and what you deliver on. And that world includes all stakeholders: customers, employees, investors and the media.

All strong corporate communications, spanning across external and internal audiences. The most essential point is that all communications need to be cohesive. Every communication from a company needs to make sense to its core personality and be linked to an overarching strategy. 

Consistency builds trust. And this goes for all stakeholders across the board. In fact, consistent presentation of a brand has been shown to increase revenue by 33%. 

5 reasons why corporate communications are a powerful force

1) 81% of consumers say they need to be able to trust the brand to buy from them. Cohesive communications are the secret to building long-lasting relationships.
2) 85% say they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news.
3) According to Hubspot, companies with highly effective communication practices had 47% higher total returns to shareholders.
4) The same report also states that 79% of highly engaged employees have trust and confidence in their leaders.
5) 50% of employees say that a lack of transparency holds their company back.

Digital signage as a corporation communications tool

If you’re still confused about how corporate communications look in the real world, let’s take a peek at effective corporate communications in action. 

First up, we have digital signage as a corporate communications tool. Boosting the way information is displayed around the office can have a powerful impact on employee morale and on those all-important customers who happen to visit your building.  At the click of a button, companies can motivate employees by splashing some pride-inducing reviews and testimonials across screens that have optimal visibility.

Example of Corporate Communications in a Hallway

And if you can mix it up with important updates to company policy, the clarity of information can leave employees feeling included and sure about what to expect next. In short, they feel informed and part of the workplace community.

The possibilities of information sharing are endless. And employee motivation is at the center, with news, praise, sales dashboards, health and safety announcements to name just a few content options.

A customer complaint – in its very nature – can be tricky and demotivating for employees to handle.  Companies can turn a difficult experience into an ingeniously positive experience for its employees through corporate communications. But it begs the question…

Where does marketing fit into corporate communications? 

The definition of marketing, is ‘the activities of a company associated with buying, advertising, distributing, or selling a product or service.’ So, while corporate communications is the overarching presentation of a brand, marketing is the subdivision of selling and communicating a product or service directly to your customers. 

Having a congruent strategy leads to truly powerful marketing. For example your social and email nurturing should line up with to offline activities such as print ads and events. And getting through to customers right now is challenging. But, it doesn’t mean it impossible. 

Here’s what marketers are up against right now

Two woman shaking hands

We can see from these statistics that corporate communications have a strong impact on marketing efforts. And all actions that a company takes are going to sway public perception. And if your corporate communications and brand image aren’t in line, it’s going to make the marketing department’s job of selling products a whole lot tougher. 

Again, it all comes back down to trust levels. 

Final thoughts

The key difference between marketing and corporate communications is the target audience. Remember, corporate communications are targeted towards the stakeholders of an organization, such as media, investors, clients and employees. And consumers of products and services are the targets for marketing communications.

Every touchpoint is meaningful. Every communication should be in line with your brand. Additionally, building and maintaining trust comes down to interactions. Want to see even more corporate communications in action? 

If you would like to learn more about how digital signage can power up your corporate communications and marketing, get in touch on 866.310.4923

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