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Blurred lines between marketing and communications

Weve all witnessed social media marketing posts, marketing emails or ad spots be fallible and when youre like me, your first thought is, Just how many approvals did this need to go through and just why didn’t anyone flag this?

  • It’s likely that, its as the marketing and communication teams werent in lockstep.

Why it matters: The lines between communications and marketing will always be blurry, however the rise of social media marketing, branded content and corporate activism has further complicated an already tense relationship.

State of play: Communicators are actually leading strategic messaging and storytelling, while marketing has shifted its focus to growth and reach.

  • Due to this, marketing teams are realigning beneath the umbrella of communications.
  • An Edelman study discovered that 43% of communication teams are actually centralized beneath the CEO a pivot from reporting to marketing, recruiting or legal functions.

What theyre saying: Im speaking with more CEOs each day who notice that probably the most critical skill sets they want sitting by their side are communicators and I include marketers for the reason that,” says J.C. Lapierre, chief strategy and communications officer at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

  • Lapierre, who reports right to the CEO, says PwC has benefitted by combining marketing and communications because her team owns every channel, which means you actually cannot get anything out that’s not aligned to the strategic agenda.
  • IBM recently took an identical approach, bringing marketing under chief communications officer Jonathan Adashek.
  • In accordance with Adashekwho holds the dual title of CCO and SVP, marketing and communicationsthis reorganization allows both teams to deliberately interact in a far more streamlined way.

Yes, but: How come marketing coming under communications rather than another way around?

  • Boathouse Group CEO John Connors says it is due to marketers’ history of pushing expensive, shiny objects rather than long-lead strategic planning.
  • In accordance with Connors, Agency presentations were reserved for lunchtime, therefore we were treated like creative jesters. As time passes, I think way too many marketing people quit the strategic high ground.
  • This tracks with Boathouses 2022 performance study, which discovered that not even half of CEOs trust their CMOs and only 25% believe their CMOs have strong decision-making skills.
  • Meanwhile, only 5% of CMOs consider themselves high performers in adding to the entire direction of the business enterprise, garnering support on the list of C-suite and impacting strategic decisions, in accordance with a Deloitte study.

Between your lines: The strategy piece is where communicators can be found in.

  • By aligning with communications, marketers are better equipped to safeguard and promote the companys brand, and CEOs notice that if they may use storytellers as strategic assets, they are able to help shape a technique that’s quicker to execute and can accelerate ROI, says Lapierre.
  • Together, both departments can build messaging campaigns that reach broad audiences, says Connors. Its not only about reaching consumers anymore. There should be several issue narratives that companies may use to differentiate themselves among employees, consumers, legislators and the media.

Underneath line: Communicators and marketers are magnetic forces that may either attract or repel.

  • So communicators must lead by crafting clear messaging that aligns with company strategy, and marketers should use those narratives to attract the widest audience. Together, they are able to directly impact growth.

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