Companies aren’t just about products.
Coca-Cola is more than a soda. Ray-Ban is more than a pair of sunglasses. Starbucks is more than a coffee.
Interacting with these products creates experiences for consumers. People buy products with an experience in mind. Even more important, the companies that produce and market these products understand the exact experience they want you to
have when you buy (or consider buying) from them.
That’s why they create a brand... fueled by a corporate marketing strategy.
From the language in a Facebook post... to the color palette on their latest billboard... to the Hollywood actor hired in their new commercial... companies who create a strong corporate strategy know their brand needs to live everywhere.
Today’s consumers pay attention to every ad, video, and billboard related to your company. If the message isn’t clear, you’re losing sales.
Plus, as media has evolved over the past 100 years, there are more marketing mediums than ever before. From print to television to email and social media, there are more advertising avenues, which means it’s crucial to stay on top of your marketing strategy.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to equip you to create and manage a corporate marketing strategy that’ll help your organization raise revenue, cut costs, and make loyal fans.
Understand Differences in Traditional and Modern Marketing Strategies
Marketing is a fundamental pillar of any company. In fact, according to the August 2018 Gartner CMO survey on marketing spending, marketing budgets have remained steady at 11.2% of revenue. That means companies earning $5 million in revenue per year should be allocating an average of just over $550,000 per year to marketing.
When it comes to making sure your company is poised for growth, you need to mix different marketing strategies. There are a variety of marketing concepts to be explored in the business world.
Two of the most common marketing practices are corporate marketing and traditional marketing.
So, what’s the difference between the two strategies?
What is Corporate Marketing?
Corporate marketing is any marketing an organization does to promote the company as a whole, contrary to promoting individual products. Simply put, corporate marketing is all about your company’s branding and messaging, from the logo to the advertisement language.
A corporate marketing strategy isn’t all about promoting a company’s products or services. It’s actually focused primarily on building a strong brand image while building relationships with your customers.
This marketing strategy’s purpose is to keep customers satisfied, encourage loyalty to your products, and ultimately turn people into ravings fans of your brand.
Companies like Disney, Apple, Redbull, and Starbucks have amassed millions of fans by innovating unique concepts. They stand out in the market because of the strength of their brands, which are recognized worldwide.
For instance, when you think of the iPhone, you immediately think of a product that’s high quality, right?
Even if you don’t know the exact details of a device, you understand that Apple represents a high industry standard. Just think about all the dedicated all-nighters who park their chairs and tents outside Apple stores every time they release a new iPhone.
On the other hand, when you think about Starbucks coffee, it’s not just the quality or taste of the coffee that comes to mind… it’s the lifestyle attached to the brand.
Corporate marketing isn’t necessarily about promoting products companies sell. On the flip side, the strategy is actually about promoting the brand itself.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is a broad category that includes various advertising and marketing methods as the most visiblyrecognizable marketing strategy consists of four types: broadcasting, print, direct mail, and telephone.
The oldest form of traditional marketing is print marketing. Long story short, it’s advertising in paper form!
Believe it or not, print marketing dates back thousands of years. In ancient times, Egyptians would create sales messages on papyrus. Fast-forward a few millennia, and print marketing usually refers to advertising in newspapers, magazines, brochures, and other printed materials intended for distribution.
While corporate marketing includes marketing your brand as a whole, traditional marketing encompasses the original, non-digital mediums to market a brand or product.
Television and radio have long been the king and queen of advertising until a few years ago.
Radio broadcasts served as a marketing medium since the early 1900s. Television advertising really took off in the 40s and 50s, enamoring a generation of baby boomers with household brand names through the use of jingle-filled ads... and TV dinners, of course.
Telephone marketing, or telemarketing, took off a bit after television marketing as telephones became widely available throughout the US. It’s the strategy of delivering sales messages over the phone to sell products and services.
This form of marketing has taken a somewhat
controversial turn in the modern era and is now regulated through several strict laws, though it’s still instrumental in selling products.
Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is similar to print marketing in that it uses printed material to advertise to consumers. The difference is that materials like letters, postcards, brochures, catalogs, and fliers are sent through the postal system to attract customers and sell products.
One of the first direct mail campaigns was the Sears Catalog, mailed initially to consumers in 1888!
Strong Brand Image Appeals to ModernConsumers
Your brand image is more than just a logo to identify your company. It combines all of the associations consumers make through hundreds of interactions with your business in the modern age.
Most business owners don’t overthink their brand image until they face a brand image problem part-way through their existence.
Often, entrepreneurs associate brand image marketing with colossal expenses and unnecessary fluff that don’t add any value or revenue to their brand. They’re usually so focused on selling a product that they forget that strong brand images back the best products.
The reality is that brand image matters… a lot. In fact, according to Forbes, presenting a brand consistently across platforms can increase sales by 23%
Here are three reasons you need to zero in on brand image if you want to scale your revenue while keeping expenses low.
Brand Image Impacts First Impressions
You know that making a good first impression is essential. When it comes to your business, it’s even more critical.
Consumers are quick to judge companies based on various factors, including your business cards, website, the cleanliness of your store, and even how your employees dress. While they may seem unimportant, these small details all add up to microcontact points with potential customers, which add to your overall brand image.
Brand Image Improves Recognition
You can probably spot a Tesla, McDonald’s golden arches, or a can of Coca-Cola from afar. It may seem simple, but it takes a ton of effort to make your brand recognizable to consumers.
It’s not just about the slogan or the logo. Your brand image includes visual elements and brand associations like reliability, speed, and quality.
If you don’t put effort into developing a consistent brand image throughout every interaction a consumer has with your brand, it will be almost impossible to establish a recognizable one.
Brand Image Creates Credibility
Believe it or not, your brand image is crucial to establishing credibility and loyalty among consumers. If you consistently put effort into developing a strong brand image through your packaging, service, or even freshness of your food, it can contribute to your credibility as an organization.
Plus, the more often you deliver on your promises as a company, the easier it will be for people to remember your brand and what it stands for.
Know the Pillars of SuccessfulCorporate Marketing
Corporate marketing strategy is driven by the overall goal to market your business as a whole to your target market.
If you want to succeed in creating a powerful brand in your customer’s eyes, you need to ensure you’re establishing these six pillars of successful corporate marketing.
Always Focus On Your Customer
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s critical to building a successful corporate marketing strategy.
Focusing on your customer and potential customers and their needs is crucial to establishing your brand. To do this effectively, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to.
You need to make sure you have a well-defined buyer persona. Once you have this, you need to place it at the center of your corporate marketing strategy. Your buyer persona will help you ensure you’re delivering exactly what your audience desires in a way they choose.
In other words, you need to know what they want and speak their language.
A simple tip to get started in better understanding your current customers is by sending surveys to those who have recently purchased to let you know how the experience went. This step will help you iterate and improve everything in your sales funnel.
Set Yourself Apart from the Competition
What makes an individual company remembered is offering something no one else provides, whether that’s a specific product, a style of communication, a unique design, or one of a kind service.
If you’re just another company in your niche, you won’t be able to establish a strong corporate identity, and customers won’t take notice.
You should always strategize new ways to set yourself apart from the competition. Remember, this doesn’t necessarily have to include changing your product. Think about the entire buyer’s journey and go from there.
Link Your Brand to a Lifestyle
What sort of lifestyles comes to mind when you think of Starbucks, Walmart, or Louis Vuitton?
While some people buy items from brands for the products themselves, many people buy them because of their lifestyle.
Have you ever seen those commercials of a rugged man driving a pickup truck through the mud while playing some hard rock music in the background? In those commercials, the company isn’t just selling a truck. They’re selling an adventurous and exciting outdoor lifestyle.
Linking your brand to a lifestyle is one of the key pillars in establishing an effective corporate marketing strategy. Not only will it give you a framework to develop specific marketing campaigns, but it will also attract the right kind of buyers.
Establish Messaging that Matches Your Buyer’s Persona
If you want to walk the walk in the business world, you’ve got to talk the talk.
The way you communicate with your target audience makes a world of difference when standing out in the marketplace.
You need to create your own unique, branded voice and messaging that will connect with your audience on a deep level. Think about Netflix for a second. They have a unique voice they’ve established over the years. They’re informal, relaxed, and speak to their followers on social media like they’re close friends.
It’s important to note that messaging isn’t just trying to sound different. It’s about being the right kind of different.
You need to match your audience’s beliefs, worldview and understand where they’re coming from. According to a Wunderman study, 89% of American consumers admit they’re loyal to brands that share their values.
When you use your audience’s language, you’ll establish empathy and rapport, imperative to success as a brand. You should revisit your buyer’s persona to develop brand messaging that works.
Nail Customer Service
This pillar is another example of successful corporate marketing. However, it’s arguably the most important.
Corporate marketing builds a foundation for always putting customers first. However, on top of providing solutions to their needs and speaking their language, you need to offer incredible service.
This focus includes above and beyond customer support before, during, and after their purchase. Nothing crushes a relationship with a customer more than poor or even average customer service. Make sure you shine in this area, or all your other efforts will go to waste.
Continually Feed Your OwnKnowledge Base
The corporate marketing landscape is continually changing. One hundred years ago, marketing relied on instincts. Fast-forward a century, and entrepreneurs and executives have access to seemingly endless data points to accurately aim their organization.
If you want to ensure your corporate marketing strategy is up to speed, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to grow continuously. If not, your competition will likely pass you, leaving you and your organization in the dust.
So, how can you continue your corporate marketing education?
Creating a successful corporate strategy takes time... and the right tools and resources to lean on. Here are a few resources you can use to take your corporate marketing strategy to the next level. So, roll up your sleeves, craft your plan, and start testing.
Start Now and Learn While Growing
Corporate marketing encompasses all of your branding, including your logo, name, color palette, imagery, and voice. But that’s not all. It’s also the intangible experience your customers have every time they interact with your brand.
Influencing that experience, or feeling, is how powerhouse brands separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Tangible elements contribute to this, like a clever tagline, gorgeous logo, inspiring manifesto, and a distinct brand voice.
However, compelling brands thrive when they focus on the bigger picture of their organization as a whole. If you can get to your audience’s heart and soul, a successful brand will likely follow.
Rizen Corp powers results-driven marketing efforts for small and medium businesses looking to scale. Our leadership team has a combined 30 years of marketing experience and can help your company improve its corporate marketing strategy.
Our data-driven marketing agency continuously focuses on helping clients increase leads, conversions, and overall revenue while keeping costs low.
As a strategic partner in corporate marketing initiatives, we provide both strategy development and execution to scale your organization.
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