Editor’s note: Hey, folks! Our team at Blackwood has launched a podcast called The Big Brand Theory, and we’re currently doing a “Marketing Vs.…” series. If you’d prefer to listen to the episode about Marketing vs. Communication, you can do so at this link. Enjoy!!
Communication is a huge idea within marketing, and while the two are separate, they share a lot of the same qualities and end goals. Despite us separating and comparing the two, marketing VERSUS communications should really be marketing AND communications! These two aspects of business are extremely important areas to focus on. Let’s break down the two.
How are we defining marketing and communication?
Marketing is the objective of driving interest towards whatever product or service is being sold. Communication is probably the aspect we’ve covered that fits hand-in-hand the most with marketing. The very idea of communicating an idea or a piece of information is right alongside what marketing seeks to achieve. The two are certainly separate, otherwise we wouldn’t be differentiating between the two, but they play very well together!
Consistency is a huge part of both as well. Not only do you want to be consistent with the message you’re putting out and the tone in which it’s communicated, but you also want to be consistent with the quality of product or service you’re providing.
Why is it so important to be clear when doing both?
In a lot of ways, you want your company to be like a person. Think about it this way: when you describe a person, you probably highlight some physical features like hair and eye color, height, and hair length, or personality traits and achievements. When your marketing and communication are both working at their absolute best, people will start to instantly recognize you amidst your competitors.
The idea is to make such an impression on your audience that they immediately associate your business with certain positive traits. For this reason, you not only want to have stunning and consistent branding, you also want to have clear communication about what you do. Your look should reflect who you are as a business.
It is very important to keep marketing out of your communication whenever necessary.
There will certainly be many times where you’ll utilize marketing tactics in your communications with your clients – for example, any ad that you run will combine stills from both areas. However, there are also many occasions in which making a sale isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the point of you reaching out.
For example, if something huge is going on in the world (such as a pandemic) that is devastating a lot of people, particularly in your surrounding area, it’s probably a bad time to outright ask them to buy your products. It’s important to remember that business owners are humans, too; it’s okay, and totally encouraged, to genuinely care for the wellbeing of your local area and the people living there.
It is equally important to look at your internal communication within your company.
Generally, the tone is set by leadership as to how internal communications should be handled. However, it’s tremendously important to recognize the way you’re talking about your clients with your colleagues. Obviously, it’s inevitable to have to deal with some difficult people in the world of business, but it’s important to watch what you’re saying about them. They’re your clients, after all!
Additionally, if there is any area of communications within your business that is lacking, it’s important to address that as quickly as possible. Communication is the foundation of how a team functions, so make sure you’re setting a strong foundation.
Both of these things can affect your credibility.
One of the biggest reasons why companies sometimes receive backlash after releasing statements is because they either communicated their message poorly or made unsupported claims within their statement. This doesn’t just affect communication – it can affect your marketing, too. Don’t just be reactive with your responses; if you need to take a minute to process things before you post or release anything, definitely do so.
The biggest thing to keep in mind if you’re going to be releasing a statement or making an announcement is to do your research! We’ve all heard the term “fake news” floating around – don’t be fake news! Make sure that you’re always being 100% honest with your audience. It’s better to be genuine and tell the truth than to lie because you think it’ll keep everyone happy. Honesty is the best policy – just be gentle about it!
Use your marketing knowledge to make sure your communication comes across well.
There is a tendency in communication to just get the facts out there, negative or not. However, when you just lay the facts out there, it can sometimes be harmful to those on the receiving end. For example, here at Blackwood, we work with several businesses in the RV transportation industry. Many of those companies are in near-constant communication with their drivers.
Let’s say there’s a company going through a rough patch, and they have to tell their drivers about potential pay cuts. Instead of just flat-out saying, “yeah, unfortunately, you guys are going to get less money now…sorry!” it’s probably better to use your knowledge of marketing to soften the blow. This doesn’t mean you need to be dishonest, but it’s better to say things gently than to leave the opportunity open to hurt someone.
Marketing and communication truly do go hand-in-hand to make your business look good! If you’re not already doing anything on the marketing front, it’s time to start. Get your name out there! If your current digital marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, look no further. Contact our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – and yours could be next. Reach out to us today!