The Difference between Strategic Communications and Strategic Marketing
As a true partner to our clients, we ensure every step that is taken towards a goal is lifted with intentionality and supported by data. This is why the descriptor strategic is in so many of our services: strategic growth planning, strategic brand positioning, strategic marketing, and strategic communications. A question we have heard around the table (or Zoom room) more than once lately is: what is the difference between strategic marketing and strategic communications? So we figure it’s worth providing clarity. Dive in with us.
Strategic communications and strategic marketing are two closely related disciplines, but there are some key differences between the two.
Strategic communications is the process of planning and executing communication campaigns to achieve specific organizational goals. These goals can include building brand awareness, improving public relations, building brand trust, or influencing public opinion. Strategic communications professionals use a variety of channels and methods to reach their target audiences, including media relations, social media, public relations, and advertising.
Strategic marketing is the process of planning and executing marketing campaigns to achieve specific business goals. These goals can include increasing sales, launching a new product, or expanding into a new market. Strategic marketing professionals use a variety of channels and methods to reach their target audiences, including advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and social media.
The main difference between strategic communications and strategic marketing is that strategic communications is focused on achieving organizational goals (awareness, perception, trust, support, etc.), while strategic marketing is focused on achieving business goals (market expansion, audience growth, sales channel activation, etc.). However, the two disciplines often overlap, and strategic communications professionals often play a role in marketing campaigns, and vice versa.
Here are some examples to illustrate the difference between strategic communications and strategic marketing:
- A company launching a new product might use strategic communications to generate awareness and excitement among the media and the public. The company might also use strategic marketing to develop and implement a marketing campaign to generate leads and sales for the new product.
- A government agency running a public health campaign might use strategic communications to educate the public about a new health initiative. The agency might also use strategic marketing to promote the campaign and encourage people to take action.
- A non-profit organization raising funds for a new cause might use strategic communications to build support for the cause among donors and the public. The organization might also use strategic marketing to develop and implement a fundraising campaign.
Overall, strategic communications and strategic marketing are two important disciplines that can help organizations to achieve their goals. By understanding the difference between the two disciplines, organizations can better develop and execute effective and aligned communication and marketing campaigns. And with a strategic brand partner by your side you will benefit from comprehensive understanding, positioning, and results reporting on the combined endeavors.