e live in a competitive business world where everything is all about survival of the fittest. Competition among businesses of any size is an inevitable part of the game. The only way in staying ahead of your competitors is to bring something different for your consumers.
"Make your marketing so great, that people would pay for it."
Marketing is used by all the companies to reach their customers. It is essentially focused on analyzing your target customers based on the different factors such as preferences, cultural differences, expectations, demographics, income, and many more, and answering a burning unmet need they may have. By implementing marketing strategies effectively, you can get ahead of the competition and even all the way onto the top of the industry ladder.
And likewise, Product Marketing and Corporate Marketing plays a huge part in order to achieve this success. But the prevailing question is: does every business need both?
Definition & Approaches
Most people are unaware of the fact that despite the overload of advertising messaging, and “banner-blindness”, consumers are still greatly influenced by advertisement, message, logo, jingle, and billboard associated with a company. Even when the consumers are not paying full attention, the messages are seen in one's peripheral vision and are often left in their field of consciousness.
The concept of product marketing revolves around finding the appropriate customer for the product that you offer, and at the same time, creating an engaging pitch to your target customers. Product marketing makes use of the three major elements: research, design implementation and advertising.
Example: when Nintendo has successfully led the entire video game industry during 1980's, they positioned themselves in such a way that left an impression in the minds of many American video game users. In the span of just three years, they managed to transform their $100 million revenue into a heaping $2.3 billion, through their effective implementation of marketing strategies onto their business.
On the other hand, corporate marketing is concerned with building your brand positioning in the market among your competitors. It is a tactic used to build credibility to your brand to inherently gain the trust of your customers, potential investors and potential clients. Its main goal is to make your brand known as an expert in your field, and be the go-to brand in your market. Often, corporate marketing departments are the ones in charge of the outward appearance or the image of their organisation--this ranges from mission statements to the actual implementation of the brand voice, narrative and outgoing market image.
Example: Apple positioned their brand as a revolutionary and visionary company from the start, whilst having goals to change the world through the products that they offer. Their vision was prevalent in their first ever marketing ads in 1984, which entails how a female athlete has saved the world from her 'Big Brother'. And until today, they were true to their brand positioning.
Difference in Strategy
Product Marketing Strategy
Every customer need or want is addressed by an appropriate product or service offerings that will bring solution to these needs. Another role of a product marketer is to act as a mediator between your product or service offering and your target customers. But the real question is how do we ensure that our product offerings meets our customers' needs? How do we plan this out? Here are five essential factors that may help you:
- Do research! Research if there is a real problem out there that needs solving, and if your product fits to solve that problem. Gather information about other solutions in use, your target audience’s preferences, purchase habits, motivation
- Develop a strong and innovative product
- Craft an effective narrative that will connect your products to your target audience
- Communicate your product using the right channels
- Track your product marketing progress and results, and optimize constantly
Corporate Marketing Strategy
This aids in the growth of your business as it lets your target customers, investors and stakeholders see your brand as trustworthy and a leader in its field. This is especially essential for start-up businesses, as it helps them gain much needed traction and validity, even before they gain a mass of customers, and “make some noise” to disrupt the industry. It can also help build brand credibility with potential customers, since some customers tend to stick with the ‘well-known' brand in the industry, and building up your brand will help you in gaining validation and credibility.
Here are the simple steps that will help you in pursuing your corporate market:
- Figure out your field expertise and define it well.
- Create unique content that speaks of your brand.
- Work at becoming a thought-leader.This can be through award nominations, expert content, guest posting on leading industry publications, speaking on stage at industry events (not pitching your company, but as experts in a field of interest), publishing use cases people can learn from, etc.
- Be consistent
- Take advantage of any awareness channel and adjust your content to fit that channel
- Seas every opportunity you can to get your brand out there
- Make use of teamwork
Difference in Communication
Each corporation varies in a lot of ways, from their product offerings, their ways advertisement tactics, the image they portray, and the message they intend to give.
Product Marketing Communication Channels:
- TV ads
- Social media
Corporate Marketing Communication Channels:
- Social media
- Word of mouth
- Leading publications
- Celebrity spokesperson
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Mass media
Importance of Product Marketing & Corporate Marketing
Product marketing and corporate marketing are like a road-map that will help us to understand the market, our target customers and even our industry competitors. While both of these marketing strategies are hugely useful and beneficial, the prevailing question is “does every company need both”?
Who should use Product Marketing?
Essentially, any company who would like to inform their potential or target customers regarding a new product offering, or to expand awareness of their existing product line. Any business, regardless of its size should make use of product marketing. It is not limited to simple advertising, as it involves extensive research before its launch.
- An owner of a small cosmetic brand wants to add a new lipstick based on the current trend in the market. The owner first has to determine the possible demand for the product by conducting a market research. Then, she could offer the product to a variety of different demographics, with different forms of packaging, and offering them at different prices. The result for this test market leads to the best combination of sales to optimize the revenue for the product.
Who should use Corporate Marketing?
You might think that corporations are the only ones who makes use of corporate marketing. However, that is not the case. In fact, every business, be it a startup, a SMB, a non-profit organisation, a political organisation, and even a religious organisation employs the concept of corporate marketing strategy in their business practices in some way.
- For a startup, there are non-costly marketing methods to build your brand, obtain market recognition, build brand reputation and gain interest traction, that will then lead to better credibility with your potential investors, partners and clients.
- A charitable or non-profit organisation will make use of corporate marketing to promote its services to the community. The goal is to make people want to contribute, and to make them aware about the community's need for the services they offer by advertising their message in strategic places.
- On the other hand, a political organisation will employ corporate marketing to reach out to a candidate's potential voters. It may be through running advertisements or putting up a billboard to differentiate itself from the other candidates.
Should I invest in both?
Nearly every business makes use of both product marketing and corporate marketing. These two are essential for the long-term growth of your business. Both product marketing and corporate marketing work hand-in-hand to ensure that your company's products and services will reach your target audience, and that your brand becomes a significantly well-known player in the market. Product marketers are in charge on making sure that your product is placed in the right market with the right customers. While the corporate marketers are in charge on bringing that market to your company.In other words, these two are essential for the growth of every business.
One of the biggest challenges faced by start-up businesses is that they lack credibility. Gaining trust of the skeptical customers or doubtful investors is hugely important for your survival and progress. Incorporating both product marketing and corporate marketing will gain you both recognition AND traction.
Every company has a product or service specialization, be it in the field of food, clothing, technology, pharmaceutical, or any other industry. However, simply having this specialization is not enough to make you stand out from the massive market of competition, especially if you're a new industry player. You need to establish your newly made business as an expert in your field to inherently gain the trust of customers and potential clients. By positioning your brand as an industry leader, you will build a more solid foundation of credibility and trust. Thus, making potential customers more likely to give you a chance over a well known competitor.
"A thought leadership brand reputation can help your company actually become the leader."
Benefits of thought leadership
- Early stage – credibility, validation, traction, more product or service inquiries
- Middle stage - rapid sales cycle with bigger deals
- Maturity stage - increase of overall industry foothold, reduce churn and increase customer loyalty
At the end of the day, each business in the industry varies in some way from another. Each business has its own set of niche and industry specialization, but one thing they all have in common is that they all rely on product marketing and corporate marketing for the long-term growth and development of their businesses.
While the primary differentiator between the two concepts is that product marketing is concerned with the marketing-sales conversion funnel, be it through outbound and/or inbound marketing, the corporate marketing deals with the promotional activities and the popularizing of the company's name, in order to build your customer's trust whilst making your brand stand out from the crowd.
Want to learn some DIY corporate marketing tactics that will get you that brand positioning you’re looking for?Leave us a comment below.