Marketing vs Marketing Communications

Ralph and I are often frustrated by the confusion most people have between marketing communications and Marketing. Too many people believe they are effectively the same thing. This is further compounded by the fact that many CMOs are really just CMCOs. Much is written about improving the C-suite respect for the CMO, but if the CMO is really only the CMCO, they can have limited influence on outcomes.

A perfect example of this comes from an article on Verizon vs AT&T in Ad Age. While the writer’s premise had to do with brands and branding, to us it is the difference between Marketing and marketing communications. Marketing involves not only communications but Marketing Strategy, Product/Service Management (a focus on future products/services) and Product/Service Marketing (a focus on existing products/services).

As the article points out, Verizon is kicking AT&T’s butt in the cell-phone market. They are doing it because they have better Marketing and all AT&T is left with is to try to have better Marketing Communications (branding). It generally doesn’t work and the CMO will get blamed and replaced with another CMCO. Rinse and repeat.


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1 Response to Marketing vs Marketing Communications

  1. As with many things, over-generalization leaves everyone confused and often misled. “Marketing” is the global word for all things relating to marketing. I appreciate the identification of the issue. Well done.

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