Corporate communication and corporate marketing: Their nature, histories, differences and similarities

Laura Illia (IE University, Segovia, Spain)
John M.T. Balmer (Brunel University, London, UK)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 5 October 2012



The purpose of this paper is to explicate the natures, histories, similarities and differences of, and between, corporate communication and corporate marketing.


The modus operandi of the article is to map these two territories and, by this means, afford assistance to scholars and practitioners within the communications and marketing domains who share the authors' intellectual and instrumental interests in these two territories. As such, the article seeks to provide a general introduction to the nature of these two fields along with their bases and rationales.


Whilst there are significant differences between corporate communication and corporate marketing, the authors also found similarities in terms of the importance accorded to identities (an identity‐based view of the corporation can be significant here) and are mindful of the impact of ethics and note common grounds in their analytical focus. Both areas are also inextricably linked by virtue of their foci on corporate‐level concerns rather than product‐related concerns that have, for the main, predominated vis‐à‐vis traditional modes of communication/PR and marketing.

Research limitations/implications

From a theoretical point of view the paper invites to explore the synergies between these two disciplines. From a practical point of view practitioners are invited to rethink their communications under the lens of corporate marketing and corporate communication.


The contribution of the paper is to provide an extensive literature review of the two fields that uncovers the theoretical backgrounds of both disciplines, their nature and analytical focus. Also, the value is to compare these two fields one with the other.



Illia, L. and Balmer, J.M.T. (2012), "Corporate communication and corporate marketing: Their nature, histories, differences and similarities", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 415-433.

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