Reputation convergence arrives

August 12, 2014

Reputation convergence arrives

Convergence is here to stay. Why am I saying this? Because I just realized that I did not write about our newest study, Convergence Ahead: The Integration of Communications and Marketing. The research is very relevant to reputation which is why I want to make sure that I blog about the trend here. I wrote a LinkedIn Influencer post about this rising trend but focused less on reputation than about how the communications sphere was changing. The gist of the research is that in increasingly more companies, once traditionally siloed departments — communications and marketing — are coming together on behalf of the enterprise brand and all stakeholders. Instead of marketing overseeing the customer and advertising and communications focused on everyone else (the media, investors, employees, digital folk, NGOs, regulators, etc), the new world we live in requires that companies have one voice. If not, they are essentially wasting their breath. We have several proof points to support this convergence of the two functions on behalf of creating better corporate reputations:

  1. Research we conducted with Spencer Stuart this year found that the rate of global CCOs (Chief Communications Officers)  who have oversight for marketing increased from 26% in 2012 to 35% in 2014. 
  2. 84% of CCOs agree that corporate reputation and brand reputation are indivisible today (same study as above).
  3. LinkedIn search found over 300 members who are Chief Communications and Marketing Officers (CCMO) or Chief Marketing and Communications Officers (CMCO).

But reputation-wise, there is increasing evidence that companies are focusing more on their enterprise brands than just a few years ago (86% of CCOs say they are working on their reputations more vs. two to three years ago) and that consumers care a great deal about the company behind the brands they buy. As the world has become increasingly transparent with the Internet and employees online, there is no way that companies can hide what they manufacture or how they behave. For these reasons, communications and marketing are joining forces to build more transparent reputations on behalf of their product brands and not ignoring the link between the two. And this is not just B2C companies but B2B as well. The facts are in and this trend is only going to get larger. 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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