Key for both Corporate and Organizational Marketing is their common concern with multiple exchange relationships (commercial and non-commercial) with multiple stakeholder groups and networks, both internally (e.g. with and between owners, managers and employees) and externally with various constituencies (e.g. clients, suppliers, media, investors, communities). Another feature is the importance accorded to the temporal dimension with there being fidelity not only to present relationships but those of the past and those prospective relationships of the future.  Such a perspective has traditionally characterised mutual entities such as building societies, co-operatives and partnerships: John Lewis in the UK being one such example.

Balmer’s (1998) historical analysis of corporate-level constructs since the 1950s reveals the ascendancy of various concepts during different time frames. Each has attracted the attention of scholars and practitioners alike and appears, in part, to reflect the zeitgeist of a particular epoch. For instance, the concern with corporate image during the 1950's and 1960's and the current interest in corporate brands which dates back to 1995.

This is also reflected in the special editions and sections of, for example, the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Brand Management, International Studies of Management & Organizations and Corporate Communications: An International Journal that have appeared in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2018 focused on concepts such as corporate identity, corporate marketing, corporate brands, corporate communications, corporate image and corporate reputation. These special editions and sections and other publications have provided a forum for different ontological and epistemological issues to be aired relating to the above. The orchestration of these concepts provides the cornerstone of Balmer’s Corporate Marketing Mix (The eight Cs of Corporate Marketing; see figure below).

In conclusion, Corporate and Organizational Marketing should be seen as more of a philosophy rather than a function. For this reason the mix elements should be seen as informing an organization-wide philosophy rather than as encompassing a mix of elements to be orchestrated by a particular department alone.c