With the number of possible marketing and public relations strategies exploding in an attention-fueled economy, honing in on the right ones for your business has never been more daunting—or more critical. Choosing the right ones given the specific market dynamics is the key. Jeff Comer, a Hospital CEO with 20 years of experience and a Doctorate in Psychology, says that sophisticated marketing and public relations (PR) are critical for a business of any size to achieve long-term success.
What exactly is the difference between the two? Marketing focuses on attention-attracting (which is becoming increasingly challenging in a technological culture constantly bombarded by stimuli). Public relations focuses on trust-making by gaining respect from the public and enhancing reputation of a known brand. Let’s now examine these two important concepts in more detail.
What Does Marketing Do?
Marketing informs external stakeholders, including customers and partners, of a business’s product, service, or company image as a whole. It is the process of communicating with potential customers to create awareness about a specific brand. This includes everything from advertising campaigns, direct mail, email marketing, and digital marketing.
Marketing can be thought of as everything that a potential customer can see, touch, and feel about a business and the image that comes to mind of the business. In other words, marketing entails the means that a company selects to present itself to consumers.
Effective marketing should target customers and make them feel a connection to the company. Marketing can also focus on other businesses where mutual benefits or joint strategic partnerships can follow. Having a favorable image in the marketplace makes it easier for businesses to promote themselves because they will have well established customer and business engagement.
Marketing Builds Brand Awareness
Brand awareness refers to the number of people who know about a company’s product or service or recognize the business in the competitive marketplace. Promoting a brand is designed to bring knowledge of the company’s offerings to people in the specific target market. The goal is to develop an awareness so that targeted populations will select the product or service now – or in the future. As Jeff Comer says, brand awareness is important because once someone knows about your company, they’re likely remember it when they have a need for your offering. It’s a long game.
Advertising Boosts Revenue
Advertising, a component of marketing, is the paid, public announcement of a persuasive message by a business. Advertising can be thought of as the promotion by a business of its products to its existing and potential customers. In short, advertising deals with making offerings more visible so potential customers can be made aware of them, leading to the goal of increased revenue.
Marketing Grows Businesses
Marketing is a strongly recommended strategic focuses for any new business to become known to potential customers in their specific marketplace. Strategic marketing activities give newer businesses an effective opportunity to bring their product or service to market particularly when competing with more established competitors that have well-known reputations solidified.
Why Public Relations Is Important Too
Public relations plays an important role in marketing. PR focuses on creating positive relationships with the public by demonstrating strong support for the community that enhances a company’s image. It may also focus more directly on building a positive relationship between a business and other businesses or individuals that can affect long-term success.
Public Relations Builds Reputation
Public relations provides an effective means to heighten a company’s image. Effective PR efforts can help business leaders facilitate a message that they are interested in issues that affect their industry, local community, or even the planet as a whole. According to Jeff Comer, businesses can build positive relationships with customers by demonstrating support for causes related to the business that build trust and loyalty.
Public Relations Promotes a Brand’s Values
Both marketing and public relation activities can articulate a company’s brand values. A company’s values are the traits, qualities, cultural aspects, and unique characteristics attributed to an organization. The purpose of promoting a company’s values is to encourage people to become loyal customers because they agree with these inherent values.
Grow Your Network
Having a well-entrenched network is important for a business’s long-term success and should be given strong strategic focus by business leaders. Marketing and public relations combined can help businesses attract more customers, build relationships with suppliers/partners, increase brand awareness, and create better relationships with employees. For newly established businesses, marketing and PR are critical for reaching establishing these diverse networks, which can help lead to long-term success.
As discussed, marketing and public relations are about growing a business, building positive relationships with stakeholders in the community, and increasing brand awareness. When effective, marketing and PR ultimately help to generate revenue by increasing networks of devoted, loyal customers and partners. Both are important strategic considerations for business leaders to utilize.
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