As marketers, we’re often categorized in one bucket. But what’s typically referred to as “marketing” tends to be an overgeneralization of a variety of very specific tactics and approaches, each with its own method for reaching target audiences.
We are marketers, yes. But we’re also advertisers, public relations gurus, social media coordinators, creative directors, media liaisons, event planners and so on. We need to be experts in all facets of marketing in order to do our job effectively. It’s critical when running integrated campaigns that encompass all of these tactics. Especially in the world of home and building products marketing, which has many different targets, from architects and designers to contractors and installers to developers and building occupants. So, in order to do that, we must understand the differences between marketing, advertising and public relations (yes, there are key differences), and help our clients do the same. Here’s a breakdown.
In order to strategically plan organizations’ promotional efforts, marketing tactics must be used. While it does, as mentioned above, encompass advertising and PR-related initiatives, its primary focus is on promoting products and services in order to support and drive sales. Marketing plays huge role when it comes to communicating the primary messaging of a product or service and backing it with relevant information that equips sales—furthering customers down the sales funnel process. Marketing tactics include websites, literature (brochures), sales kits, etc. Good marketing is about meeting customers where they already are and inserting your brand messaging in a distinctive way.
When it comes to drawing attention to a product or service through strategic use of paid placements, we’re looking at advertising initiatives. While this falls under the marketing umbrella, it’s really the extension and execution of paid opportunities to gain your audience’s attention. You are likely most familiar with advertising in the form of paid placements in print magazines, TV commercials, billboards, and online banners.
PR puts an emphasis on cultivating relationships between an organization or individual and key publics for the purpose of managing a positive reputation. This is seen through unpaid or earned communication, often by pitching traditional media outlets for editorial placement or through in-person engagements, and social media. It’s been said that “Advertising is what you pay for and PR is what you pray for.” Public Relations is set on the strategic concept of telling the world a story and having that story told in a positive light through others. In essence, it’s a tool used to write the story not to influence a story after it happens.
However, it’s also key to note that PR isn’t all about the positive storytelling. Sometimes its about reputation management after appearing in a negative light in the public eye. This is where procedures come into play in order to strategically and effectively change a public perception and communicate a positive outcome.
Marketing, advertising, public relations and branding together can effectively deliver your brands primary messaging and bolster your promotional efforts within a fully integrated campaign far better than any one of these tactics can deliver alone.