Let’s face it, as a business owner or line manager, you are probably very knowledgeable about the technical aspects. But when it comes to marketing your brand, you tend to be a little confused with the different marketing disciplines and all the jargons. I have met business owners who think they are doing branding when all they are doing is advertising. And there are people who think attending networking sessions is doing PR. Oh dear…
Knowing the difference between them will help you identify what kind of marketing activity you are really undertaking.
Here’s a quick explanation of the commonly misunderstood marketing disciplines:
Marketing: All the effort you undertake to ensure that consumers are aware of your brand, product and services.
Branding: What you do to build a powerful and positive perception around your brand. What is that one idea or concept that comes to your mind when your customer thinks about your brand, product, service or even yourself? Note, this does not necessarily involve selling.
Advertising: What you do to directly increase sales. A lot of times this means having an irresistible offer for your customer. In a cluttered and noisy marketplace, you will need to repeat the message many times before your customer takes notice of you.
Public Relations: All the activities undertaken to build a powerful and positive perception around your brand. PR builds on the foundation laid out by your branding exercises. Much of PR involves getting positive media coverage. Even in a multi-multi media environment of today, getting a feature in the newspapers, magazines, TV and radio is still very much valued. It is one of the best third-party endorsements your brand can get.
PR is also building connection with the community and engaging your consumers.
Why should you care about PR of your business?
Consumers prefer to do business with brands that they hold in high regard.
It takes years to build a strong reputation but only minutes to destroy it.
When things go wrong, and your brand gets a beating from the community, it is PR that gets into action to save your reputation. We all know that it is always easier to forgive someone who has a good reputation than someone with none. Same goes for your business.
Find out more, you can click on the links below
(cut and paste the url on your browser if the links don’t work)
The difference between advertising and PR: http://advertising.about.com/od/careersource/a/10advpr.htm
How to write a marketing plan: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/businessplans/a/bizplanmarkplan.htm