Friday, December 14, 2007

Marketing, advertising, public relations. What's the difference part III

Marketing and MarkStra

This is the third of a series on the difference between marketing, advertising and public relations. People often use the terms as synonyms, or are not sure what the difference is. By doing so companies like yours fail to notice and make full use of the tools available to convince the customer to buy from you.

At one point companies realize that public relations, advertising and promotion alone will not convince customers to buy or remain loyal. While many companies arrive at "marketing" at a later stage in life, it is a function that is performed before (in time and planning) "advertising and public relations". Advertising and public relations are quite explicitly just a part of marketing.

Marketing theory has it that there are more aspects that influence buyers to buy and which companies can be unique in. Conveniently, we use four (or six) p's, as follows.

  • product itself (design, innovation, features, color, taste, etc.)
  • price
  • place. Meaning the way a product is distributed (in person, via mail, Internet, phone, etc.) and where it can be obtained. If it is a store, if the store is conducive to buying, or if products are well displayed
  • promotion. Meaning public relations, advertising as well as sales promotion.

I usually add two p's. Technically, they belong under "product" and/or "promotion". But their existence and usefulness may get lost when talking about product or promotion. And how useful and relevant they are in our times!

  • people. Meaning the customer care and sales potential of employees. Companies that provide a service are increasingly important. In addition, the level of service (customer care) can be an important distinguishing feature.

  • partnerships. Meaning alliances your company has with others to provide a product. Think about American Airlines with Visa, several hotel chains, car rentals, etc.

At MarkStra Marketing is what we do for a living. We assist the client with determining the right product content, price, distribution channels, promotional tools, people and partnerships.

We may work with other companies to create and execute advertising campaigns, but we ourselves are not equipped to design or write copy for them. The campaigns we may create together with our partner companies are better than the average, because we have considered thoroughly ALL the other aspects that influence a buyer.

In the next post more detail about the marketing process.

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