It is always the simple problems that give people the most difficulty. At least as a young entrepreneur, I am seeing that as a common problem amongst small and medium-sized businesses, and entrepreneurs.
JDW has had a fantastic time meeting with wonderful, bright-eyed people who are ready to make a difference.
However, when it comes to marketing and communications, we seem to be running into the same misconceptions again and again.
I will take some time now to clarify a few things.
Marketing is NOT Sales.
Nor has it ever been sales. Marketing is defined as the activities that are associated with selling, promoting or distributing a product or service. Marketing is the “means” while sales is the “ends.” Marketing supports sales, that’s why many organizations have a sales department and a marketing department. Though other organizations combine the activities, those poor souls then do double the work.
Public Relations is not Promotions…And Neither of them are FREE.
Many people are confused with the term “public relations”. So much in fact, many people have started to use the phrases “strategic communications” and “earned media”, since those phrases obviously erase the vague cloud previously associated.
Even though your organization didn’t pay on be on the first page, you are paying the communicator to get you there. Even though your promotions campaign made you break even with a BoGo (buy one get one) activity, you got 2x as many in the door and now your visibility, which was the problem, is closed to being solved.
PR and promotions are about starting a conversation with all your publics. And getting the right folks that do it will not be free. But if the message is right, then the benefits outweigh the costs.
Social Media (when outsourced) is NOT Free.
This irks me alot. If you want a cheap social media campaign, do it yourself. Yes, a social media campaign can be much more cost-efficient than a traditional campaign, but there are costs still involved with it. If you want a dynamic Facebook page, a custom Twitter background, and a YouTube Channel with a high-quality video content, all those activities, unless you do it yourself or have a media-savvy, gullible intern, will cost you money. There is time, skill, and equipment involved that’s not free. Stop freaking out when you see a pricetag with a Facebook campaign. Or just do it yourself.
Cannot do Public Relations without Branding.
This is a biggie; which I understand. If an organization is unclear with public relations, there’s no way they’ll understand branding. To put it simply, you can’t introduce someone when they don’t know who they are. All organizations must have an identity now. People now, more than ever, relate themselves to certain brands. You need a brandentity now. Once that’s created, then a conversation can begin. Don’t get me wrong, a public relations campaign can help create a brand, but with that kind of campaign, one starts with the end in mind. There’s a plan created so by the end, a brand is created.
Every Business (Large and Small) Needs Marketing.
Very simple. If you are providing any kind of service or product, you need to do marketing to survive. Word of mouth only works so long. Organizations need to grow its customer base so it can survive the ups and downs of this volatile market. Keeping your message to a whisper will only do harm.
Okay. I feel better. At least I tried.