Marketing drives sales and sales constitute a business. Mark Cuban of Dallas Mavericks says, “No sales. No company.” Marketing strategy stands on the four pillars of product, price, place and promotion. Advertising is part of the fourth pillar – promotion – but occupies a fair share of the marketing budget. While PR is separate from marketing, it is contingent on the long term image of a company.
Marketing, advertising and PR constitute all the communication that goes out from a company or brand to all its stakeholders. Since business is a social activity and thrives on communication, these three can be termed as the holy trinity of business.
In order to reach out to the target audience and the public at large, a business must deploy a communication plan. This communication plan must be strategic in that it must seamlessly integrate marketing activities, advertising and PR. When all of these work in tandem, the impact of the communication plan is magnified.
Before indulging in any of the above, however, communication strategists must determine the reasons for the need for a product and the best communication channels to reach out to the prospective consumers. All communication must use this research as a springboard to cater to the consumer need directly.
While traditional advertising and other marketing activities work as the promotional fix bringing the consumer face-to-face with the brand or product; digital advertising works to close the deal. Other aspects of marketing such as product – the need gap it fills, price – whether it fits the consumer’s budget or fulfils their status needs, and place – where the product is being launched – are also important from the perspective of sales. Advertising and promotional activities are often a product of these three pillars of marketing.
PR, on the other hand, is a long term brand building exercise. PR activities may often start well before other marketing activities or advertising. PR or public relations, as the name suggests, is a relationship-building exercise. Good PR can bring the company into the good books of the consumers and create a positive reputation which is necessary for long term success of a brand or company. Starting PR exercises before provides an edge to the marketing and advertising campaigns as the brand or company already has some recognition in the consumer’s mind. Moreover, since PR includes third party credible sources, it provides the much-needed foundation for a brand.
If you are someone with great communication skills and an inner bent towards everything communication, perhaps a career in marketing, advertising or PR is for you. However, in order to succeed, you must choose from among a number of marketing and public relations courses. Having a professional certificate in marketing management puts you in the consideration set for the relevant job.