Chances are your marketing plan for the upcoming year is already set in stone.
Your marketing objectives have been established, marketing strategies agreed upon, tactics identified and budgets confirmed. Right?
Do you even have a marketing plan?
Surprisingly, almost 25 percent of business-to-business marketers in the U.S., when surveyed in 2020, said they did not have any kind of marketing plan in place. A whopping 76 percent said they did not have a formal marketing plan.
A different survey conducted by Outbound Engine, a digital marketing service that specializes in assisting marketing planning, says, essentially, the same thing. According to Outbound’s information, approximately 50 percent of small businesses have no marketing plan.
In short, there are a lot of small to medium business owners out there whose marketing plan is “winging it.”
What is marketing? Is PR marketing?
As a general rule, marketing includes sales, advertising, public relations, promotion and research, accompanied by measurement.
Public relations, one of the services that Wellons Communications offers, is not total marketing. It’s a specialized marketing service that enables clients to present their product or service and shape public or business perception of what they do, only without paying media for the coverage or recognition.
Two of the primary differences between paid advertising and public relations are, first of all, cost and second, the ability to measure response.
Advertising is expensive and, according to the old marketing adage, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Further, consumers recognize that advertising is totally self-serving.
For companies with limited marketing budgets, marketing in PR offers an affordable choice, for the simple reason that they lack sufficient dollars to purchase enough advertising to really make a significant difference in their overall marketing. And, for organizations with larger marketing budgets, PR provides a means of augmenting advertising with editorial recognition that advertising lacks.
How can PR complement your marketing plan?
Where PR shines is in its ability to provide credibility by putting a “face” to a name. Think of it as a second dimension to your branding process.
The type of PR we conduct at our public relations agency seeks to provide an added communications dimension or connection with your product or service to get your message across.
Our primary marketing weapon is publicity: generating editorial recognition for your product or service that possesses the credibility that advertising lacks. We do this by persuading editorial media to recognize your business and what you are doing to benefit your audiences.
Why is PR less expensive?
The reason PR costs less is that publicity has to be earned. You cannot buy publicity.
Media has to decide on their own whether or not your business is newsworthy and what makes it newsworthy.
In that sense, Wellons Communications becomes a storyteller. We package your story in a newsworthy, easy-to-understand format, distribute your story to media whose formats and audiences are suited to receive your story, and individually “pitch” or contact media who might be particularly interested in your story.
Our primary costs are related to manpower, backed by know-how and experience in working with editorial media.
PR’s operational expenses are minimal
There are operating expenses connected with a PR firm, but in comparison with advertising, they are only a fraction of the cost.
Basically, PR’s operational expenses include production of visual materials that bring your story to life (photos, video, online visuals).
So, what’s the payoff with PR?
When PR and publicity connect, it can put your product or service into the news with an impact that advertising simply cannot deliver. Editorial recognition is recognition that is earned…and it is our job to help you earn it.
And, in an era when “fake news” has become a news story in itself, it is exceedingly important that whatever news recognition you seek is backed up by facts, figures and information that can be totally documented.
Ensure that you have PR in your 2022 marketing mix
If your 2022 marketing plan is complete, congratulations. You are in the minority of organizations who possess such a plan and are ready to get out there and promote your business more effectively.
If you don’t have a marketing plan, contact us at Wellons Communications. Let our Orlando PR firm share with you how you can start development of a total marketing plan…one we hope will include public relations as an important cornerstone.
All best wishes for a prosperous 2022!