Maximize the ways you spend your marketing dollars
Have you thought about which marketing discipline is right for your business? Whether your marketing budget is large or small, you want to get the most out of your money — and you certainly have plenty of choices. In fact, the choices can be overwhelming.
Your main options might include advertising, public relations, strategic marketing, and media planning and buying. Before making a decision, you should look at how each discipline can help you achieve your business goals. Let’s look at two of these disciplines: advertising and public relations.
Controlling the content to build awareness
The greatest advantage to advertising is control: You control the content, length and shelf life of the message. You deliver your message exactly the way you want. Depending on your budget, you can have long television or radio ads, print ads that take up an entire page, and online ads that pop up all over the Internet.
Memorable ads create and enhance public awareness of your business. And, your ad can run for as long as you are willing to pay. So if you’re looking for continuous exposure and a consistent message (and have the budget), advertising might be the right fit.
Generating buzz with endorsements
On the other hand, consumers are more likely to trust a credible third party than a paid advertisement. Using public relations, you can leverage the power of third-party endorsements through positive stories about your business in print, online, on radio or on television. A targeted PR effort can get your organization in front of the right audience, whether you seek a specific demographic, a specific locale or the general public. Tell them how to do it: Send press releases, create events, give specifics.
A coordinated attack
Advertising and public relations work toward the same goal: drawing people to your business. Each discipline has advantages and drawbacks, but when planned in tandem, the campaigns can complement each other for a powerful effect. Do it right, and you achieve both credibility and consistency.
But remember, while advertising and PR are very prominent marketing strategies, they are only two of many options. You might benefit more from direct marketing, social media or another alternative. Think about your target audience and the most effective way to connect with them. Take a hard look at your business and choose the marketing discipline — or disciplines — that deliver the most value for your money.
Lana O’Hollaren is an account supervisor at Aloysius Butler & Clark in Wilmington, Del. She can be reached at (302) 249-4438 or online at www.a-b-c.com.