There are key things you need to understand in order to run a successful business. It doesn’t matter if you have a small home based business, where all you have is a computer and a table in the corner of an apartment, or if you have a multi-billion-dollar corporation with thousands of employees. You need to understand what the difference is between advertising, promotions, marketing, sales, publicity and public relations.
Every business has a product, be it a service or an actual physical item. Advertising basically, is bringing your product to the current customer or potential customers attention. Advertising is very specific. You have a targeted audience for each specific product. Within the same company one advertisement for a product can be very different from another advertisement of a different product. This can easily be done with brochures, commercials, direct mailings, e-mails, personal contact, etc.
Using advertising, promotion basically keeps the product in the minds of the customer. With an ongoing advertising campaign the customer will continually see the product and develop a relationship with the item or service. Public relations is also considered a part of promotions.
Within marketing you have two parts. You outbound marketing includes promoting, advertising, public relations and sales. Your inbound marketing includes your market research, competition, research and product positioning. A marketing plan can differ from product to product. The concept remains the same in that the needs of your customer or consumer has to be met as well as your company getting value in return.
When we talk about sales. We include all the aspects leading up to the closing. We start from cultivating prospective buyers or accumulating leads within a specific market. Once contact is made we convey the features of an item, also mentioning the benefits of our services or products to the prospect. When the prospect is satisfy, then coming to an agreement or closing on pricing and or the services provided. Sales plans are specific like advertising, and the plan can differ from product to product.
Publicity is usually not under the control of the company. This is the mentioning of your brand or product within the media. These are articles or news campaigns, written by reporters. These are other peoples opinions on how they feel about your brand, item or service you provide.
Public relations by definition, are all the ongoing activities that are related in order to ensure the company has a strong public image. You want to make sure the public understands what your company provides, why it provides your product, or services and how it provides it. Through the media, newspapers, television, magazines, etc. your company helps the public understand the benefit you can offer them.