Small business owners often have a difficult time on how to understand the difference between marketing and public relations because it can be complicated and the lines between the two can be blurred. In fact, with the explosion of digital marketing in the past several years, many entrepreneurs understand the value of a sales funnel over a website since it gives them a way to not only introduce a new product or service to them, but also capture information and sales to see a direct return on investment (or ROI).
Marianne Schwab is a former national network TV talk show producer who now works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to get them broadcast interviews to help them promote their business and says, “Understanding the difference between marketing and public relations will help you learn how they best work together to make a massive impact with your campaigns. In a nutshell, marketing creates demand for a product or a service through advertising, while public relations builds trust with the general public through media interviews and features in TV and radio broadcasts, podcasts, and online and print publications. In other words, advertising is saying that your business or product is good, but public relations is getting someone else to say it for you. That is how to build credibility for a product and authority for a company spokesperson or executive. In fact, no amount of advertising can give you the credibility that being featured as an expert in your industry on a newscast or lifestyle program can.”
One of the primary traffic sources for businesses online and offline these days is social media advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more. This marketing method can be very effective for brand awareness and generating sales for small businesses. However, at the end of the day although it’s a great way to get a product or company on the radar of potential clients and customers, it doesn’t necessarily build credibility.
According to Marianne Schwab, “One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen my clients make over the years, especially my Fortune 500 clients, is they do not synergize their public relations and marketing campaigns. They invest a boatload of their budget into the P.R. Department and Marketing Department and they don’t talk to each other and actually act like they work on completely different planets. That is losing the opportunity for a ton of potential and additional revenue.”
Marketing is all about the return on investment (ROI). For example, depending on the ad sales team experience, a company can strategically invest $3,500 in social advertising and expect to double that amount with incoming revenue. Public relations contributes to the ROI by building credibility in a way advertising cannot.
“The best campaigns I’ve seen are the ones where P.R. and Marketing work together,” Schwab continues. “For example, a publicist books an interview for a local or national talk show and the marketing team then buys ad spots for the same show so that the brand, product and message is optimized from the featured interview. The audience doesn’t just hear about the product in the interview for credibility, but then the ads during commercial breaks make the essential imprint in their minds that lead to sales.”
There is no magic number that guarantees a sales since the primary factor is does the product solve a problem the client wants or needs. In general, it takes a minimum of seven impressions before a prospect will buy. Now, thanks to the internet, the number of touch points needed before a sale in 2020 was eleven and have since increased exponentially according to Forrester Research.
Marianne Schwab has worked as a producer for over 25 years in New York and Los Angeles. She is currently the Executive Producer of CMP Media Cafe where she works with clients to develop compelling media hooks and story angles that get them TV and radio interviews in today’s complicated media environment. She has created an online training that shares her insider secrets to promoting a business on TV talk shows and details the types of guests producers love to book as guests.