For most, the differences between marketing, advertising and public relations are seemingly insignificant and hard to define. While marketing and advertising agencies might have their own specific explanations as to why one is more important than the other, generally speaking, both marketing and advertising take a first-person, representative approach to product and service pushing, while public relations opts for a more distant, removed approach.
Though both can be performed by marketing agencies in a respectable, ethical manner during this—the digital age of communication—digital public relations strategies are proving to be the more favorable option.
An Advertorial Atrocity
In recent years, both advertising and marketing have made it a point to interrupt potential clients in an effort to divert their attention from smartphones, tablets, laptops or flatscreen television sets to something of a more commercial nature.
Well, unfortunately for those who subscribe to this sort of advertising philosophy, the customer revolution is in full swing. Recent studies have shown that 60% of consumers feel more negatively about advertising than they did in the past. Additionally, 61% view advertising as a forced, intrusive and out of control industry. Lastly, and perhaps most disheartening, 65% of people genuinely consider themselves overwhelmed by advertisers. Victims of the process, if you will.
The Value of Digital Media
The perfect solution for marketing agencies is not only public relations, but more specifically digital media. Presenting itself through valuable formats such as graphic design, web design, video production, content marketing and—most powerfully—social media, digital media appears to be here to stay.
Consider the following: one in nine people on earth are on Facebook. Of those people, each user spends an average of 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site. YouTube, a different network with similar social roots, lays claim to 490 million unique visitors every month. Their activity on YouTube generates about 92 billion page views per month. All across the digital media board, trends are strikingly similar.
Public Relations as a Viable Solution
“The customer is always right,” claims an old sales adage. Wiser sales-centric words have yet to have been spoken, especially for outdated marketing agencies. As far as the world of public relations is concerned, however, there needn’t be any glittering generalities, reading of subtle nonverbal communications methods or sly hard closing maneuvers.
The field focuses on providing something of value to consumers, more often than not, through reliable journalists, news outlets and publications. Take, for example, the new, up-and-coming practice of content marketing: on average, American marketers spend one-fourth of their budgets on content marketing. In fact, 70% of people say that content marketing makes them feel closer to a sponsoring company.
Furthermore, with respect to the value of widespread public appeal, testimonials have been known to increase sales by 250% or more. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that 75% of buying decisions are based on emotion.
All the world’s marketing agencies are more than familiar with the cutthroat state of their craft of choice. In order to gain a competitive edge, an additional, conscious emphasis must be placed on a target audience through digital public relations. Soon enough, with an increase of satisfied clients on the horizon, you’ll be glad you did.