I’ve been thinking about how marketing, advertising, and PR all play distinct roles, and how they come together to complement one another. This is what I’ve come up with so far.
Marketing is about filling a demand by developing a product or service.
Branding is about giving that product or service a life and story of its own (maybe a story about how it fills that demand).
Advertising is about establishing a dialog with customers and prospects by telling that story.
And public relations, well, I guess that’s about teaching that story to the general public.
This is why social media can be very, very scary. It lets people share their version of your story. They can remix it, mash it up, and even add to it by telling the story of their own experience with your brand.
But does that mean you shouldn’t tell your story at all?
Advertising is focused externally and attempts to set up a dialog with customers and prospects. Marketing is focused internally and attempts to set up a dialog with top management in order to develop a product or a service “with a story.”
Without a story, no advertising, no matter how brilliant, is going to work.
If you’re not trying to fill some demand, there’s no story to tell (and no real brand). And without those things, you don’t really have anything to advertise. So you have to have a story to tell, even if it might get hijacked, remixed, and mashed-up.
But what do you think?