There are many marketing companies that offer one or more of the listed services but do you know what, NOT ONE of them is marketing!
Marketing is essentially a process of 3 elements:
- Understand your business proposition
- Understand the benefit and value you deliver to your target market
- Communicate the availability this benefit and value to your target market
The items on the list are all tools that can be used as part of the communication process. While some may be more important to you than others, there is certainly no need to use all of them. Ideally you should aim to have your selected tools working harmoniously as part of a joined-up marketing plan.
For many SME businesses, their selection of marketing tools focuses on the right hand column, the digital tools. The modest cost of entry for many of these tools make them particularly appealing to smaller companies with only limited (or even non-existent!) marketing budgets.
Along with the other services in the left-hand column, PR is often seen as the preserve of larger companies with deeper pockets – but PR has changed and there are now significant opportunities for smaller businesses, particularly those operating in niche B2B markets.
PR has changed
20 years ago, B2B PR was focussed on printed trade journals but the rising impact of the internet in all its forms has seen big changes. The print magazines have had to consolidate and become leaner. Many have introduced ‘online’ editions and some have dropped their print version entirely. As part of this consolidation, staff numbers have dropped significantly and with increased pressure on these smaller teams to deliver relevant, interesting content for their readers, they can’t just rely on content from traditional PR agencies.
Furthermore, the opportunity presented by the internet has allowed a whole new breed of online trade journals, some of which are developing significant and loyal followings.
PR should be a real consideration as part of a joined-up marketing approach.
A PR opportunity for you?
If you have an interesting, relevant story to tell that will be of interest to other businesses in your field (both suppliers and customers!), there is a good chance that one or more sector trade journals may be interested in using it.
The growth of blogs and social media as marketing tools mean that many companies (including you?) are naturally creating more content designed to attract and engage your target audience. As a result, you may well have already done the hard work of creating your content. So long as you aren’t just concentrating on delivering a sales pitch, it is likely that your creative efforts can be the
In this article, Duncan looks at engaging with trade journals in a bit more detail. I would like to reinforce his point 6. In the world of the
If you get value from the help of another person or business, a bit of quid-pro-quo makes sense.
A final word
I’d like to finish where I started. PR is not the single answer to your marketing and business development needs. However, it is certainly a tool you can consider as part of a joined-up marketing approach, even if you are running a tight ship.