What’s the Difference Between Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising? Part 1 | Christina Motley LLC

Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising Defined (Part 1 of 3)

One question repeatedly asked by business executives is: what is the difference between marketing, public relations (PR), and advertising? Even among those working in the industry, there seems to be ongoing discrepancies as noted in a recent discussion with members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and professional marketers. Here’s our attempt to set the record straight. 

This blog is the first of a 3-part series that clarifies the differences between marketing, PR and advertising for business executives.

What is Marketing?

Defined in simple terms, marketing belongs to the company. Marketing team members develop external messaging and maintain ownership of the company’s story. Marketing identifies and connects with past, current and future customers/prospects to generate leads and drive sales.

By definition, marketing is the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market; the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service; an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer. The four P’s of marketing are the fundamental elements:  Product, Price, Positioning and Promotion.

Whether using traditional, online, offline or social media marketing activities, the end goal is promoting a company’s product and services to specific market segments. Examples of different communication channels used include advertising, newsletters, direct mail, Websites, industry-specific trade shows, Point-of-Sale (POS), Twitter and Facebook.

A comprehensive marketing plan and strategic mix of tactics, which includes marketing and PR, will yield the most successful results. This concept, known as Integrated Marketing Communications, describes a holistic approach to ensure message and brand consistency for all stakeholders, including internal and external audiences.

Need help building a comprehensive marketing plan – which may include marketing, PR and advertising – to grow your business? Download a complimentary Marketing Plan Outline and get started today Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

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