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Intersection of Advertising, PR and Marketing Service - What Are the Effects?

2019-03-27T10:01:07Z by Monique Lewis

Years ago, when I started my illustrious career of marketing-beginning as a promo model/brand ambassador, I understood that marketing meant marketing-creating awareness and promotions around a product or service. Granted, while the general idea was that our hard work of promoting expected to translate into sales, it was clearly understood that we were not salespeople. And never the lines crossed.

In more recent times and with the integration of various digital and social platforms, titles and responsibilities have become blurred. Social media/digital marketers are not only expected to create engaging content, increase followers, track analytics, improve SEO and translate data into marketable strategies but now sales become a huge part of expectations, especially with e-commerce quickly becoming the fastest growing industry in the world. Yes, marketing campaigns do and should increase ROI if implemented and executed successfully, but marketers aren’t salespeople. Yet how does one keep those lines from crossing, especially as an independent contractor or SMB that needs to acquire and retain clients?

One thing I’ve learned to do is manage expectations through precise clarity. I’m very quick to correct clients asking about sales-specific tactics, or anything outside the realm of what I’m currently offering. I explain exactly what I offer, thoroughly discuss anticipated ROI on my marketing/PR campaigns and discuss their goals and expectations to ensure we fully understand each other and our visions align perfectly as to avoid any confusion. I often give step-by-step demonstrations, ask if any questions or suggestions, and create concise outlines and proposals of my services. Once they’ve signed on, I follow up weekly with reports, calls and meetings; I track results through stats and their own IRL interactions (ex: if my client has a medical office, I ask how many patients called and the source of the calls; how many calls translated into in-person visits and appointments). This way, we-the client and I-have ultimate transparency and still managing expectations within the scope of proposed work. Constant communication and follow-through also aid me as the marketer to know real-time results of what’s going on and also allows the client to fully understand and see firsthand the impact of services provided while gaining knowledge and comprehension of services offered and delivered.

On the other hand, advertising is another beast altogether! Technically, marketing is a form of advertising; yet still, advertising is a more mercenary methodology of driving brand awareness and promotions. Marketing, to me, is the subtler sibling of advertising. Advertising is no-holds-barred, in-your-face promotions; meanwhile, marketing uses a bit more finesse and nuance to attract the masses. Sales and advertising veritably become bedfellows-both are unapologetically number-driven entities that rely on (usually) aggressive, bold tactics to drive sales and increase brand awareness (think of every commercial or slogan you can’t forget that's advertising). However, with the integration of various advertising platforms (Google AdWords, Facebook/Instagram ads) even advertising is not immune to indefinite boundaries. I’m personally guilty of integrating ads into my marketing campaigns, and the results have been tremendously positive, the point where I’ve included this as a regular option in my packages.

There is zero doubt in my mind that the trend of integrative services will continue as clients’ needs grow and expand to fit the demands of an ever-changing landscape. Ensuring clarity and transparency of services while addressing clients’ needs will be the key to success and longevity in the marketing/advertising/public relations space. Just like a plumber cannot cook a gourmet meal, one cannot be everything to one client (although you can form beneficial partnerships with other service providers, that’s a topic for another article). Being the best at what you do is the key to longevity and success-it’s best to be the master of one than the jack of all trades and master of none.