What is the difference between Marketing and PR?
There are many studies that debate this topic. Essentially I see Marketing as the umbrella term for the process of a brand researching & identifying a buyer’s needs, interests & wants, designing & developing a product or service to solve it, setting a price to sell it at & taking it to market with an impactful communications strategy & campaign that engages & excites the desired target audience to buy. PR is intrinsically linked to this and is part of the communications strategy however some say it is a separate role. There are a number of similarities & differences to consider
Marketing aims to reach past, current and potential customers, whereas PR aims to build positive relationships with anyone who has an interest in the organisation or brand. This is therefore a broader audience that includes customers, press, employees & shareholders.
The primary goal of marketing is to drive sales of a product or service however building loyalty with customers & the visibility of the company brand is part of that task. Whereas PR is about selling the brand & managing its reputation through positively managing communications between a brand and its diverse audience groups.
Marketing is generally perceived as a cost or a business investment. PR is often classified as free exposure for increasing a brand’s reputation & success. In larger organisations Brand perception & reputation is measured holistically through surveys where the work of both PR & Marketing can be seen to contribute to success. Ultimately it is more difficult to measure perception, engagement & beliefs, a primary measure of the success of PR compared to a tangible sales figure.
The results of Marketing activities can be tracked in a relatively short time frame with tangible sales success or at the very least a level of interest that commences the sales cycle, whereas the benefits of sustained PR activity will be seen over a longer period of time & companies need to see this as an ongoing investment for future success.