Once, maybe, marketing was all that was needed to create a revenue stream. I mean think about all of the poorly conceived products you have seen in the market place over the years! Lots of them were profitable! Gone now.
Think of the local businesses that have great packaging and the most expensive billboards in your community, but no one knows two things about the owners/executives. (Public relations is less vital if you could give two rips about the communities in which your business serves.)
To those that do, (BMPr) is the key. Without proper branding, you have nothing to market. Without marketing, you do not drive buyers to your widget. Without public relations your brand name will rarely drop from the mouths of others.
Even though there are exceptions to every rule, Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations will be indispensable to product visibility in the emerging economy.
All good businesses must spend time, money, and effort on Branding. Branding affects the public perception of the product or service. Change the color, mascot, logo and it could signal that the brand is more professional, better tasting, reliable or the opposite. “Built it and they will come” rarely applies in business.
Marketing is what businesses must do in order to drive traffic into the front door. Just because you built a better, faster, sleeker widget does not mean people are going to beat a path to your checkout counter.
You must market that product. Plan, budget, analyze, cut back, and push forward your marketing strategy. What works in a bull market does not necessarily work in a bear market! Be resourceful, vigilant, and keep track and compare! Get customers to believe in the product. When they do, market those reviews!
Present that perception as the brand. Make those client-based reviews synonymous with the brand. Of course do the usual, if they have positive ROI’s i.e. Money Mailer, RSVP, Valpak, local newspapers, local marketing pieces, or television.
Public Relations is paramount to success in modern day small business. It costs so little and returns so much. What is the price of a lunch ticket to a local Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce meeting, or the cost of gas on a visit to local schools, police stations, fire departments, businesses, churches, vendors, or even a customer? Public relations is an offshoot of what colleges refer to as networking.
Network Marketing – Same Thing
Some textbooks call it network marketing. Huge industries created business models around network marketing: Amway, Mary Kay. I am not proposing multi-level marketing, but relating to others with a purpose.
Publicly relating to your communities is one of the purest forms of promotion and it is cheap to boot. When done with genuine caring for the communities involved it can help produce a sweet bottom line!
The Three Pillars!
There are three pillars to modern day promotion. Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations (BMPr). You might say wait a minute self-promotion is bad! No. A poorly branded product is bad.
A lousy marketing plan and/or no marketing budget, when needed, is bad. A small business owner shirking her responsibility to relate to the public is bad. Promoting oneself as an extension of the product or service you sell is public relations. BMPr is good business.