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Friday, 24 April 2009

The Magic of Integrating PR, Marketing and Sales for Business Success

Research shows that PR boosts sales and marketing by up to 50%.
But 50% of zero sales and marketing is still zero.
You need to get PR, sales and marketing working together to boost business brilliantly.

Trouble is: sales, marketing and PR have become so complex, they have evolved into different disciplines, where the people are all trained and accredited separately by different institutions. Each practitioner knows a little about the others, but often views them as competition for the promotional budget, instead of an ally to deliver better results.

Go round the marketing and communications professions and you'll find it's a classic case of asking a man with a hammer what the solution is. 9 times out of 10, the man with a hammer will suggest a nail. So it is with sales, marketing and PR professionals.

The sales man will point out that without sales, there is no income, but few salespeople would relish selling if they were not backed up with good marketing communications materials. And most would find their job a lot easier against a background of reputation-enhancing, profile-raising PR to drive traffic to the sales channels on and offline.

The marketing man will demonstrate that without researching the market, finding the right niche in terms of features, market, packaging, distribution and price, you can have great sales teams but no-one will know anything about your offering.

And PR people will argue that without a reputation, you can't trade effectively (just look at what happened all those years ago when Gerard Ratner claimed his products were c**p).

And of course, they are all right.

But what's interesting is that, with the advent of online PR, the distinction between PR/marketing/sales is breaking down.

Traders can directly interact with their buyers online. Especially if they can create content that actually interests people. That's opposed to reeling off lists of features & benefits expressed in the second person in a forlorn hope than one might strike a chord with a potential customer ....

And nowhere is that activity hotter than on the front page of Google. Almost all major purchases nowadays start with a Google search online.

Despite being a small agency, since the start of this year we've been getting clients onto the front page of Google's natural search results with a combination of PR, journalism and marketing techniques. What's interesting is that the results have been persisting, sometimes for months. And clients report their website ratings have also been boosted on Google.

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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at

 

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