“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two -- and only two -- basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker
For far too many companies today, the main focus is on engineering and product development. This laser focus bodes well for creating breakthrough innovations. And while these products may indeed change the world as we know it, without marketing and PR, no one will ever know about them. This gives companies with better PR and marketing, but not necessarily better products, a competitive edge.
If you’re not convinced, here are 5 reasons why you should care more about PR and marketing:
1. Stand Out or Fade Out
First up is the debilitating syndrome called “failure to communicate.” Many companies hunker down and release seriously powerful products that surpass their competitors — something that would really make them stand out – but blow it because they do not communicate their message in clear, concise and compelling fashion. They simply bleed to death through their failure to market themselves and their products. Many companies sell razors, but Dollar Shave Club stands out in a crowded market with a clear, concise and compelling message—“An Amazing Shave for a Few Bucks.” Stand out, don’t fade out.
2. Establish Your Industry Leadership or Someone Else Will
Have you ever seen a keynote speaker and wonder what they have that you don’t? You have more experience or have made bigger strides in your industry, so why weren’t you invited on stage? Chances are these speakers are seen as industry/thought leaders. When computers were just giant machines in building basements, consider Bill Gates’ and his vision to “have a computer in every home.” Elon Musk’s promise that “we will not stop until every car is electric” pivoted the world in profound ways. Both had established thought leadership in their industries. A good thought leadership program—with speaking opportunities, contributed articles, guest posts etc.—can go a long way to getting you that keynote role, and to paving the way for your company and products to dominate your industry.
3. Earn Credibility, or Risk Skepticism
Trust is the basis for every successful business relationship. Just like your company and products need a go-to-market strategy, you need a detailed plan for building credibility. It’s the starting point for many successes to follow — or the reason they don’t. Communications is the basis for establishing credibility, and public relations plays a critical role. Many companies have leveraged the power of PR to earn third-party validation with top-tier media outlets and influencers. Others have proven themselves by receiving glowing customer testimonials, publishing white papers, contributed articles, blog posts and social media.
4. Empower Sales Team, or Let them Flounder
A sales team is most effective when marketing serves as “the wind beneath their wings.” Sales need marketing. Period. End of story. Earned, unearned, and owned media are essential in every part of the sales funnel, from attracting prospects, to converting prospects into customers, and to turning customers into brand advocates. And PR is the tool to deliver this media. Just imagine how useful a customer testimonial article praising your products and services can be to a salesperson while she is talking to prospects. Here she has concrete evidence that your company is as wonderful as they say it is.
5. Achieve Strategic Goals, or Perish
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up some place else,” Yogi Berra once said. The sad truth is 70 percent of businesses end up failing within 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a whopping 7 out of 10 companies! With the stakes so high, it’s imperative to create long- and short-term strategic goals for your business to succeed. A good marketing plan helps you define your vision, mission and business goals, and outlines the steps you need to take to achieve these goals. And PR takes the needed steps to reach the goals—letting your customers know you exist, allowing you to shape customer perception, differentiating your business from competitors, enabling you to develop brand recognition, and establishing a competitive edge.
Without PR and marketing there are few sales, and without sales there is no company. You'll know you have succeeded if the comments you hear most often from prospects start changing from "Who are you?" to "I read about you and want to do business with you."
If you would like to learn more about how PR and marketing can help your business, click the button below to schedule a call with an SKC PR professional or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.