I love and hate this:
I love it because of it’s simple, it’s funny and it’s true.
But I hate it because it perpetuates the myth that marketing, advertising and PR are all in some way equals. They aren’t.
Let me explain:
You meet two people at a holiday party: Beth works in the marketing department of a mid-sized business focusing mostly on public relations, and John is sales rep at the same company.
Here’s how they introduce themselves:
John: “I’m in marketing at ABC Widget.”
Beth: “I’m in marketing and PR at ABC Widget.”
One of introductions above is technically incorrect. Can you guess which one?
Did you guess John?
Sorry. Wrong answer, and here’s why:
Marketing is the interdisciplinary umbrella advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotion and direct selling—the five elements of the promotion mix—all reside under.
So the fact is, John is technically right—Beth isn’t.
John is in sales, and personal selling is one of the elements of the promotion mix. It’s the equivalent of saying “I’m in law,” when someone is an attorney specializing in estate planning. That works.
But when Beth says, “I’m in marketing and PR…” it’s like saying “I’m in law and estate planning,” “I’m in medicine and cardiology,” or “I’m in accounting and auditing.” That doesn’t work.
Perhaps from the standpoint of explaining what you do, it’s not that important.
But each element of the promotional mix plays a different role in making marketing work. Without an appreciation of the differences or promotional cost effectiveness of each element, your marketing won’t work—no matter what you call it.
Thoughts on this? Share them below.