Updated: Nov 26, 2022
While public relations and marketing are often viewed as separate entities in theory, they actually happen to be somewhat synonymous with one another in practice, one complementing the other in a variety of aspects.
In this chapter, we’ll be exploring how PR effectively compliments the marketing mix. We’ll begin by defining what a marketing mix is, inclusive of its four Ps and what each means. Following, we’ll discover the role of PR as it pertains to the execution of the marketing mix.
So, if you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level, and eager to learn how you can use PR to its advantage, continue reading because this chapter is for you!
What is a Marketing Mix?
At its most basic, a marketing mix is a foundational business model that leads the direction of a marketing strategy via a combination of factors inclusive of the four Ps; product, price, place, and promotion.
The primary purpose of a marketing mix is to ensure that any given campaign is taking into consideration a myriad of key factors as opposed to focusing on a singular message or motive.
The result, if approached and implemented effectively, is greater reach to a wider audience via a more focused effort on the business components that truly matter when seeking to “move the needle”.
Below is a quick summary of the four P’s in a marketing mix before proceeding to how PR ties the marketing mix together. While each component of the marketing mix can be viewed as independent of one another, they often can’t live on their own in practice for they are rather dependent on one another.
Obviously stated a product can be a tangible item or intangible service that a business or brand sells/offers. When seeking to market said product or service, it’s important to first identify key differentiators to be able to compete in the market.
Evidently, the price at which you plan to sell a product or service is not merely as simple as choosing a desirable number and calling it a day. Instead, it’s important to consider all recoverable and non-recoverable costs associated with the development of said product or service. Similarly, it’s also important to identify at which price is most optimal for sale development.
Once the product and price have been determined and optimized to market, deciding which platforms or places you’ll be selling is essential. Again, it’s not merely as simple as choosing a destination and running with it. Instead, some consideration is required.
Take a consumer electronic, for example. While you can certainly purchase consumer electronics in-store at several destinations, you might want to consider setting up an e-commerce store instead to capture a wider audience, or selling it through affiliate marketing partners.
Finally, once all else has been determined and optimized, it’s time to promote your product or service. How are you going to advertise it? Where are you going to advertise it? What promotional offerings are you going to provide your target audience? What’s your advertising budget? All of these questions and more are what’s involved with the fourth and final P of the marketing mix.
When combining these marketing elements in unison to create an effective marketing campaign or campaigns, customer influence, brand awareness, and higher conversion rates can be achieved. After all, that’s the intention!
Now that we’ve gained a better understanding of the marketing mix, let’s now explore how public relations efforts complement such marketing campaigns and why it’s an all-but-necessary step toward success.
The Role of PR in the Marketing Mix
Sharing similar goals and objectives as the marketing mix, notably building brand awareness through promotion and communication, public relations (PR) is an activity that uses communication efforts to target audiences and shift public perceptions to a business’s (or product’s) benefit.
While it’s often perceived to be used as a broader communication tool, PR tactics can significantly complement an organization’s marketing efforts, particularly when it comes to the promotional side of things.
Whether you’re launching a new consumer electronic product, making an announcement about a new technology partnership, or simply sharing company-wide information, public relations can help, whether through message development, content marketing, or brand awareness efforts.
With that said, just as there are four Ps of the marketing mix, so too are there three Ps of public relations. As mentioned earlier, Promotion is one that is most shared between one another, hence the perfect complement.
Less direct than advertising, PR is effective in its own right when it comes to conveying key promotional messages to target audiences. While its messaging may not be as flamboyant and “sales-y” as a marketing promotion, PR works to educate and provide insight on a broader scale, ultimately building brand appreciation and public awareness.
In order to create an effective marketing strategy, you must have the right people at the helm to create such a strategy. Through PR communication tactics, companies alike can recruit the right candidates for the job while also retaining those already existing within the company.
While not all processes require the demands of PR efforts, those that do can benefit from it greatly. Whether a CRM process, promotional advertising process, or content marketing process, PR acts as a great complement to the mix where needed.
Used to support a variety of marketing activities, PR complements the marketing mix by aiding in the promotion of products and services, building brand awareness, and targeting the right audiences with the right messages.
Whether through message and communication development, content integration, and/or consumer relationship management, PR proves effective across departments, marketing included.
Via the strengthening of strategies and the execution of marketing activities, there’s no denying the role that PR plays in the complementing of the marketing mix at large!