When did your PR company last talk to you about the pillars of effective marketing communications? Have they ever talked to you about the 4 Ps [5 if you include people]? Did they ever want to talk about the other elements that will, ultimately, impact on their chances of delivering success from a PR, marketing or social media campaign? Probably not.
And, herein lies the problem with modern marketing communications. There is only one P that the majority of ‘experts’ care about… yes, you’ve guessed it… Promotion. Price, Product and Place seem to be a secondary consideration these days – if they’re even given considered at all. They’ve become the poor cousin to promotion because, well, the more people you can broadcast to, the greater the number of ‘likes’, the larger the number of followers you have the more likely you are to sell stuff or convince people you know what you’re talking about… right?
WRONG! What most PR companies – and, to be fair, marketeers and social media ‘experts’ – forget is that it doesn’t matter how loud you shout, the more likely you are to sell something. But that’s simply not the case. There is always an element of a numbers game in marketing and PR, but you can shout as loudly as you can, get as many pieces of coverage, hundreds of RTs and likes and as many eyeballs as you like but if the other four Ps are wrong, it’s not going to matter one bit. It’s the same when dealing with journalists… if the message, the product, price or people are wrong then why would they want to write about you?
The more conversations I have with so-called PR and social media ‘experts’ the only thing that seems to matter is shouting louder. When I talk about the 4 Ps, I often get a blank look. “The 4 Ps?”. “Yes,” I say. “You know…” but the look in their eyes says they don’t.
My point? Before you embark on the Promotion part of your marketing communications, make sure that your consultant understands how the other three support the success of the fourth P. If the first three Ps are right, the fourth should be very straight forward. It’s also why an integrated marketing communications plan will deliver results far more quickly and with a fraction of the investment in people or cash than one that simply focuses on Promotion.
After all, if all you’re doing is shouting more loudly than your competition you’ll just be taking the P out of the marketing mix.