The entire world is going through a major economic slow down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India is also going through the same. The economic depression has started showing some effects already. More and more people are already losing their jobs. People are from every industry are suffering from this great depression. Meanwhile, in this unavoidable circumstance, as a brand one has to understand and plan. Many brands do not understand the importance of marketing. They often confuse marketing with sales. Marketing is not sales. Both are different from each other.
Marketing is about getting your name out in the market or target audience. It is important to create brand awareness amongst the target audience. Marketing activities help brands to present the unique picture in-front of the target group. It always has two goals. That is a short and long term goal. Companies according to their present condition decide about goals.
First, let’s understand about short term and long term goals!
Short Term Goal
The Company decides a short term goal based on the present market scenario. A company decides these goals to target immediate needs. The period can be between 3 months to a year sometimes.
Long Term Goal
A goal that is decided to keep future projections in mind called long term goals. Long term goal period can differ from 1-5 yrs or even more. This goal has to be determined carefully.
When marketing goals are getting prepared, it has to be clear to the brand about the outcome. Many companies don’t focus on these goals as they focus only on their present. Letting go of marketing activity can result in slow growth for the organization.
As one of the famous entrepreneurs of our times Bill gates once quoted-
Public relations are a part of marketing. It is a way to reach out to people with the help of the media. Public relations activity comprises of many things. Many tools are being used by PR professionals to produce positive stories through media. But we should always keep in mind that PR is a tool that has to be strategically sound. If a public relations activity is not strategic, it tends to fall flat and create a crisis.
Here are a few tools which PR professionals:-
PR people use their media relations and push the positive story about the brand. This is the most crucial way to get space in the media for clients. An agency with sound media relations can benefit the brand immensely.
It is a classic tool that is being used by publicists. The press release is a piece of information that consists of 5ws and one H. To know more about it anyone can Google the same.
One of the most important aspects of PR is the story. And to break the story, one has to be creative enough to create the same. Creating story ideas requires extensive research and planning. People with a content background or journalistic background are equipped enough to create such a piece. Story ideas differ from clients to clients.
These above-mentioned points are important for people. There is one more aspect where PR is a clear winner. When comparisons were being made, public relations came out to be a much cheaper and effective way of communication.
Public relations activity is way cheaper than an advertisement. And point to be noted, the Advertisement is an expensive affair. But public relations are not that expensive. Moreover, it does build credibility for the brand.
Public relations activities build credibility. But how? Public relations is a third-party endorsement. An easy example is like; if I say I am good it shows I am praising myself. But when someone else talks about me and uses third-person then it creates a positive impact on other’s minds.
The same techniques are being used by PR professionals around the world. This helps in getting the positive story out and create a good notion for the brand. But on the other hand, advertising fails to claim this throne.
Many companies like Pepsi, Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc, always keep public relations activity their priority. We can easily understand this by an example. Red bull is an energy drink company. In the past decade, it has become the synonyms of energy drink.
But how did this happen? Do you know that Redbull sponsors quite a lot of adventure sports tournaments? It sponsors some of the word’s biggest tournaments and gradually it became synonyms to Redbull. There are several examples present in the market like Xerox, Surf, Coke, etc.
Nowadays public relations and other marketing activities go hand in hand. And at this point when the entire economy is going through a rough phase, it is important to understand the nuances of marketing.
Because, the one activity that can save a brand; is marketing, by helping the brand to create a niche for itself. Why did I say that? Because as the advertisement cost for companies would be high the budget marketing like PR and Social media marketing can play a key role.
Social media marketing has also become the most integral part of public relations exercise. A social media platform allows creating a shelf life of the PR activity. We can understand the same with an example. For instance, a brand gets covered in the Times of India newspaper.
We all know that the newspaper shelf life is less. It does not remain there for more than a day. So, in this scenario, we can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, to reach the target audience. When our target audience sees this online, the instant image which builds in their mind is positive.
Similarly, many social media activities can be done in co-relation with Public relations activity.
Lately, Google Adwords has also started playing a role in Public relations. It can help a brand to create a lead and generate revenue through this. It helps a brand to meet their objective. The objective can vary from brand awareness to lead generation. But mostly brand awareness also helps in lead generations. Companies like Amazon and other e-commerce giants put google AdWords in their priority list. They spend a tremendous amount on google Adword to market themselves.
Similarly, SEO i.e
search engine optimization can also help a brand in meeting its needs. Search engine optimization is an organic process. It is a time taking process but it generates website traffic using a vast number of keywords. The keywords can be set based on the required objective and goal. Search engine optimization marketing has helped brands from various segments be it hospitality, fashion, lifestyle, healthcare, IT, real-estate, to grow their audience.
A brand should also never underestimate the power of online media. Many brands still want an appearance in the newspapers. I understand that this is important. A newspaper still has an impact on people. But at these changing times, the newspaper industry is suffering. Hence, keeping this scenario in mind, the brand has to move swiftly to a more fruitful direction.
Online news portals have seen quite a decent growth in the past. To get their daily need of information, many people rely on online portals. All top-notch online portals are booming. The brand has to understand the importance of these portals and ask their consultants to focus on online portals.
There are various online portals like Scoopwhoop, story pick, The logical Indian, etc. These platforms are platforms that create viral content. What is viral content? The content that contains virality factor. Majorly these content are such that it creates an impact on consumers’ minds. You can check these platforms to understand more about the viral content. But at the same point in time, they have a huge audience.
Now, planning and strategizing the campaign in a way, that creates an impact on the target group, will require quite a lot of research. Public Relations experts are generally good with research and planning. When to use these platforms? This should fall under the public relations expert’s jurisdiction. A good publicist will always create an opportunity for a brand that can never be created before.
To summarize all of this, we need to understand one thing very clearly. From a brand’s perspective, as it is a lean phase for the brand, it is more important to focus on activities that can help them in gaining the same momentum again. I always suggest that the brand should never work for today. A brand should always keep the future in mind. Because, if we miss the opportunities, eventually it creates problems. We have a lot of examples in hand.
Companies like Air India, United airlines, Blackberry, Nokia, etc, suffered due to their rigid process. They never wanted to change themselves. These companies shy away from the opportunities and failed to understand the audiences. The same mistake has been repeated by the startups as well. Companies like tiny owl and housing they used funds miserably. Instead of using the funds in the proper channel, they used the funds in the extensive advertisement. That led them to the crisis.
Hence, as the above points suggest that, marketing is the heart of any business. And if the marketing budget is not of that level, there are many feasible ways present in the market, that can help in reaching the goal. And not to forget that Public relations and digital marketing top the list. So, if you have any confusion related to marketing campaigns for your brand. We as an agency highly recommend these services. Not to forget, these services are pocket friendly as well.