What Value Does a Marketing and Public Relations Firm Bring to a Business?

Posted on 16. Feb, 2010 by in Blog

There are many challenges in today’s business environment, but retaining the services of a marketing firm will  help a company position itself to grow.

Here is typical situation that we hear from clients: “I’m losing long-term customers.  Sales are off, and my business is less profitable?  Where can I find the right people to staff my enterprise.  I know I need to promote my business, but what combination of advertising, website marketing, direct marketing, and public relations will work best?  Should I hire a marketing person full-time, or should I engage an agency?”

You’re asking yourself all the right questions.  And with the rising pressures on lower prices, margins and profits, you need to use every advantage you can to establish relationships with your key audiences.

You’ve done all you can to deliver the best quality, price, and service—but so have your competitors.  Could marketing and public relations be the missing ingredient in your overall business strategy?

  • If you don’t have a line-item expense for marketing in your annual budget.
  • If you don’t have a strategic marketing plan with clearly stated goals and objectives.
  • If you can’t measure what marketing and public relations contribute to your bottom line.

The answer is Yes.

What Marketing  Model Works For You?

To many new, emerging and mature companies, nothing is more enchanting than the image of the genteel proprietor of more than a century ago who proudly hung out his sign, and guided business success on the foundation of hard work, simple product lines and a little homespun charm.

One such businessman was twenty-one year old Alfred Smith Barnes, founder of A. S. Barnes & Co. in 1838 in Hartford.  Barnes has the distinction of establishing the first house devoted primarily to educational publishing.  This prestige was achieved when he published an acclaimed series of math  textbooks written by the preeminent Professor Charles Davies of Trinity College. Publishing historians also credit Barnes for introducing the model of the door-to-door sales technique to textbook customers.  For two years this gentleman publisher traversed New England towns on horseback or by coach or carriage, winning friends and influencing teachers, principals, and college professors to buy his books.  Barnes’ quaint beginning laid the foundation for more than a century of educational publishing success.

Today, increased competition, a diverse cultural landscape, the melding of cable, telephone and Internet and a global economy make Alfred S. Barnes’ horse and buggy sales method as practical as rowing a boat to London.  To build a viable business, the modern day business manager has to plan a strategy of marketing methods compatible with industry culture and directed at well-defined audiences.

Are you familiar with these techniques:  “push-pull” marketing strategy?  Interpersonal relationship building?  Target marketing?  Brand leveraging?  Your competitors probably are.  Increasingly in today’s complex business arena, managers of medium-sized and small business have joined corporate executives in using public relations practitioners to guide business management, sustain close communication with customers and ensure business growth and longevity.

For example, when top management at Intuit, Inc. wanted to develop a market among women to increase sales of their industry leading accounting software, Quicken, they employed a public relations firm to guide the process.  Beginning with consumer research, the public relations counselors identified the software’s period of highest sales, surveyed women’s magazine editors to isolate several relevant issues, and developed a promotional campaign that targeted pertinent goals that women share, including managing their personal and family finances.  Intuit received 1000 direct calls for its promotional material developed by the public relations firm and estimated that each call resulted in at least five sales of Quicken software.

Benefits of Using a Marketing Firm

The job of a marketing firm is to provide a variety of services and skills to help your business gain an edge in the marketplace, establish communications with its targeted audience, build on its good name and ensure its survival.  The firm will work closely with you in time-intensive sessions to learn the values, history and resources of your business, becoming a trusted partner in the process of defining your organizations’ goals by providing general services, including counseling, objective analysis and research, evaluation, and training.  Counselors use extensive media contacts, trade resources, and third-party personnel and draw on their collective wisdom to return measurable results for clients.  The proliferation of businesses seeking agencies in recent years has also produced specialists in many fields, including health, environment, government, education, finance, crisis management and consumer marketing. The benefits of developing a good marketing and public relations program also include:

  • establishing credibility
  • protecting the brand name
  • increased visibility in the market place
  • prestige by association.

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