Al Ries, noted author who coined the term “positioning” in the landmark book he co-authored with Jack Trout, Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, an industry standard on the topic, wrote “It’s not enough to have a better product or service. It’s not enough to have a better price. To be successful today you need to create a better brand.
What is a brand? “A brand is a perception in the prospect’s mind. Whatever you call the function (publicity, PR, or public relations), the objective is the same. Tell your story indirectly through third-party outlets, primarily the media.” Today we can add the term “content” which is synonymous with those he quoted.
Publicity in third-party outlets such as in-print and online publications and blogs lets you brand your B2B company as a problem-solver by illustrating the problems your company can solve. The impact of repeated messaging with creative solutions is a very powerful marketing tool. Over time, your prospective customers will see your various problem-solving capabilities. Moreover, you can create “We’re in the News” presentations for electronic and postal mailing.
David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” takes it a step further and writes about the benefits of using publicity to reach customers directly. He wrote, “Don’t just send news releases when big news is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time. And use news releases to drive people into the sales process.”
To quote Al Ries again, who also wrote “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding,” The publicity message has credibility because it comes from a presumably unbiased source. Furthermore, you expect the media to tell you about things you’ve never heard of. That is what news is all about.”
Publicity is the most powerful, versatile, and effective marketing tool there is for building a brand. Look no further than the coveted phrase “Motor Trend Car of the Year” as an example of the impact of a third-party on brand perception. Create your brand with product publicity!
© 2014 Steven M. Stroum