Gregor Cuzak

on marketing, business and philosophy

Publicity isn’t marketing


At a beer on a late Friday afternoon I’ve said to a friend that publicity is far away from good marketing for some organisations. She was surprised, cuz she works in advertising wherein the primary vehicle of business growth is the growth in brand awareness. Being known equals having more opportunities to sell.

Yellin’ ain’t sellin’.

See, for every dollar of turnover in B2C (business to consumer) there are six dollars of turnover in B2B (business to business).

Publicity in B2B is often seen as excess. Business partners are not keen on buying from partners who seem to have a lot of money for promotion when all they require is good quality shipments on time at the lowest possible price. Furthermore, suppliers strong on branding are the future enemies of their buyers.

Then there are public tenders. Governmental buyers don’t like to fall prey to negative publicity. The more known the participants are, the more leverage there is for aggressive journalism. Anonymous companies and people are not that interesting.

Then there is envy. The more someone is seen as successful, the bigger the danger of envy. Envy is the magnifying glass for all mistakes that accompany any company, successful or not. The less known the company is, regradless of its success, the smaller this magnifying glass.

Publicity is a stick. The stick has two ends. The positive and the adversary.

Now, truly, publicity and success are correlated, but quite loosely. And I would claim that usually success has to come before publicity. Not vice versa. Sadly, most small companies think in the ways taught by the big loud companies surrounded by big loud advertising agencies. Most think publicity is the stairway to heaven when it is really the gates of hell.

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