Why Tech Companies Need to Stop Wasting Resources on Advertising

December 13, 2016

12:50 pm

If you’re an entrepreneur in the tech industry who hasn’t included public relations in your company’s growth strategy, then you’re forfeiting substantial opportunities to promote your business. There’s good reason why business icons like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Henry Ford are recognized to have heavily depended on PR – because it works.

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

PR is an incredibly valuable asset that shouldn’t be underestimated – especially in the tech industry. It’s less expensive than traditional advertising, establishes credibility for your brand, and is significantly more effective than purchased exposure.

A marketing study by Nielsen concluded that PR is almost 90 percent more effective than advertising:

“On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content… In the end, the impact of expert content on consumer decision making demonstrates the important role that objective and credible information from trusted sources play in the purchase process.”

For example, a positive story about a new product in the business section of a local newspaper has a considerably greater impact on readers than a full-page advertisement for the product. This happens because readers perceive the news media as presenting an impartial perspective of the product.

Impact of Content Types Across Purchase Process:

With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With PR, others sing your praises; there’s clearly a winner between these two scenarios.

Next to word-of-mouth advice from friends and family, earned media exposure carries far more weight than paid advertising, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Advertising embraces an antiquated method of communicating that consumers have grown cynical of. They don’t want to be sold to, they want to be inspired by a source they trust.

Positive Lift by Content & Product Type (In Percentage Points):

For successful public relations practitioners, it’s imperative to understand human nature and the psychology of motivation. By leveraging this knowledge, many potent tacts cab be employed, like using experts and leaders to muster attention, drawing relevance to current events, and uncovering emotional stories about your product or brand.

Thanks to the digital age, a great magazine article, TV interview, or newspaper story can outlive a giant redwood tree thanks to shares, tweets, emails, and comments. Of course, you can always post something clever about your new app or the latest microprocessor on Facebook, but don’t hold your breath, because this model is going out of style fast.

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Molly Jacobson is the Owner and Founder of Jacobson Strategy, a national marketing and public relations firm that specializes in technology. She passionately helps brands win the relentless battle for relevance in competitive markets by developing strategic campaigns that drive brand awareness and create industry buzz. Learn more at www.JacobsonStrategy.com.

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