Recently during Stone Ward’s summer Camp Realty session, I found myself saying to our Media Intern when helping her with her project, “Your project may not need paid media.” I know, crazy coming from me, huh? But, what I meant and further explained to her was that she and her teammates needed to understand the goals of the marketing plan and which of those goals if any, paid media was the best solution for achieving those goals.

Image source: Shutterstock

Over the years I’ve learned marketing has many components with advertising just being one of those components.  And, to me, paid media falls under advertising. While working in advertising, I learned to plan, spend and measure the effects of an ad budget.  But, I am also a marketer which is different because I’ve learned there are so many different ways to engage with customers. Being a marketer is so much more interesting and subsequently so is working with paid media.  Now we have so many more ways to reach, communicate and engage an audience.  Some of those ways are experiential marketing, street teams, product placement, sponsorships, loyalty programs, branded content, CRM, and cause-based marketing to name a few.  I’m not saying these are no-cost options but they are very different in how they are used to connect with consumers than traditional paid advertising like :30 second tv spots or newspaper ads.  There are times when these very targeted and engaging marketing solutions are most effective than traditional paid media advertising.

So, I encourage you to not fall prey to only advertising your product or service.  Think of the whole picture and the role of advertising vs. marketing and how they differ.  You and your clients will be happier. I believe you’ll find new ways to break through all the clutter and narrow your focus – and you may find you do not need to advertise.