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Business is about people, and so is advertising

Advertising and PR are about winning new business for your organisation. Of course they are. But we need to acknowledge that they often play other roles too, including addressing internal politics. When I was a magazine editor, I can recall several occasions where I was approached by marketing managers asking if we might do a profile on their company’s managing director, which – if it made them look good in print – “would really help me personally, Chris”. You can guess the possible drivers behind this, although they don’t really matter here. The point is, the PR was primarily for internal company reasons, not winning new business.

I don’t have a problem with this. Business is about people, and if relationships need to be addressed in this way, so be it.

Have you ever looked at those pullout advertorial sections in the middle of daily newspapers? They’re usually called something like “The Future Of Sustainable 360-Degree Infrastructure: A Special Report”. Don’t answer that – of course you haven’t looked at them. Nobody does. But companies pay money to appear in them. A lot of money. And it’s probably all to do with internal politics. A CEO who is not really interested in marketing might be ecstatic about a page of advertorial in a Times pullout, but would never even know about an advert for their company more beneficially appearing at the top of a million Google searches (for half of the cost).

Such “internal advertising” is a nice benefit of remarketing adverts, and one which hasn’t escaped the notice of several companies I’ve worked with. When you start showing adverts around the web to people who’ve visited your website in the last month, that will include (by default) most of the people who work for your company too. And why not? It makes us feel good to see our own company advertised all over the place. Even if we do understand exactly what’s happening.

It’s an added bonus that the ads showing to your own company employees probably won’t cost anything either.

1 thought on “Business is about people, and so is advertising”

  1. Yes I had a publishing group working for The Times contact me recently for one of these. The cost was an eye-watering £20,000 for a single issue. Like you say the possibilities digitally with that kind of budget are enormous – and potentially much more impactful too.

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