I mentioned in a post last week the importance of using the correct term when you are talking about ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising”
Why does it matter?
Which statement or statements are true?
1. Spanx spends no money on advertising
2. Spanx spends no money on marketing
3. Spanx spends no money no money on paid promotion
4. Spanx spends no money on paid media
I saw an interview on 60 Minutes where the founder, Sarah Blakely and a journalist were talking about the success of the business and how they ‘spend no money advertising’. Some people hear this as 'no money on marketing,' and assume that if they build a better mousetrap, they won't have to invest people or money in marketing activities.
To say that Spanx spends no money on marketing (or paid promotion) is incorrect. How do we know this?
First of all, the fact that Sarah Blakely was on 60 Minutes, filmed at a Spanx-run fashion show. I’m imagining here that Spanx created a fashion show event,(owned media-event), invited some influencers and media (earned media-influencer management and public relations), and obtained earned media through an interview on 60 Minutes (earned media-TV interview).
Spanx did not pay for a 30 second TV commercial during 60 Minutes so they spent no money on advertising (paid media). They don't buy paid billboard space or take out pages in fashion magazines. However, the activities they carried out to plan and execute the event, influence and obtain earned media stories, did require people and money investment from Spanx. I’m also imagining that they promoted their event through email lists or social media channels and amplified their coverage on 60 Minutes through their company channels. All of these activities require effort on the part of Spanx and don’t simply happen organically.
So does Spanx spend money on marketing? Yes. They don’t spend money on paid,third party advertisements but that is not to say they ‘build it and they will come’. Spanx invest people and money to get influencers talking about their products and build preference. Spanx has an excellent product and an excellent marketing approach with a focus on earned and owned media.
The correct answer is 1 and 4.