Just when the first snows came to Minnesota in 1994 - about the time of the fifth game of the World Series, as luck would have it - a prospect called me. He was desperate to work with me because of the mountain of publicity I had generated for another company in his industry.
I was flattered. But while I did not want to correct the caller, he was wrong. Yes, I had helped generate some publicity for the company - a full-page trade magazine feature, a three-paragraph blurb in a local newspaper business section, and a three-paragraph mention in a national magazine. That was what the company aimed for, and we achieved our objectives. But it was not an avalanche.
Why, then, did it seem like an avalanche to this prospect?
Because we also ran two large ads in that same trade publication at the same time. In his vague memory, this prospect could not distinguish the ads from the articles. All he remembered was what seemed like a lot of publicity - and he wanted an avalanche, too.
The prospect demonstrated another principle of marketing: Advertising is publicity. Advertising is mention in the public forum from which people learn about and come to know the companies mentioned in the ads.
Morale : If you want publicity, advertise.