Everything from web-site design, to search-engine marketing (SEM/SEO), to trade shows, to television commercials, classic outbound marketing, also known as marketing communications (MarCom) is the nuts and bolts of any marketing campaign. It can also include branding, publicity, and public relations, which I already discussed under brand.
Advertising derives from Latin advertere meaning “turn toward”, and, in fact, the origins of advertising are at least as old as that venerable language is. You can find ancient Latin inscriptions painted on walls of ruins in Italy advertising houses for rent! Of course, in the modern world, we usually mean something more than a message scrawled on the side of a wall, but the goal remains the same — to create a message which will turn the observer towards a certain product or service.
But no matter what you think of advertising, you need to create comprehensive marketing campaigns within the structure of your overall marketing strategy. Then, measure the results of the campaign, and fine-tune it over time, to ensure that your receiving the maximum benefit for your advertising dollars. For examples of what I mean by this, take a look at Marketing Is Measuring and Search Engine Marketing and Optimization.
While outbound marketing can be used for other things (e.g., to improve the percieved value of a brand), for most companies the ultimate goal of their outbound campaigns is to generate demand for their products. That is, to get customers. But demand generation is only useful if the message and medium are cost-effective. For example, if you have a product with a gross profit of $20, and you spend $300 on an advertising campaign which generates 100 leads, you might be happy — but not if only 10 of those leads ultimately purchase your product!
That’s why your campaigns need to focus on continually improving the message, and on achieving the lowest cost/result metric that you can. Once a particular message has been fully optimized — e.g., once you’re achieving the lowest cost per customer acquisition — you can incorporate that knowledge into other outbound marketing products, such as sales collateral.
Marketing collateral is a critical part of any business’s success. From pamphlets, to presentations, to white papers, to call scripts, your sales channel — whether that’s your web-site, or your internal sales team, or a distributor — can’t be effective without effective collateral. Your designers and copywriters can work hand-in-hand with your marketing associates to create collateral that empowers your sales channel by effectively communicating your message within the guidelines of your overall marketing strategy. However, those designers and copywriters can only cary forward the message you give them. Over time, as results are available from your measured campaigns, your collateral needs to be updated so that your message is always as effective as possible.
Remember, marketing is measuring, and you should be striving for continual improvement!