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The Point Is…
“PR, in recent years, has become a core piece of the most innovative vendor’s marketing stack.”
Why PR Is The Glue For Retail Vendors
As a retail vendor, you’re tasked with getting your business in front of prospects to fill a pipeline. Most likely, you’re tapping the standard B2B marketing channels. But you didn’t stop there.
You’re using LinkedIn ads. Your marketing director found the ideal retail publication newsletter to help generate leads. You’ve doubled down on improving your content strategy. Hey, you even debated investing in a snazzy new trade show booth, again.
That’s fine, but your competitors are also doing all of the above. And maybe better.
If you work at a retail vendor or partner company like a SaaS company or ecommerce agency, it’s likely you’ve advised clients (retailers) to tell their brand story online. “You have something Amazon doesn’t—let it shine!”
Yet, you don’t do it for your own business.
Or worse, when you do, it’s infrequent and only lives on your blog (where well-intended ideas with quality keywords rest in peace ⚰️).
So, ask yourself:
- What does the market really know about your B2B company other than maybe the category you play in?
- Do retailers understand why your services/products solve the challenges they face?
- Does anyone know how your leadership team thinks or what they stand for?
- Who knows your client roster?
- Is your culture understood outside the office?
- Are merchants aware you solved X problem for them years ago?
All of this is fixed and steered by consistent public relations efforts.
It’s obvious that having your company and select executives regularly covered by the press improves overall awareness, but how do you do it in the commerce space?
Public Relations for Commerce is Unique
Public relations for commerce-focused companies is different than any other type of PR, even other verticals in tech. There are select reporters regionally and nationally who will write about the benefits of your new features, if you can present the info exactly how they wish to see it.
That presentation, of course, includes language. SaaS companies keep a steady brew of acronym soup around, which creates a major learning curve for tech PR firms or general agencies. Explaining PIM, IMS, OMS, AOV and everything else comes at a cost – both in terms of time and patience. It also demands ramp-up time you can’t afford. How can a PR person represent your company if they cannot understand what you’re saying? A dedicated Commerce PR person is knowledgeable to your industry and can more readily address these issues.
”Public relations, in recent years, has become a core piece of the most innovative vendor’s marketing stack.
When vendors of all sizes are playing the content game, hosting their own user summits, and standing at the same trade shows, PR cuts through the noise. Featuring your talented people, creating thought leadership programs, bolstering recruiting efforts… PR is the path for commerce companies who cannot and should not rely on their tech or services alone to score press coverage.
Vendors, take note: reporters would rather speak with brands and retailers over you nine times out of ten. This presents a challenge in how to get your messaging and offering to the masses through press coverage. It also upsets retail partners who’d like to chest-beat in an interview about how their new jargon-packed widget will reinvent commerce forever.
Solution: A specialized PR professional will partner with you and your clients to extract pressworthy stories, angles, and lighten the workload on all involved parties. The best PR pros will send questions to your clients in advance of phone interviews, know how to quickly interview them, as well as develop a list of the appropriate publications to pitch so you’re not seen in non-relevant publications.
How PR supports marketing teams within commerce companies is also unique. From messaging on brochures and website copy to media relations and speaking engagements, PR becomes the backbone/foundation of all outward-facing communications. When a case study is wrapped, a PR pro will ask to read it and know if it’s worth trying to secure co-presentations with your team at conferences.