This blog is the last in an award-winning, three part-series originally written for Handshake 2.0,  an enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, to help business executives understand the differences between marketing, public relations & advertising. Following posts on marketing and public relations, this takes a deeper look at advertising.

Advertising, by definition, is the action of calling something to the attention of the public or a specific audience (B2B or B2C) especially through paid announcements. Advertising is part of marketing, in that it is one method of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service from producer to consumer.

Like marketing and public relations, there are a wide variety of channels that may be considered. Traditional channels include, but are not limited to, print ads, outdoor billboards or signs, radio or TV broadcast, online ad placements or pay-per-click Internet campaigns. Social media outlets include blogs (for example a company can pay for posts on Handshake 2.0, social networking, video sharing, etc.  Social media channels are not unlike traditional advertising vehicles in that they sell space ? whether it is through online ads, company links, or other venues. The difference with social media is that it only uses Internet and web-based technologies.

Marketing, public relations and advertising each contributes value to a company. Sometimes efforts may overlap or bleed into multiple areas. A website for example, can encompass all three elements with a specific sales promotion (marketing), product advertisements (advertising) and company news releases (public relations). Integrated Marketing Communications considers all the tools available, including online and offline communication channels, as well as traditional, social and new  approaches to determine the most strategic, most cost-effective and most advantageous line of attack a company can take to maximize its impact to achieve the greatest return on its investment.

VisionPoint Marketing believes a strategic, integrated marketing approach offers clients the most return on their investment when it is aligned with their business goals and objectives. VisionPoint's marketing plans often include elements of all three - marketing, public relations and advertising. However, VisionPoint's true focus is strategic marketing.