Marketers were one of the first to spot the potential of the online world and its ability to initially capture the eyeballs (and therefore the money) of the technically savvy. But subsequently, as the Internet population grew to now cover a far more generic demographic, its ability to show tangible & measurable responses to very granular groups - with almost immediate results - became even more useful.... one reason why online marketing tools such as with Google's AdWords are so powerful now... and hence why Google is too!
And now thanks to Social Media, there is now far more of a blurred lines between PR and online person-to-person communication (Word of mouth marketing) that there's ever been. The digital integration of Public Relations agencies and digital is happening all the time, with any PR agency worth its salt now involving, creating or buying digital departments. Just look at the sorts of activity that would have been an alien concept to most only a few years ago:
- monitoring online channels for mentions of clients & trends
- segmentation of the digital audience (rather than just labelling everyone under the 'online' umbrella)
- reaching out to influencers of all size (and errr.... influence)
- Measuring the trust of online users
- Marketing and PR provide the customer communication need, the "why" in this balanced relationship.
- PR has a huge role these days in giving search engines something they love... regularly delivered healthy amounts of content, in the form of Press Releases. "What" they provide is a steady stream of keyword dense articles that the search spiders can get their teeth into.
- And obviously digital provides the overall understanding of the technology & standards, including developing sites that are fully compliant and that make the best use of the above... that's "how"!