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Inbound, Content, PR, And Traditional Marketing: Is There Really A Difference?

Can you list the four Ps in the marketing mix? Chances are, if asked, you’d be able to figure it out (you are a marketer after all). However, we tend to forget the theories and definitions we learn in school after we frame our diplomas and hang them on our bedroom wall. No judgement, right? 

As marketers, we often read about inbound marketing, content marketing, traditional marketing, and public relations while catching up on our favorite blogs and Twitter feeds. I'm not suggesting that you’re not already an expert — this post simply intends to serve as a refresher on some of the different types of marketing out there.

Traditional Marketing

Think Mad Men. Traditional marketing is a very broad term that encompasses many forms: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telemarketing to name a few. Print includes ads in newspapers, brochures, and any other printed material.  Broadcast includes radio and TV commercials. Direct mail includes flyers, postcards, letters, and catalogs that can be mailed directly to consumers, while telemarketing refers to cold calling consumers over the phone (this worked better when there were no NDNC lists!). For some Generation Y-ers, traditional marketing might seem outdated (you mean people actually walked door-to-door distributing flyers?), many forms of traditional marketing are still used to this day. 

Inbound Marketing

Think HubSpot. Inbound marketing refers to earning a person’s attention rather than buying it. Inbound marketers make it easy for consumers to find them when they are searching for products or services. Content marketing falls under inbound marketing in that creates an experience for customers and surrounds them with content based on their needs. Uberflip creates content that our users are interested in by providing them with helpful resources, which in turn, allows them to discover what Uberflip is all about and nurtures a long lasting relationship.

Public Relations

Think Edelman. Public relations is a form of marketing that focuses on the relationship between the company and the people in the community. The main difference between marketing and PR is that marketing’s primary concern is sales, while public relations is concerned with awareness, buzz, and perception. PR aims to develop a positive image of the company for the audience. When an audience sees a company in a positive light, they begin to trust that company — and when an audience trusts a company, they are more willing to buy their product or use their service. So ultimately, the positive relationships that PR campaigns build lead to high sales. 

Content Marketing

Think Uberflip! Here at Uberflip we believe in the philosophy that great content — and a great content experience — is the best way to attract quality leads and turn them into customers. If you take a look at the Uberflip Hub, you will find content in the form of blog posts, infographics, webinars, SlideShares, and so on. We aim to create content that is relevant and valuable to our audience and prospective customers, which is key for conversion. The customer’s path of consumption has changed, and you need to be able to provide information before it’s even on their radar. Content marketers align their goals with content by answering the question: “What are we trying to achieve?” For us, it's making sure our users are achieving their content marketing goals, and we do this through not only our product but the content we provide as well.  

The goal of marketing (very simply put) is to gain new customers, retain those customers, and ultimately drive sales. Marketing involves gaining trust and showing consistency in knowledge and services. Uberflip’s role in both the inbound and content  marketing world is to provide support and knowledge to consumers in order to attract and retain them, while continuously engaging them with relevant content. 

So dust off that diploma, polish your frame, (maybe make your bed) and speak with confidence about the different types of marketing the next time your boss engages in conversation with you. It’s all pretty simple, and the more you connect the theories to real-life examples, the easier it is to put it into practice yourself. Oh, and if any of those Ps from the marketing mix are still on the tip of your tongue...Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. You’re welcome. 

What examples do you have that show the difference between these different areas of marketing? Let us know in the comments!

Want to see how Uberflip can power your content marketing? Request a demo and we'll be in touch soon!

About the Author

Emilie is a Customer Success Specialist at Uberflip. Before joining the Uberflip team, she worked at an experiential staffing agency, helping brands provide tailored customer experiences.

Profile Photo of Emilie Hamel