Many business people often confuse advertising with marketing – however, advertising is only a small part of the activity called Marketing. Marketing encompasses the complete conceptualization of a product or service right from the research, the design, creation and refinement of the product, advertising, sales and delivery. Each of these phases operate independantly, but collectively, to achieve success in selling the product or service and enhancing the companys reputation.
As you’ll notice, advertising is just one component of the marketing process – it is the delivery of the message through various mediums, to promote and sell the product.
Advertising is certainly an important component of a marketing strategy and possibly the most expensive. Done correctly, the advertising process involves reviewing the marketing research and developing and analyzing strategies to come up with advertisements that will appeal to the target audience.
The advertising strategy consists of determing the right medium to use, times and frequency. When considering where to advertise, most businesses immediately think of Newspaper, Magazine, Television and Radio campaigns however, there are many other advertising channels available including letter box drops (flyers), flyers on community billboards or noticeboards, sponsorships of community groups, sms or text messaging and of course, online and internet marketing (email, ppc, banner advertising, Social media).
In addition, it is really important to determine the best (and most effective) channels to reach the Target Audience (the people who will buy your product or service).
Many business people make the mistake of confusing advertising with marketing and try to mimic the big companies like Coke, IBM and Nike. What these business people either don’t realize or forget, is that these large companies have spent a lot of time developing their marketing strategy before implementing an advertising campaign (where they can spend a lot more money). A great example of this behavior, is the Logo for a product – many business owners get so tied up in creating the logo and including it in their advertising because they think it will bring in sales (it certainly works for Coke, so why not?). However, a logo only really works because of the reputation of the company, which is built through a well planned and executed marketing strategy.
It is this reason that makes it important for business owners to understand the difference between marketing and advertising – so they can determine the best place to invest their time and money for maximum return. For example, initially branding the product may not be as important as communicating with the customer to educate them on your companies unique offerings and finding out what your customer is truly looking for.
Smart business owners will take the time to develop a marketing strategy so that they can understand their Target Audience, what benefits their offering needs to deliver to the customer and the best places to reach the Target Audience, among other things.
Armed with this information, effective and powerful advertising campaigns can be developed.
Do you, as a business person confuse your marketing strategy with your advertising strategy? Share your thoughts below…..