Advertising or Marketing – Do You Know What You’re Looking For?
Advertising and Marketing. Even though they both get you to your goals, do you know how each of these principles is different?
Increasing your sales can be difficult if your ideal prospect doesn’t know you exist! The primary goal of buying an ad is to catch the eye of brand new prospects so that they will contact you to find out more. This can happen in many forms – a postcard campaign, Pay-Per-Click, a magazine ad, etc. Even your website falls under this category. A secondary goal of a paid ad is to attract attention from past customers in hopes they will “come back”.
Many companies sell lists and databases of contact information for people who meet your target audience – residences or businesses, age groups, zip codes, etc. The cost is sometimes high, but keeping in mind that it might attract brand new customers – it may be worth it.
Once you have real prospects contacting you, the job of Marketing is to keep the relationship going on a consistent and dynamic basis. While ads reach out to strangers, marketing connect with people who know you and what you offer. This is a relatively young concept: decades ago, there was advertising and sales and nothing in between.
So why is marketing even necessary? With all of the choices of product and service suppliers out there, buyers have loads of companies to choose from. They will select the business who has taken an interest in providing them value and keeping the lines of communications open.
This is the base of marketing:
giving value to your target audience on a consistent basis
using the channels they prefer
eliciting the desired response.
Can you purchase a list of strangers and email them your marketing campaigns? No! The email recipient must already know you and welcome your communications!
Besides email campaigns, examples of effective marketing channels include engaging on social media, offering special promotions, inviting them to events and surveying their feedback. If you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re missing out on the other ways to attract your audience. The goal of all of these are to keep the lines of communications open in both directions – giving value and eliciting a response.
We can’t ignore a brief mention of the ultimate goal: the sale. Does the sale happen directly as a result of advertisement, without bothering with marketing? Yes, sometimes it does.
However, if you want that customer to have a long term relationship with you, which generates sales over months and years, that’s where Marketing shines. It’s all in providing the value to the customer again and again.
So – here’s an analogy that makes it easy to remember. Being introduced to someone new who appears compatible to you is Advertising. Going out on dates and entering a relationship is Marketing. Finally tying the knot – Sales.
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