Not Either/Or: Marketing and Advertising are Both Important to Success
By Donna Martin, Co-Owner, Martin Wilson Marketing
Advertising versus marketing. It should not be an either/or decision for businesses. Marketing is the big picture strategy of how to reach customers and get them to buy. Advertising is only one – but very important – component of marketing. Both are needed to keep your business in the public’s eye. If approached hand-in-hand, both are great for your business!
Marketing is Big Picture
Marketing involves taking a comprehensive, long-term look at your company and its products and services, then developing a plan on how the company will promote, distribute and price its products and services. Analysis of your business market size and potential as well as evaluation of products and services of your competition is necessary to develop a winning and revenue-producing strategy.
Planning should be divided into three-month phases that are manageable, measurable and focused. A marketing plan should also include public relations, sales and distribution strategies and specific promotions. In addition, a broad view of ways your product or services can be useful to the public should be included in your marketing strategy.
Over the past several columns, we have discussed various marketing tactics including branding, PR and support of nonprofits as important in a marketing strategy. Let’s now look at how advertising can be used by your business to create a boom in sales.
Advertising as a Marketing Tactic
Developing an advertising campaign over a certain time frame to promote a product, service or an event is one effective way to use advertising. Sales cycles should also be evaluated to determine optimal times to advertise.
Several ways of getting the word out that you have something exciting to offer are through print ads, commercials, billboards and digital media. The key here, however, is developing attention-getting messaging that resonates with the public. Marketing companies are trained in branding/messaging and work with businesses to create ads that grab the public’s interest.
Advertising to Create Awareness
An ongoing advertising campaign is important in reminding your existing customers that your business is still around. Maintaining a strong presence through consistent advertising is good to maintain your brand. This strategy also serves to attract new customers who may not have been in need of your products or services when you first opened.
Can Advertising be Affordable?
It is important to set a budget to determine what percentage of your marketing funds should be spent on advertising. One or two print ads or radio spots are not enough to keep the public informed about your business or raise attention about a product promotion. Marketing companies will sift through advertising options to develop a productive and cost-effective marketing spend.
Most marketing companies have a detailed analysis of media channels (including print, broadcast and digital) and their effectiveness and cost efficiency with regard to the target audience. A mix of advertising options is generally very effective for campaigns and the marketing company will develop a well-planned strategy for each business as well as for specific campaigns.
Advertising can be affordable, especially if you work with a marketing company to develop a campaign. Marketing companies maintain strong working relationships with the various advertising outlets and are continuously informed of advertising promotions and special rates that can be passed on to their clients.
Bottom-line, while marketing is important for a business to stay in front of customers, advertising is a great way to create a super-sonic sales boom.
For my next column, I would like to answer your questions about marketing. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my very best to provide marketing insight to help your business increase revenue.
Donna Martin is co-owner of Martin Wilson Marketing, a full-service CSRA marketing company created to help businesses and organizations grow and shine. She shares her 30-plus years of corporate marketing communications experience with entities seeking a higher tier of visibility and profitability. Contact her at email@example.com