Climbing above the competition:
Marketing vs. advertising
Part 1 of 5
How do you promote your company? There is so much
noise out there in the form of advertising that
you must have a good answer to this question, or
you won’t climb above your competitors. If people
don’t know about you and your business, you won’t
be in a position to be considered when they need
the products or services that you sell. This is
just as true for an e-commerce website as it is
for a shop on the street.
Are marketing and advertising the same thing? Many
people believe they are. The typical small business
makes this assumption. Some small business owners
don’t think about marketing.
That’s too bad. A clear understanding of the difference
between marketing and advertising is something
every businessperson should have.
Marketing is the crafted means of letting people
know you are in business and where they can find
you. Advertising is paid promotion of your products
or business. You might channel revenue into marketing,
perhaps even contract a marketing firm, but that’s
not the same as advertising.
A good location can compensate for a poor understanding
of marketing, but that’s an exception to the rule.
On the flipside, properly run and marketed businesses
routinely excel in poor locations. Marketing has
many, many forms. It’s press releases, magazine
articles, newspaper articles, and interviews. It’s
company participation in public events. It’s participation
on a private level on public boards. Marketing
is contacting people who can influence others and
help create awareness of your market presence.
Effective marketing is even having your banker
speak favorably of you when you are not present.
Marketing is having a customer refer your business
to a friend.
How are these things achieved? Do they happen because
your doors are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00
p.m.? No. Marketing does not just happen. It is
a calculated effort that comes from careful planning.
Before the first plans are made, every entrepreneur
should grasp the key difference between marketing
and advertising. Not only that, but it is equally
important to know which of the two is more important.
Start your marketing efforts by asking yourself
who your customer is and where your market is.
If you answer: everyone is a potential customer,
that’s a hint that you need to sharpen your marketing
focus. In the auto-recycling industry, not everyone
driving a car is a potential customer. In the floral
industry, not everyone is a potential customer
to buy flowers.
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Remember, only you can make BUSINESS
Ron Sturgeon is past owner of
AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six
Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf.
In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction,
which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his
book “Salvaging Millions” was published
to help small business owners achieve significant
success, and was recently reprinted. In June
2003, he joined the new ownership and management
team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate
holdings and investments. You can learn more
about him at WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com He
can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX
or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.