Recently I was having a talk about marketing and the subject of advertising seemed to dominate this conversation. We kept coming back to all the different methods of advertising when it dawned on me that advertising is not marketing in and of itself. Many professionals believe it is an interchangeable term that relates to the promotion of their business.
Advertising is actually a component of marketing. As in, all advertising is marketing but not all marketing is advertising. An ad or advertisement is an announcement of a product or service. Albeit an important component of business success, it is merely a device to attract the attention of a particular segment of the population with the goal of an action being carried out. Usually that action is to use or buy the product.
The purpose of marketing is also to attract attention often by using the same media vehicles that we use in advertising. I think where the confusion comes in is this similarity. It is important to plan your whole marketing scheme and develop a plan and philosophy for your business. Advertising is a crucial and necessary tool to attract business, but advertising alone is not enough.
Marketing begins with the relationship you want to form with a given public, be it large or small. It begins with the image you want to create and the emotion or feelings you want to stir in people. Part of this can be done through effective advertising campaigns, but your marketing is the all encompassing bedrock of your business.
Think of the most successful brands in the world. They usually conjure an image that is directly associated with that brand. Rolex or Mercedez Benz immediately brings to mind affluence and a high standard of living. Ford automobiles stands for family and tradition, Heinz ketchup for quality and consistency, and Sony for cutting edge and precision technology.
These companies have spent years building their reputation and it started with their marketing foundation. The advertising reflects their market image but it is not the foundation of the brand. Many other factors are involved in marketing, such as service, brand image, quality, recognition, a logo, relationship with customers, public relations, and above all being unique.
How does your product make people feel? More importantly, does it make them feel good by doing business with you other than someone else. Constantly focus on building the best brand and image possible and do whatever you can to improve. Consider your marketing philosophy as a whole when developing a business strategy and let the advertising drive your success, but don’t let it become your business.
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James Broadfoot is an entrepreneur, web publisher and online marketing specialist. Take a Look Here to see what else he’s up to.