Climbing Above The Competition: Marketing Versus 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 because they are already advertising somewhere in some small way.

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. You might channel revenue into marketing, perhaps even contract a marketing firm, but that’s not the same as advertising or contracting an advertising company.

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. Its 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. It can also include outside salespersons just “spreading the word”, and making sure your customers are happy. 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. You do, of course have to use advertising in conjunction with marketing.

A basic part of any advertising plan should be to utilize industry periodicals, making sure you reach like minded businesses. Such focused periodicals tend to understand both the advertiser and the prospective customer, so the dollars are well spent there.

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.  I believe marketing your company successfully should come first and is more important than advertising your products and services. 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.

Remember only you can make business great!

Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232,, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.