Hands up, who of you readily hand out your hard earned money for media placement, but struggle to justify an investment in your marketing planning?

Why does a piece of real estate in a magazine appear to be more useful than working out what differentiates your business?

What is it? Is it that you can see an advert but you can’t see a marketing strategy?

Honestly, creating targeted messaging is vital if you want to succeed. It’s about cut through –  your focus should be on working out how to get noticed by your customer segments.

It’s just too common to see business owners rush ahead and start flogging their wares without planning the foundations to their marketing.

And there’s a simple reason why they do it:

It’s the failure to understand the difference between advertising and marketing.

And it’s been a problem for decades. But the great news is that it’s not hard to remedy, because it all stems from a common misconception: advertising and marketing are pretty much the same thing.

A bit like those two kids from school who seem inseparable and kind of look slightly similar, when they are actually really, really, REALLY different.

The fact is, there is a HUGE and IMPORTANT difference; and understanding that difference will change the way you approach your marketing, reduce your advertising costs and increase its effectiveness.

Believe me?

Marketing matters more than advertisingOk, this might help. Think of advertising and marketing being pickles and gherkins. People often get them mixed up –  I know I used to. But one taste and you instantly realise how different they both are.

I prefer the sharp kick of a gherkin, by the way. And I also prefer marketing.

Why? Well, in today’s online world, SME’s have a better opportunity to more easily plan and manage their marketing than ever before. There are endless resources, free tools and inspiration online to give you greater control.

Advertising’s impact is decreasing as social media grows in importance. There are endless ways of getting your message out there without incurring direct costs.

Getting your message right must take priority over the delivery medium. Here are six reasons why your focus should be primarily on marketing:

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Marketing is tactical, you can control it. Advertising is implementation and out of your control

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Marketing is vital for finding out what your customers actually want. Advertising is TRYING to sell it to them.

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Marketing is about pulling in or attracting customers. Advertising is about pushing out messages that are increasingly ignored.

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Marketing is about planning the reputation and positioning that prospects will respond to. Advertising is about conveying that reputation and positioning.

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Marketing involves many tasks, including research that results in a strategy. Advertising is more successful when it is based on implementing that strategy, and usually involves a third party.

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Marketing is planning the mix of strategies and tactics you use to build awareness of products and services. Advertising may be an important component of your marketing strategy, but it is often expensive.

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Consumers have kept up with the digital revolution, which means you must. They are technologically savvy and have high expectations when it comes to online interactions.

Companies like Apple and Amazon have set the bar high and consumers expect a great user experience from every website.

If keeping costs down is important to you, it’s crucial that you first focus on your marketing strategies before looking to advertising.

The power of media owners is dissipating as we experience the merging of media, selling and technology. Today’s customers are excited about the new online world and the control and time saving it gives them.

The plain fact is, we need to adapt to this new landscape by adopting non-intrusive smart marketing tactics.

Basically, in with the gherkins, out with the pickles.

 

 

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