When you think of marketing, what is it that comes to mind? Do you think of creating glossy brochures, whether a TV ad campaign would work or whether a newspaper ad is better? If so, you are confusing marketing with advertising.
In reality, advertising is only a small part of the activity called Marketing. Marketing encompasses the complete conceptualization of a product or service right from the research, the design, creation and refinement of the product, advertising, sales and delivery. Each of these phases operate independently, but collectively, to achieve success in selling the product or service and enhancing the companys reputation.
Hopefully, you’ll have seen that advertising is just one component of the marketing process – it is the delivery of the message through various mediums, to promote and sell the product. Done correctly, the advertising process involves reviewing the marketing research and developing and analyzing strategies to come up with advertisements that will appeal to the target audience.
The advertising strategy consists of determing the right medium to use, times and frequency. When considering where to advertise, most businesses immediately think of Newspaper, Magazine, Television and Radio campaigns however, there are many other advertising channels available including letter box drops (flyers), flyers on community billboards or noticeboards, sponsorships of community groups, sms or text messaging and of course, online and internet marketing (email, ppc, banner advertising, Social media).
Possibly the most important factor in developing an advertising strategy is to determine the best (and most effective) channels to reach the Target Audience (the people who will buy your product or service). It is the marketing process that will define your Target Audience and their preferences and it is the advertising strategy that details which medium to use to deliver the message.
By understanding the difference between advertising and marketing, you can determine the best place to invest their time and money for maximum return. For example, initially branding the product may not be as important as communicating with the customer to educate them on your companies unique offerings and finding out what your customer is truly looking for.
Smart business owners will take the time to develop a marketing strategy so that they can understand their Target Audience, what benefits their offering needs to deliver to the customer and the best places to reach the Target Audience, among other things.
Armed with this information, effective and powerful advertising campaigns can then be developed.