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Here’s one of the main points where people get confused about marketing: it’s not the same thing as advertising.
We all love comparing our field to that of the samurai, so to break down which one is which, let’s compare it to the art of war: strategy is the overall plan, the broad strokes of the map to victory. Tactics, on the other hand, are the actual techniques and approaches to battle used in the field.
Likewise, marketing is the overall strategy, the goals, the main thrust of the plan, while advertising is what we do to actually get the word out. Marketing is what you’re doing when you make your soda pop with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. Advertising is what you do when you take out some space in a newspaper to announce it.
There are good and bad ways to go about the business of making something worth talking about and getting the word out on it. Here’s the good news, though: the right way is what works and the wrong way is what doesn’t. A lot of shortsighted marketers use techniques that are ultimately going to hurt them in the long run. It may help you right now to push a product out the door before it’s ready, but a year from now when you try to do it again, you’ll have lost trust with your customers.
Marketing has as much to do with maintaining certain values within the company as it does with making sure that you’re investing in the right advertising streams. Marketing used to be what we did when we already had a product to sell. Today, marketing is what you do right from the start. If your initial idea for a product or service didn’t include with some built in marketing potential, then you have to ask yourself who’s going to be interested in the product in the first place. People don’t fall for bad ideas with clever advertising on top anymore, so good advertising is more important than ever.
Here are three things you need to think about before spending a dime on your next advertising campaign:
1. People Talk
Recent figures have it that some two trillion texts are sent globally every single day. That’s 2,000,000,000,000. That’s literally more texts than you have brain cells. There are two things to take from that fact: one, you might want to get into SMS marketing, and two, people talk. When it comes to word of mouth, there actually is such thing as bad publicity. You need to consider what kind of message you’re sending out when you use aggressive or intrusive advertising methods to grab people’s attention. Treat your prospects with respect, because we love talking about it when you don’t.
2. Track Your Data
Companies still spend billions of dollars every year on advertising methods that just don’t work. There’s no excuse for this nowadays, seeing as we have the ability to track every last point of data and know what is and is not working. Track your data, and if something isn’t working, try to figure out how to fix it.
3. Start With Something That Sells Itself
Start with something that sells itself, but don’t rely on it to do so. If you work in third party marketing, this might not always be an option—you might not always be hired for a product or service that you actually deem useful. As far as you have a choice, though, it’s a lot easier to sell a great product than it is to push a bad one, and more importantly, it’s the only approach that works in the long run.
The real key here is respect, respect for your customers and respect for your brand. A lot of established companies haven’t caught on to this yet, but they’ll have to sooner or later if they want to stick around.