image via Shutterstock / George Rudy
Before we delve in to the main gist of this article, first let’s take a look at the main difference between advertising and marketing because majority of new business owners seem to confuse the two.
Far too often, business owners overlook the monumental difference between marketing and advertising. From colossal highway billboards, full-page print ads, recurrent radio ads and primetime television airtime, there seems to be a lot more advertising than marketing strategies. While we acknowledge that both are of equal importance, a sense of balance and a strong distinction are necessary to come up with calculated strategies that will ultimately address the growth of any business.
Advertising is a single constituent of the whole marketing plan. If marketing was to be a metaphor, it will be that big pie, and advertising is but a slice of the whole piece, together with other slices such as promotion and branding. Advertising is the clear articulation of the promises that you want to tell your customers. You advertise to create interest on your product or service. You make the customers want or need what you’re offering. Effective advertising will initiate the ultimate action plan – buying your product, and generating repeat customers. It HAS to invoke a purchase or the actual consumption of your goods or your services. This will be the measure of its success.
Advertising involves ad placement in different mediums such as TV, radio, newspaper, direct mails and the Internet. The placement, frequency, layout, and content should be concise, clear, and commercially captivating. It should make your product standout and be memorable at the same time. With the plethora of competitors in the market, appeal is definitely an imperative.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the bigger picture. Marketing is a system of strategies that is geared towards knowing your market better. It is a process where you focus on why people buy. What makes them shell out 100 dollars on lingerie and only 10 dollars on food? What kind of branding will get their attention? Will a gold packaging really make them get your product when placed right next to a competitor in the supermarket? Marketing entails a closer look at your target demographics and their buying motives. Before you even advertise, you need to lay the basics of an effective ad that will capture your target market. From competitor research, sales strategies, media planning, pricing, advertising, distribution, and customer support, every detail needs attention and research to come up with a seamless marketing plan. All these factors should have a unified purpose to reach your business bottom line.
The Cliché Syndrome
In both advertising and marketing, you simply can’t use any more clichés and platitudes. A lot of advertisers and marketing professionals get stuck in hackneyed taglines like “We go the extra mile” or “Best in Business since 1910.” These are empty words that have become so trite that consumers are not buying it anymore. If you are in the process of making a marketing plan, be sure that you stick to concepts that will differentiate you from the rest of the people offering the same thing in the market.
Another common clichéd indication in a business is the use of seemingly important announcement with absolutely ZERO market value. For instance, a restaurant that spends on advertising by displaying a big banner that says “Under New Management” or “Newly Renovated.” To the owner, this might seem like a significant feat, or maybe even a big difference in customer perception. But to ordinary bystanders, this sign says nothing more than management troubles in the past. If the owner took time to do a market research, he would have known that people who eat in his restaurant come back because of the organic produce, or the freshly squeezed juices that they don’t find in nearby food establishments.
This is the best example of poor advertising without market research, because there’s definitely no market for “Conveniently Located,” “Newly Renovated,” “Wide Selection.” Not even for “Under New Management.”