Marketing seems to be a confusing term these days. Is it advertising? Is it branding? What exactly is it?
In its simplest terms, marketing is a spotlight. It shines on a business, a person, a brand, or a product — bringing attention from those who might not otherwise notice. This attention can be good or bad, depending on the quality of your offering/business.
Here are some things marketing can do:
- Raise awareness
- Evoke an emotional response
- Showcase advantages
- Give a voice to a brand, person, or product
- Present an opportunity to make a sale
Here are some things marketing cannot do
- Make a bad product good
- Make up for lousy customer service
- Make a sale (even though a sales pitch may be included)
As you look into your own strategy for marketing, make sure your expectations are correct. No form of marketing can make you successful in and of itself. It takes more.
Here are some tips to accentuate your marketing efforts:
Make sure the marketing matches the business. Don’t present yourself as something you are not. If you are a discount store, don’t act like you are a high-end retailer.
Make the sale. Marketing raises awareness, but someone still has to make the sale, bet it salespeople, automated programs (for online), or easy to find signage within the business. Ask for the order.
Customer service is still king. People don’t want to be treated fairly. They want to feel special. Make sure your business does that.
The spotlight of marketing can be a wonderful thing, or it can be a huge detractor for your business. They choice, thankfully, is yours.