Differences between marketing and advertising

Marketing and Advertising, although they sound similar but in reality they are not. Advertising is only a part of the bigger game called Marketing. Marketing encompasses complete conceptualization of a brand right from research to designing to advertising to sale. Advertising, on the other hand is a component of the marketing process which is nothing but conveying the message through variety of mediums to promote the product.

Advertising is one of the most important component of a marketing strategy and also the most expensive. Advertising constitutes sending the message across the public about your company, product or services. It also constitutes behind the scenes work like the process involving formation of various strategies and coming up with a right one to target the viewers. The strategy consists of planning things like placing ads, deciding what media to use, what time, frequency etc. The advertisements are generally placed via mediums like television, snail mail, newspapers, internet, emails, radio, magazines, mobile messaging, flyers, billboards etc. The most popular one is of course television although advertising on internet is becoming increasingly popular too.

Easiest way to differentiate advertising from marketing is to consider marketing as a cake and if you cut the cake, advertising as one of the pieces of that cake. The other pieces of cake are market research of the product, product designing, media planning, PR, product pricing, customer satisfaction, customer support, sales and many more. All these components or pieces of cake should work independently but collectively in achieving the bigger goal i.e. sell product and build companyís reputation in the market. Marketing is a marathon process involving many tasks that involve hours sometimes days of research. The research part of marketing takes the longest duration as it involves thoroughly understanding the behavior of people towards a product. Designing the product and developing advertising strategy is also a time consuming process. Only components that take less time are executing advertisements and sales. Marketing can also be perceived as a medium between consumers and the company.

But many companies often make mistake of confusing advertising with marketing. They try to ape big companies like Coke and Pepsi in advertising but they simply ignore the work that goes behind that. The classical example of this is, take the case of logo for instance. Many business owners are so hysterical about the logo of their company in their advertisements that they think that it will simply bring in the sales. But what makes a logo works is none other than the reputation of the company and the logo must have a feeling to it and should truly reflect companyís values. One should also remember that these companies spend fortunes on advertising which a new start up business canít. Rather than spending unnecessary money on branding your product one should invest money and time in communicating to the consumers that they can address their expectations. After building reputation and growing to a big size company one can think of these lavish ideas. Educating the consumers also helps as it will give them an understanding that you know what you do and are best at doing that.

Smart marketers are aggressive in approach rather than passive. They provoke readerís minds by prompting them to do something rather than just making them knowledgeable of the product. Smart marketers also bring home the names, addresses and contact numbers of people who are really interested in hiring your company by employing aggressive marketing. Thus having a good marketing campaign speaks a lot about the company and their products and advertising gives that finishing touch to the hard work done by the marketing people in selling a product.

Recognizing your right target market

Achieving good sales is the ultimate target of any firm. Many criteria, such as competitive pricing, near perfect product, reaching out to correct audience and motivational advertising, are responsible for this and should be dealt with in marketing.

First things first, all the efforts will go futile if the correct audience is not recognized. It is the major factor in getting abundant sales, because the right customers arenít targeted, they wonít buy the product. The right customers are known as targeted customers or niche market, those who will be happy to buy products that fulfill their needs and is also less pricey.

Small businesses shouldnít fear competition with large companies as they produce products considering a bigger spectrum, which sometimes wonít be customer specific as the products are more generalized and they donít much care about the competition they might get from others. This gives an opportunity to the smaller firms to produce products, which can cater to the need of a section of people whose needs arenít met specifically by the large companies.

Although it seems like a silly question, but firstly, a firm should understand who are the people they want to target. The success lies behind understanding this, which requires thorough research and analysis. Various factors must be considered. The age group is the first factor, whether the product will be useful to babies or children or teenagers or youngsters or middle aged or old. Sometimes there is a possibility that the product will cater to the needs of all age groups. Next thing to consider is gender. Marital status, occupation, ethnic background, health status, income status, education, hobbies, etc., are some of the factors that should also be pondered upon.

After decided upon the customer group to be targeted, the benefits that can be provided by the product to this group should be jotted down. A thorough examination of the service or product should be done for this purpose. If there is sufficient time, a survey can be conducted on the current customers and pose them with questions like what they liked in the products they are using, anything discomfort they are facing, do they want anything to be changed to make the product better, etc.

After making a list of all the benefits, thought should be applied to which of these benefits will actually help the targeted audience. Make a short list of the benefits that will be advantageous and send it to the marketing department. It can surely help in their marketing plan and can boost up sales.

Internet has made reaching out to the targeted customers can be very easy. Search engines can be utilized to the maximum extent for this purpose. The thing to be exactly searched can be typed as a keyword or search phrase in the search engines and the results brought on the first three pages will be of great value. But lots of time and investment is involved in this process, as different keywords will fetch different search results. So efforts should be made to finally get what is desired.

Next best thing is reaching out by newsletters and ezines. Many ezines are related to marketing, finance, shopping, Internet, etc. A number of ezines websites can be found in an ezines directory, which even contains the contact information, advertising price, etc. The list of ezines website sites should be cut down to which are relating to the target market and ad should be placed in the ones selected which should include all the product advantages if the ad allows that many words.

Recognizing the target market is crucial to any successful advertising and sales campaign. Once it is recognized, they can be reached through different channels like websites, newspapers, magazines, etc. This makes the customer think that he is being directly addressed to. And since the whole approach will interest them, the amount of traffic received in return will be simply overwhelming and the whole effort will be worth it.