Many new business owners and some not so new use marketing and advertising interchangeably without knowing there is a difference between the two terms. The definitions listed below are my definitions and how I interpret what I’ve learned over the years.
Marketing – Marketing is the plan that has been created to promote your business. This marketing plan includes every method of promotion you will be using to advertise your business. Some of these methods may be Free For All Links pages, Safelist Advertising, Traffic Exchanges, Search Engine traffic, Ezine Ads, Flyers, Classified Ads and Card Deck Advertising.
Advertising – Advertising is the actual act of placing the ads in the advertising mediums you’ve chosen in your marketing plan, doing the follow-ups that come in and tracking your efforts.
The marketing plan means nothing if you don’t take the action steps necessary to advertise, track and improve your advertising materials.
Sales are the bottom line. You may start out to build a list but that list isn’t very useful if you don’t have enough active buyers within the list to make it worth the effort.
Create your marketing plan then start advertising according to that plan so you’re business will grow.
- If you want to improve your physical fitness, you create an action plan that helps you focus on your goals.
- If you want to improve your spirituality, you read the bible, attend more church functions, meditate or take the actions you deem necessary to improve that part of your life.
- If you want a better social life, you network with friends, attend social functions and generally have a mindset that lets you see the social opportunities that present themselves.
- If you want to improve your business, you need to re-examine your business plan and tweak it where necessary.
Individually, each plan is good and helps you reach specific goals but you are cheating yourself if you think in this segmented manner.
Everyone I know that attends church functions, has a health club membership, children in school or is dating experiences an overlap of friends and acquaintances from their different associations. The business savvy people in this group will offer products or services from their business when the church does fund raisers because the donating business gets free advertising in addition to the tax write off.
I'm willing to bet that more business deals are made on golf courses and in gyms than in board rooms because the atmosphere isn't as structured which makes it easier to compromise.
Have you ever been to a restaurant, bar, party or other social event and seen business cards exchanged?
Social gatherings are the perfect place to see someone without their business mask. You can quite often learn more about a person and their ethics when they are at play than you can from their work persona.
Chambers of Commerce, College Alumni, SOHO groups and other entrepreneurial associations are all great tools to use but don't forget volunteer opportunities within your community.
Spending a few hours as a volunteer at your kid's school, helping the local food bank, helping the church, helping any cause that genuinely interests you may not put money in your pocket but you'll be rewarded in your soul. If you make contacts for your business while improving yourself and the world you live in, you've received a bonus.
Self improvement is doing what's right for you but that doesn't mean you can't share your skills, good fortune, time or companionship with others at the same time.
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