by Tammy Harrison
I have a marketing plan, do you? I rank it right up there with creating a business plan. In your business plan, you have your projections and goals for the future. But, how do you go about meeting those projections and goals? You *must* have a marketing plan for that!
Many people confuse marketing with advertising. They are two different beasts, although advertising is part of marketing:
"Marketing" is defined as: to expose for sale in a market.
"Advertising" is: to make something known to: NOTIFY
a: to make publicly and generally known advertising their readiness to make concessions
b: to announce publicly especially by a printed notice or a broadcast
c: to call public attention to especially by emphasizing desirable qualities so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize: PROMOTE.
Most large businesses have a marketing and an advertising department, although the advertising departments are sometimes part of the marketing departments. What you need to be aware of is that you need to be marketing constantly, but advertising is usually construed as expending consideration (usually in the form of money) to buy space to promote your product and/or service.
A good example of marketing is your signature on a letter or email. You should always have a little blurb after your name that includes contact info (read: email address, mailing address, phone number, etc.) as well as your title. Then, take a moment to create a single line that will draw attention to the client and/or business you are working with. My signature always has "Marketing and Creativity for Small Businesses" attached to it. This leaves some suspense in my business and, in turn, can lead to an open communication line about what exactly I do.
Another marketing example is a press release. You have created one and send it out to the local media. They decide to contact you and write a story about you - that is marketing. But, if you were to purchase space about your business in that same newspaper, you would be purchasing advertising.
There are many things that you can do, to ensure that you are marketing for today, tomorrow and beyond. Business cards is a good example of that. There are also little creative marketing ideas that will give you the power to stay on someone's mind. One of my virtual pals sells kitchen wares. We took her contact information and ironed it onto potholders, that she can hand out to others. It is a great way to keep her name in front of her target audience!
Take some time to make sure you have a marketing plan, which may or may not include advertising. Come up with some creative and ingenious ways to market so that people remember you! Market for today, tomorrow and beyond!
Tammy Harrison is the mother of four, and the Independent Creative Representative of Home-Based Working Moms ( http://www.hbwm.com ). She can be reached via email at CreativeRep@hbwm.com.
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