Marketing is one of those jobs that many business owners hate but have to do in order to survive. Some companies spend as much as 90% of their resources drawing business and only 10% actually complete the work that pays them. Few business owners know what the real purpose of marketing is and fail because of these small misunderstandings.
It is assumed that marketing is about producing sales. For the most part, this is true. However, the true nature of marketing is about getting your message out. The distinction is important because one focuses only on the immediate return while the other focuses on both the immediate and the long-term results. The more we get out our message the more likely consumers will remember our product. Remembering our product equals repeat sales.
Most large companies have a message that people will remember. These messages are usually referred to in the slogan, are part of the advertising campaign and become tied with the product or company. A slogan can be about anything but is usually associated in some way with the corporate philosophy. For example, “News that doesn’t make you snooze!” would obviously be from a company that is trying to give you interesting news reports.
This message becomes both the theme and a guide to the business. Customers, as well as employees, associate your product with the message because it is easier for them to remember. The more effective we are at associating the message with the product the more likely we are in encouraging and retaining business.
Once you are actually engaged in the advertising process your goal is to get the message out to the right people. The more closely you align your target population to the message, the more sales you are going to make. For example, assuming that most business readers are males over the age of 40 your message “News that doesn’t make you snooze!” should be advertised in only those places where 40-year-olds are going to receive it. Places might be clubs, journals, billboards, etc. There is no point in advertising to the under 20-year-old group if they aren’t likely to be interested in the news anyways.
The difference between a message and simply exposing your product is in the content. A message appeals and draws while exposure only displays. Exposure is only likely to result in a short-term sale while a message is likely to be both short and long-term. As customers remember your message and know what your company stands for they will likely purchase again because they remember you. Messages are about maintaining an image that will result in both a short-term and long-term sale that will brand your product for the future.
The next time you start a marketing campaign is aware of the differences between simply getting your product exposure and developing a message. Focus on getting your message out to the people most likely to hear it and be interested in it instead of advertising in the medium that has the most viewers. It makes little sense to spend large amounts on getting exposure if no one is willing to listen.