Marketing is not advertising

14th February 2018
Neonyane Claudia Poifo Source:The Midweek Sun


More often than not, many people confuse marketing for advertising and vice-versa. Every business, small or large, need these departments. While some companies combine the two as one department, others separate them. Marketing is the process of preparing a product for the marketplace, while advertising refers to the process of making a product known to the marketplace. Take heed of these two key words because they differentiate one term from the other; preparing and known. To break it down, to prepare is to make something ready for use or consideration. I will accompany this with a relatable example; before you can eat food, first you have to cook it, and by cooking it you are preparing it for consumption.

Now, by taking the food and putting them on the table for indulgence, you are making the food available and known to the one who is to consume them. That is advertising. When you first started taking baby steps in making your business a reality, you first did market research to see if the product you want to offer is in demand or not, because you don’t want to offer something which is of little, to no demand at all. This puts into perspective how feasible your idea is. Now that you have seen that there is a gap, that there is potential in the market, you now prepare your product, which is marketing. This is where logos, slogans, for example, come in. You want your product to have an attractive image, to have an effect on a potential consumer and catch the consumer’s attention. You make the product’s image colourful and visually attractive to meet the interest of your potential market.

In this process of product preparation, you will be studying your potential customers; who they are and what they would like to achieve from your product. For all this to be achieved, a marketing mix has to be implemented. In the marketing mix, it is really how you put two and two together. According to the Economic Times, a marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. It comprises of the four Ps; Price, Product, Promotion and Place (distribution).

Price: When putting a price on your product, you should make sure that it is competitive and it can win you a share in the marketplace. The question on consumer’s lips will always be; is the value worth the price? Consumers align price against product quality, if the price is steep, expectation is that the quality should be exceptional, and vice-versa. As the seller, you should be sure not to overprice or under – price. A lower price guarantees more customers, but if you are using price to penetrate the market, be wise enough to make sure that the profit made is able to recover any cost to make the product, and ensure the survival of the business. Choose a pricing strategy, which is suitable for the success of the business and also make sure the value is worth the price.

 

Product This is the item that is being sold. Here, you need to consider the life cycle of the product together with the challenges that may come up with each stage. Product life cycle consist of four stages, namely; introduction, growth, maturity and decline stage. The introduction stage could be the most expensive. Here you will be making potential consumers aware of your newly made product. You need to first penetrate through the paradigm, shift their mind set and view of things. In the introduction stage, you do not focus on making sales since the size of the market is not that big, instead, you focus on making it known and tried out so that sales will eventually increase. Be mindful of the product launch. Plan well and align your budget well for the launch to be successful and effective. The growth stage is when the product is selling well and profits are made. The increase in the profit margin brings a possibility for businesses to invest to ensure for a greater stretch in growth. The maturity stage is when the product sales are reaching their peak but the market is now becoming saturated which slows down product growth. You will need to have a competitive advantage in order to stand out amongst all the competition. Then there is the decline stage. This stage is inevitable. It is when now the sales start to fall. This can be because people decided to switch to other products (like what happened to Nokia when the market switched from Nokia to Samsung), or simply because the market is saturated. This, however, does not mean that business cannot continue; you can opt for less costly production methods so that you may be able to still make profit.

Promotion This is getting the user to know about the product. This can be achieved by advertising on billboards, the media, boot camps, word of mouth, among others. You have to touch as many advertising mediums as you can for the promotion to be a success and to ensure that you reach a larger audience.

 

Place Location matters a lot! You need to find the right and perfect channel in which you will use for ‘serving’ your clients. The location should be easy for the user to find and make the user comfortable.




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