Let us make something quite clear! Marketing is NOT advertising!

Somewhere in the past decade Marketing has lost its real meaning, particularly to Small/Medium Business Owners. When businesses set out to do their ‘Marketing’ what they think they are doing is their ‘Advertising’. However, if you consider that Marketing involves eleven key business disciplines, advertising being only one of them, then you will begin to understand that this misconception is affecting the progress of your business severely indeed! Why? Because you are ignoring ten key disciplines, and all of them play a major role in just how effective your ‘advertising’ is.

Marketing is a Process!

To explain the Marketing process let’s use a simple analogy. When you were 8 years old you were already a Marketing expert – you just didn’t realise it at the time. From the age of 8 years you began to develop our own unique identity in order to ‘fit in’ to your desired social group (your friends). You either thought the sporty guys were pretty cool, or maybe the technology group, or perhaps the tough guys, or the popular girls. Whatever your ‘market’ choice was, your personal Marketing campaign could not begin until you had made that choice. You started by getting to know where they hang out, what clothes they wore, what books they read, what slang they used and what neighborhood they lived in, and then you began to model yourself accordingly. You matched their every move, their changing trends, their evolving personalities, their social image, their diet habits, their popular opinions, and then finally you were accepted and became one of them. You became a friend.

This is essentially the marketing process. First and most importantly you identify your market (that’s why it is called ‘marketing’). Then you study them with intent to get into their minds and their ‘shoes’. You then plan a lot of things: how to move like they do, how to speak like they do, to frequent the same places they do. You try to figure out how to like them as best you can, and only then do you launch your plan…you advertise! And your advertising works because you are saying, doing and moving the way your market desires, and they accept you and begin to build a relationship. It’s not rocket science (unless, possibly, you are in corporate business)…but it works. If you start to advertise before you have your marketing plans in place, then you are most likely to find yourself like a nerd in the rugby change room…totally unacceptable. They may let you in, comment on your baggy lime green shorts, laugh a little, but they will never accept you as one of them.

Marketing involves eleven key business disciplines

Marketing is the process of planning, people management, product/service preparation, systems development, pricing, market positioning and personality development, image projection, promotion (advertising), engagement, selling and relationship building. It is a multi-faceted discipline without which you cannot ever hope to project your business in such a way as to attract and keep your customer. If you don’t start with the right market, the right product, the right people, the right image, the right price, the right message and expose it in the right media in the right way then you are not likely to find the right customers who will be so impressed with your product/service that they will tell everyone about you.

“Be careful when you advertise, someone may just see your advert!” If you are saying and doing the wrong thing then you have lost them. If you know who you want to be, who you are, and who you want to reach, then you will succeed!

For more information, or to take part in our next programme/course in your area, phone 083 701 2008 or email chris@thebusinessgym.co.za.
‘Business Fitness’ is brought to you by The Business Gym, an organisation that facilitates affordable group interaction programs for business owners that are serious about their business. The MyBusinessWorkout™ is a mentorship program, founded and managed by Chris van Rooyen and Sylvia Malinowski, and designed to shape up and maximise your business growth – it’s like having a personal trainer for your business. 

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