On a weekly basis we receive up to 15 speculative applications from people looking for employment and/or work experience within the marketing sector. A high percentage of these applications are because the person wants to “get into marketing;” “has really good interpersonal skills” and “is creative,”………and I do not fully understand what these actually mean when it comes to marketing………and does the person fully understand what marketing is?
The marketing sector is one of the more varied careers out there and covers a wide range of skills, but there are times when I feel that the term marketing has become almost a buzzword not just among businesses and brands, but among people wanting to get into the industry….without actually knowing what it entails.
Depending on whom you ask, marketing can mean very different things and one of those things is sales. A key job of Marketing is to understand the marketplace from the perspective of the customer looking back towards the company – what we like to call the features and the benefits of the company or product. Sales are what you make when you’re actually face-to-face with a customer, convincing a person to buy your product. Marketing is the planning part of sales.
Another misconception regarding marketing is that advertising and marketing are synonymous. Similarly, many people have the misconception that publicity and public relations (PR) are also the same thing. They are all, however, remarkably different.
Marketing is kind of an umbrella term that is about promoting your brand or service using a number platforms and strategies. It incorporates strategy and planning and it might consist of a number of elements to make people aware of you or your product.
Advertising, however, falls under that umbrella with its own subsets of disciplines that work to bring attention to your brand or product.
Advertising is really a collection of the actionable steps you take to get the word out usually across a paid for and above the line platforms. Marketing is the strategy behind taking those actions.
You should never do adhoc, one-off or knee-jerk advertising. Running ads left, right and centre just to see which one generates enquiries is a quick way to blow your budget. Running bespoke designed ads for the sake of running ads is a great way to get exposure…….and good to dangle in front of the competition…… but that exposure is unlikely to benefit your business. On that note, why do media sales people STILL continually bang out cold calls offering last minute or late space deals? No recipient of one of these calls should ever sign up to a one-off advert based on price.
What we advise is that you need to sit down and put together a marketing plan or strategy about what your offer is to what market, why you are different and how you’ll get to them. If advertising falls into the discussions, what is the message you want to convey, to who and where are you advertising?
Yes sales, advertising, PR and direct marketing are all elements of “marketing.” But they are elements of it and should work together to give you a proper, planned and fully-costed marketing plan.