How Many People Actually Understand Marketing?

I don’t know if you’ve had the same experience, but from the smallest to billion dollar companies, very often no one outside marketing understands what marketing is and what we do.  And, PR?  Usually it’s confused with advertising.  If our job is communication, how come we can’t communicate better what marketing is and what we need to do our job properly?

We spend so much time bemoaning this, yet what do we actually do to change this?  Shouldn’t we be promoting marketing itself more?  Why can’t we PR ourselves?  Or, do we do the same that many companies do – keep marketing firmly to one side making sure it doesn’t interfere too much in the operation of the company, rather than putting it at the core of the company.  After all, marketing is the public face of the company.  It should be part of every point where the company interacts with the customer, or suppliers, or indeed employees and it should be a key part of product development.

I would be interested to hear about your experiences and how you tackled it.



Top Tips for selecting advertising

When you’re buying media, it is not just about negotiating the price.  First you need to select the appropriate media for your needs.  A bargain isn’t a bargain unless it brings in results.

So, what steps should you follow?

Firstly, you need to decide what you want to achieve:

  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What are your objectives?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What will prompt them to contact you/buy

Then you need to research the available media.  Try not to make assumptions or to be constrained by what you have done in the past.  Look for new alternatives, or different ways of using the same media.  While you are doing the research, you need to evaluate the possible media outlets and make comparisons, looking at:

  • Target audience
  • Circulation
  • Frequency
  • Audience profile
  • Other advertisers
  • Past experience
  • Other stats

When you are looking at the alternatives,  then you should consider what types of advertising are available:

  • Printed media
    • Display
    • Classified
    • Supplements
    • Inserts
    • Wraps
  • Broadcast
    • TV
      • Satellite/cable
      • National
      • Regional
    • Radio
      • National
      • Regional

Once you have decided on the type of media, you will need to consider what options there are:

  • Printed media
    • Position
    • Size
    • Orientation
  • Broadcast
    • Time of day 
    • Type of programme
    • Frequency
    • Length of ad

Now, you are finally ready to call the media outlet to negotiate the price, which will be covered in a later article.  Then you need to design the advert (remember less is more) and finally, as with anything, monitor & evaluate.

Know your audience

It’s one of the most important things in marketing and it is so often overlooked or forgotten in the rush to get across our messages.  Who is our audience and the audience of the media/event we are targeting?  What is important to them?  What will trigger their interest or trigger them to buy?  When we are putting together our marketing plan, this is essential.  We have to know for every geography, every type of product, everything.  We don’t then forget about it.  We have to repeat it for everything that we do.  A general advert may be used across a variety of media as long as they have the same target audience.  We should never be afraid to modify it when we have a different audience.  Also, when we are writing an article or press release we have to write it for the particular audience it is aimed at.  Even if it is an existing article, we can make a few changes to ensure it resonates with the readers.  In the case of marketing, one package does not necessarily suit all. 

It is just as true when selecting media to advertise in, give an exclusive to, or an exhibition to attend.  Make sure the audience really is relevant and when you design a stand, or organise your promotional activities around the show design it with them in mind.

Once you know your audience, success becomes so much easier.