November, 1, 2012

Advertising vs. Marketing

Understanding the Difference & Best Practices of Each

Advertising and marketing are two essential components needed for company growth; however, the terms sometimes cause confusion. Both have similar features and often times work together, but the strategies are very different… and can end up costing you a fortune if you’re not careful.

Marketing is the entire process of bringing customers to your business for the products or services offered. The practices used in marketing focus on the needs of the customer. There are several options when it comes to marketing a company or product, and advertising is just one method of completing this task. Advertising works well to create brand awareness and drive traffic to your site, but may fail to produce leads and closed deals unless you have proper marketing techniques in place.

Marketing to gain customers includes many aspects, including lead generation (also called “demand generation”). This critical marketing step is often times overlooked since it is not part of the advertising effort. Unless you’re more interested in building brand image or awareness, every ad you run should be created with lead generation in mind… a form of “direct response marketing”. Once you have ‘captured’ the lead, they become part of your database or ‘list’. The great thing about list building is that you can continue to nurture the relationship with your ‘list’ and convert them to customers. When using advertising alone, the only way to obtain new customer is to run another ad (i.e., spend more money!).

Lead generation and list building benefit you by offering a lower cost option of finding potential customers than with advertising alone. Direct response marketing plans that use lead generation as a key component will find that cost per acquisition (CPA) drops over time and that conversion rates outperform advertising-only programs. Lead generation produces lasting results because you can continue to build, and draw upon your list of leads and prospects. However, a word of warning: if you don’t continue to provide value to your list, they can expire as quickly as they joined.

Reflecting upon your own campaign, you may want to stop and ask yourself the following question: have you made the most of your advertising by utilizing direct response marketing and list building techniques?

Posted by Dave Lee