Is Marketing the Same as Advertising?
Every business requires some form of marketing and establishing how you will market and pay for your marketing is an important concern in its own right. This is especially true when you are starting your business and have limited funds to work with, when every dollar spent counts until you have established your cash-flow. Even when you are up and running, you should make sure you spend your dollars wisely to get value. What is a measure of value? Simply, increasing your sales and your profit. Marketing is not just advertising - so what is the difference?
- Marketing is about planning and implementing a mixture of business activities with the aim of connecting buyers and sellers so that they can both benefit in the exchange of goods and services.
- Advertising is about issuing a message or promotion by a business of its products and services to existing and potential new customers and clients. This can be both free advertising and paid.
Ideally, your business will establish and implement and then review its Marketing plan of which advertising is simply a facet of your marketing efforts or activities.
Free Advertising Ideas
These are probably the most common forms of free advertising:
- Advertise on free on-line business advertising directories;
- Remember to hand out your business card at every opportunity and always have them ready;
- Give free presentations to your customers and build a client following;
- Become an expert – get people to ring you to get your advice. This can happen by participating in a number of community forums such as local or volunteer organisations; posting blogs and creating links to your website;
- Issue press releases – find a local paper who might be interested in writing about your business as they are always looking for news to share with the local community.
- Become an active community member and utilise the other local businesses to network and refer to.
How to Set Up Free Advertising
If you set this up correctly it is a great way to introduce your services and goods to large numbers of potential buyers. Getting free website traffic is a key to this marketing approach, and will usually impact your bottom line by increasing your opportunity to make sales. Whilst free in dollar terms, invest some time to create a quality advert, and don’t underestimate that quality counts.
The actual process of establishing your free advert will depend largely on the functionality and business model of the advertising service provider. For example, HirePulse provides two models:
- free advertising; and
- paid advertising.
Obviously, the paid model will give you more options and features. However, by having the free option you get the opportunity to try before you buy and to fine tune with your advertising get the best results. At the very minimum it will help with your off-site search engine optimisation.
Benefits of Free Advertising
- Expand the reach of your business advertising as you are able to create a professional and effective online presence;
- Create connections and affiliations and build your network using free advertising;
- Get targeted inquiries for potential customers – some sites will allow you direct contact with your customers;
- Stay connected with social networks;
- Some sites will offer you the ability to chat on line with your potential customers (including this one!)
- Most don’t have an obligation to upgrade either in the short term or indefinitely.
- Most are very easy to use and offer some flexibility.
- No cost other than your time.
In Australia in 2009/2010 Financial Year, businesses generated an income of approximately A$143bn (ABS) worth of orders via the internet, and this represented an increase of 15% on the previous year, so get started as this is a winning method of generating leads, interest, traffic and sales for your business.