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Business Express Press has now published Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s article “The Seven Essential Tips for Marketing in Today’s 24/7 Digital World” at budurl.me/7marketingtips and here is the first point as excerpted from the article:
1. Marketing Is Not Sales
While sales are very important to a business (or donations to a nonprofit organization), usually there are few sales if no one knows about your products or services. And that’s where marketing comes into the picture. Marketing is everything you legitimately do inside and outside your organization to get your products and services in front of the people who want and need what you have on offer.
Yet in my experience there is often confusion over the two areas of sales and marketing. Let’s look at an example to clarify the difference:
Imagine you have a tech company for which your sales team members give one-to-one online demonstrations of the product. While a subset of marketing takes place during the demonstration – “Our product performs faster than our competitors’ products,” the actual demonstration is a sales activity done as a follow up to marketing efforts that first brought your product to the attention of the potential buyer.
This is why marketing must be considered from day one of the creation of any new business or the introduction of any new product or service. It’s not enough to have the greatest new product or service. You first need to figure out who will want or need this great new creation and how you will get it in front of these specific people.
For the purposes of this discussion I’m assuming you may not have the largest marketing budget in the world, and this reality can lead to the downfall of many businesses with great products or services. If you know that you will be going up against competitors with huge marketing/advertising budgets, you have to figure out – before you ever invest money creating your products or services – how you will get the attention of your potential buyers in spite of a limited marketing budget compared to your competitors.
A cautionary note about competitors: You may believe you have no competitors in the whole world because your product – at this moment in time – does something that no one else’s similar product does. Yet here’s the rub: Do your targeted audiences understand that your product is the only one that does such-and-such? Or to your targeted audiences does your product seem not much different than that of the competition?
The first step in optimizing the marketing functions of your company is to understand for whom your products and services are best suited so that you can then know to whom to market.