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Improve profits by knowing what drives sales

Improve profits by knowing what drives sales

Businesses typically use advertising, marketing, and branding to convince consumers, clients, stakeholders or external donors to buy their goods and services or invest in the organization. Many people usually misuse the three terminologies because their meaning can be confusing due their similarities and unity of purpose. Knowing the differences among these words can substantially help your business profits grow.

Know The Differences Between Advertising, Marketing & Branding

These three key business communications help increase the reputation of your product, service or company by keeping the potential buyer aware.

Advertising is any paid announcement to the public by an individual sponsor or firm that aims to persuade potential or existing consumers to buy a product or service. It usually aggressively or indirectly involves putting the word out about a product through media such as direct mail, posters, television, radio and the Internet. Advertising involves a message you send toward a target audience and a medium through which to convey the message.

Marketing is a process that refers to the deliberate business activities your company executes to bring together buyers and sellers for the exchange or transfer of products. These activities include formulating marketing strategies to use alongside available resources such as social media, video, print media, signage and telemarketing and event sponsorship. Organizations whose employees face customers directly on a regular basis must represent the brand when in contact with the clients or stakeholders.

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is anything that helps get potential buyers to remain loyal to your product or company, such as the logo, symbol, name or design. Branding involves the collection of things an audience expects and experiences, combined with the workings of all the brand elements, including typeface, logos, tagline or brand. It creates an association between, the potential buyer’s ideals and the particular make of a product, such as associating the color blue with some airlines due to the color of the sky.

Source of Confusion
The terms advertising, marketing, and branding sometimes bring confusion regarding the best word among the three to adopt, as a result of their inter-connectivity and end result. For example, advertising may enhance potential buyers’ awareness of the particular brand, while loyalty to a brand justifies the cost of advertising spent on it. Likewise, advertising and branding are single components of the marketing process, while all three components work as a cohesive unit toward increasing sales and enhance the company’s reputation.

Branding is strategic. Marketing is tactical.
Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.

Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists out of those who buy.
This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations must sell (including non-profits). How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every thought, every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it. All of this affects sales.

Is marketing a cost center? Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can certainly be a cost center, but well researched and well executed marketing is an investment that pays for itself in sales and brand reinforcement.

Is branding a cost center? On the surface, yes, but the return is loyalty. The return is for the salespeople’s jobs to be easier and more effective, employees who stay longer and work harder, customers who become ambassadors and advocates for the organization.

Branding is as vital to the success of a business or non-profit as having financial coherence, having a vision for the future, or having quality employees.
It is the essential foundation for a successful operation. So yes, it’s a cost center, like good employees, financial experts, and business or organizational innovators are. They are cost centers, but what is REALLY costly is not to have them, or to have substandard ones.