Marketing vs. Advertising – Understanding the Difference and Implementing Your Strategy
Understanding the Difference Can Help You Grow Your Coffee or Tea Business
By Jonlyn Scrogham
You will often find that many people confuse marketing with advertising or vice versa. While both components are important they are very different. Knowing the difference and doing your market research can put your company on the path to substantial growth. “Times are certainly changing in the retail industry,” said Charlie Kanet of Kanet Advertising. “To be successful, retail businesses need to transform the way they operate as well as the way they market themselves. For example, independent coffee houses feel threatened by the aggressive growth of corporate and franchised locations. They need to learn, and train their staff, how to effectively sell service along with the experience that your business offers.”
To create an effective growth plan for your coffee shop or tea house, understanding how marketing and advertising differ from one another is important. Let’s take a look at the formal definitions of the two.
MARKETING is the systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities designed to present products in such a way as to make them desirable. In other words, it is the intent to bring buyers and sellers together for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products or services. The essence of marketing is to understand your customers’ needs and develop a plan that can meet those needs. By doing this, you create an effective way to grow and expand your coffee or tea business. A marketing strategy helps you achieve greater growth by (1) acquiring more customers, (2) persuading a customer to buy more products, (3) persuading a customer to buy more expensive products or up-selling a customer and (4) persuading each customer to buy more profitable products.
ADVERTISING is the public promotion of something such as a product, service, business or event in order to attract or increase interest in it.
After reading both of the definitions it is easy to understand how the difference can be confusing to the point that people think of them as one-in-the-same, so let’s break it down a bit.
Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It’s the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. Advertising includes the placement of an ad in such mediums as newspapers, yellow pages, magazines, direct mail, billboards, television, radio and, of course, the internet. Advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations following a close second and market research not falling far behind.
The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. All of these elements must not only work independently but they also must work together towards the bigger goal. Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer.
Laws of Advertising
According to Small Business Administration, five percent of an independent coffee shop or tea house owner’s gross sales should be budgeted for advertising. A five percent small business advertising budget can only help if you understand the laws of advertising.
1. Use One Message: A high response rate ad usually conveys a single message.
2. Add Credibility: It has become human nature to distrust advertising. Claims need to be real and credible. Any claim made in your advertising which your customer does not perceive as the truth is a waste of ad dollars.
3. Test Everything: Test only one item at a time and one medium. Testing can be as simple as asking every family or customer for several weeks how they heard of your business.
4. Be Easy to Contact: Every single brochure, box, email and all company literature should have full contact information including: website and email address, phone and fax numbers and company address. It seems simple but is forgotten by most companies – be everywhere.
5. Match Ads to Target Market: Successful business advertising speaks to one target market only. An ad for smoothies or specialty drinks should target your desired audience and focus the message to the target group.
6. Create Curiosity: Successful business advertising does not sell a product or service. Create ads that generate interest and make the customer want more information.
Having a poor response is not necessarily the medium’s fault. Often, the problem is the message. Small business advertising is not a quick fix solution to marketing your coffee shop or tea house. It takes planning, testing and constant exposure to have an impact on your small business. Done correctly, small business advertising can be a winning strategy.
When you do spend money on marketing, do not forget to create a way to track those marketing efforts. You can do this by coding your ads, using multiple toll-free telephone numbers and asking prospects where they heard about you. This enables you to notice when a marketing tactic stops working. You can then quickly replace it with a better choice or method.
4 Basic Marketing Initiatives
Once you have determined your audience you want to reach and the message you wish to deliver, the next step is to determine which method of advertising is most appropriate for your business. To do this, you must understand the options:
1. Print Advertising
Print campaigns include newspaper, yellow pages and magazine advertising. This form of advertising typically focuses on carrying a message designed to either enhance a brand or to create a direct response. Print advertising is also effective when you want to focus on a particular audience based on the demographic of who reads the publication. For example, if you want to promote a “unique” experience that your shop offers, then you may select a publication that most closely matches your desired audience. For example, if your target audience is college students or young adults, you would look for publications designed for that audience. Some examples may be college directories, university newsletters or publications designed to reach this demographic. While print advertising can be very effective, because many publications print weeks or months in advance, it requires planning to ensure that deadlines are met. And while print advertising can be economical because it can reach a large number of people, in can also be considered expensive if the right message is not projected or the right audience is not reached. Trial runs and testing are critical to determine the effectiveness of this strategy.
2. Direct Mail
Direct mail campaigns consist of postcards, letters, brochures and flyers that are sent through the mail and generally contain a direct response call-to-action. Direct mail can be effective because it can be highly targeted to a demographic, but can also be costly when considering the cost to print, mail and purchase a qualified mail list. Some believe direct mail has seen its better days, but there is still some life in this powerful and traditional form of advertising. Many people still look to the mail for information and opportunities, and this strategy cannot be completely ignored.
3. TV and Radio
While TV and Radio advertising afford the opportunity to reach the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, it is also considered to be the costliest of all the strategies. Another disadvantage of the strategy is its inability to target a demographic with precise accuracy. However, the prestige and image associated with television and radio advertising can elevate a business in ways that the other strategies can’t.
4. Online Marketing
It is worth nothing that many businesses are abandoning the more traditional print forms of marketing in favor of reaching out to the rising star in the world of marketing – ONLINE marketing. As print and direct mail see their numbers decline, more and more businesses are choosing the cost effective, highly targeted marketing options found online. The web continues to explode and along with it so do the advertising opportunities. Billions and billions of advertising dollars are spent every year online as businesses try to find ways to tap into the Internet user.
While there are hundreds of online marketing strategies, the simplest and most important is having a website for your business. Creating a professional website is critical. A website can often be the first impression that a consumer has about your business. A website is an effective way to introduce the world to you, your business and the services you provide. Websites are generally inexpensive and with the help of a professional, easy to set up and maintain.
Have you heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Having a website for your coffee shop or tea house is only the beginning. Make it easy for them to find you by using search engine optimization to rank high on Google and Yahoo! In your given area of business this can be very effective. This is achieved by manipulating the copy on a website and the HTML code that forms the backbone of the web pages. By doing so, you can greatly improve the chances that a future customer finds you first.
In addition to your website, there are many websites that provide you the ability to create a listing, much like a listing in the yellow pages. These sites make their listing searchable and provide a single resource for the consumer to research and select a coffee business that best meets their needs. These sites are often free and require only a registration.
The Best of the Rest
Other forms of effective advertising include: trade associations, newsletters, business cards, vehicle advertising, bench/bus stop signage, LED signage, billboards, sponsorships and community involvement to name just a few. All have advantages and disadvantages, but the one common theme is that not any one strategy may work best or be the most cost effective for you. “Coffee shop owners need to diversify their marketing and expand their efforts to include email blasts, web sites and social media to name just a few,” said Kanet.
Depending on your location, community and demographic of the person you are trying to attract, each method should be evaluated to determine which works best for you. There are strategies that are less expensive, but they can sometimes come with less than desirable results. Determine what it is you desire in return before deciding to make an investment in advertising. Find which strategies will work for you and the most desirable cost. While it is not always a steadfast rule, remember sometimes there is often a direct correlation between cost and results. Low cost sometimes means poor results and high cost can sometimes mean great results. Time considerations to achieve a desired result are also a factor. Typically, the quicker the result, the more expensive it may be to achieve. For example, TV advertising reaches a massive audience, and does it very quickly, but at a high cost. On the other hand, internet marketing and social media takes longer to receive a desired result, but done so with a less expensive cost.
Welcome to the Future—Social Media
One of the fastest growing, least expensive and perhaps the most effective forms of advertising is the growth of social media. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have exploded over the past few years. “Social networking is definitely a marketing tool to utilize. It’s particularly effective for people that operate a retail business because it can be a gentle, compassionate way to reach them and can offer interaction among those of a certain age group,” Kanet said. “While some think of Facebook and Twitter only as a means to reach a young audience, statistics indicate that the fast growing segment of social media users are age 45-64.”
More and more, businesses are starting to understand the value of utilizing these tools to connect with friends and people in their community. The viral aspect of these sites can quickly spread information about your shop and at a cost that is much less than other forms of internet marketing.
Working Within Your Budget
“Coffee shops are looking to find an affordable way to maintain and/or grow their customer base. Each client faces unique challenges in their local market, so while one client might need help competing against a corporate chain or franchise, another might be struggling to overcome a poor location or many other scenarios,” said Doug Clery with Adfinity.
Small businesses typically have a limited marketing budget, if any at all. Does that mean you can’t run with the big boys? Absolutely not. It just means you have to think a little more creatively. How about launching your marketing campaign by doing one of the following:
1. Call your vendors or associates and ask them to participate with you in co-op advertising.
2. Take some time to ask your customers for referrals by offering them incentives.
3. Have you thought about introducing yourself to the media? Free publicity has the potential to boost your coffee shop or tea house. By doing this, you position yourself as a community contributor and it can help promote your shop throughout the community.
4. Invite people into your place of business for an event or seminar.
By being diligent in your marketing and creating an effective marketing strategy, you can reap tremendous rewards. The great thing is that it may not take a large marketing budget to make it happen if you explore the options.
Small business advertising is a science and an art. Companies often miss the fundamentals of advertising. Regardless of the size of your business, understanding the differences between marketing and advertising can reap huge rewards.
In the end, if you have a desire to grow your business, it is up to only you. And this desire will require your willingness to make a diligent effort and to work hard creating success. Vince Lombardi once said, “The Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.” Ask any successful business executive or business owner and they will tell you. The key to their success was surrounding themselves with great people who knew more than them. Don’t take on these initiatives without doing the same. Most importantly, keep in mind that this effort and work does not have to be tackled alone. There are many professionals that can help you, including marketing consultants, advertising agencies, website developers and experts in the realm of online marketing and social media. Good luck on climbing the ladder of success! CBS