Marketing is not just advertising; it is the complete process of positioning and presenting your business and the goods and services it provides to the community you are in. Marketing includes how clean you keep the front of your store, how you behave at your kids school sports events, whether you contribute to local organizations, how you allow your crew to dress, what kind of music is played in your kitchen etc all in addition to the media you buy and the promotions you run. Marketing should distinguish your goods and services, particularly from others that might seem most similar. Marketing creates an expectation of products and services to be delivered. It seeks to establish a value for them. When the customer is attracted by the message they receive and is convinced that the value equation will be met they buy. Favorite sayings associated with marketing and advertising: Half of all advertising works. It is shame it is so difficult to know which half. Quality Price and Service: Pick any two. What do these tell you about what you need to be doing to market your business? 1. You have to make the bet. Marketing must be a consistant activity both in the application of resources and in the message you choose to present. 2. Some of it will not work. Find ways to measure your marketing activity. Use the measurements to make decisions. (As Nick so well points out from time to time, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish before you can measure it) 3. Market what makes you different. Conventional wisdom tells us that it is not possible to offer the best service, the best product AND the lowest price. If your story is quality and service, that is what your marketing message should be.... not price. Just my Sat morning rant... sorry.