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.

A rant well said.

Since I have joined the tt I have learned a lot about marketing. Thanks to the tt and other sources! The message you send to your business area must be consistent and simple. It also must show in all that you do and the decisions you make.

I think that a great way to be consistent is to come up with a goal or motto. On our menu I state the following:
A part of Claysburg’s history. Claysburg Pizza prides itself on being
a Christian establishment where you can enjoy delicious food at a great price.

Serve fresh meals & provide fast service to our customers.
Just like you remember!

Being open since 1959 our pizza has remained the same and that is why our logo includes:
Just like you remember!

A goal and concept should be carried out in all of your marketing whether it is a simple ad in a sports program or a menu that goes out to 100,000 people.

Steve you have an amazing knack for posting exactly what I need to remember at the right time.
I am still in recovery mode from last years road work in front of my store. I have thought about many different forms of ADVERTISING without really connecting the MARKETING that I need to do.

You point out the need for consistency throughout an operation. Here is a real life example. I have a community bulletin board in my store. The other day a lady came in and ask if she could post a sign advertising for a room mate. I said she could put the sign up. It was a photocopy of a hand written (not too neat of writing) sheet of paper. As the lady was putting the poster up she saw the many business cards on the board and ask it she could also put up a business card. When she left I went to look at her card and was shocked at what I saw. This is what the card said:
[list][size=5]Advertising Consulting[/size]
Marketing & Sales
[size=2]Learn where to sell your product and service effectively
Power Radio Advertising that is heard
Practical ideas that customers respond to[/size][/list]
Her marketing surely does not match her advertising. If she had posted a well laid out ad for her room mate it might have made me think about using her services.

Now it is time for me to get down to the business of cleaning up my marketing act.

Thanks again Steve. The timing of this post was perfect.

One concept I have worked out that makes it make sense for me is that “Marketing is about establishing your place, identity and value in the marketplace.” That is a big drink of water all at one time.

There is sooooooo much more to your identity as a business and part of the community than “Pizza, Wings and Cheestix for $24”. As a matter of fact, that is a message that has relatively tiny lingering memory impact. That message is so similar and crowded by all the other businesses hawking special prices. That message had value . . . it just needs foundation and support to stay memorable and front of mind. The special on a flyer is advertising a price and product, which is one element of a marketing plan.

The effective, successful marketing does exactly what Steve said

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.

So many things can help establish that sense of value and credibility. This is where the power of flexibility, creativity and care give independent business owners real advantage. Identify what it is that makes your business valuable, meaningful and credible in the lives of the people who are in the target market. The Unique Selling Point. (USP)

Identifying the products and services is a small piece of this because someone else can always provides those same products/services . . . . WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY MONEY WITH YOU INSTEAD OF THE OTHER GUY? A flyer full of coupons is useful, but by no means enough to answer that question.

Once you have that message, then the rest of the decisions and actions should flow from that message. At Nick’s Pizzeria, our USP was “Local owners who provide superior products and compassionate service for a fair price, and are committed to being leaders in building and improving the community in which they live and work. Nick’s Pizzeria HAS TO do it ‘right’ because the customers deserve the best available for their hard earned dollars . . . and TASTE MATTERS!”

Gourmet Pizza
Fast, efficient service
All handmade from the freshest ingredients
Locally grown ingredients
Organic ingredients
Loyal to customers
In business for 75 years and a part of history
Authentic Italian Pizzas
Coldest Beer in town

these are tags that can be built into Unique Selling Point(s).