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Sales, Marketing & Advertising - confusion!

For those of you with experience in running larger businesses, you will understand the differences between Sales, Marketing & Advertising. But for those who are busy with a growing small business, we often find confusion between them. So before we go any further, let's take a look at this for the smaller business.
Marketing Structure photo 1 There shouldn't be any confusion...but there is, so...
Sales - is the retail of your product - as in receiving money at the point of sale.
Marketing - provides media information & education about your brand or product.
Advertising - provides media information designed to lead to retail sales.

The tools and tactics used in Marketing and Advertising are often very similar, so they are often grouped under one heading. Sales, is a very different animal and uses entirely different tools and tactics. Hence terms like, "Sales and Marketing" or "the Sales and Marketing department".
Marketing is the foundation on which your sales activities are based. In it's self, marketing does not result in sales revenue. Attempting sales without marketing can only result in few sales and little sales revenue. The one can't live without the other...

Marketing Structure photo 2 The photo on the right is called a "Sales Funnel". It shows the journey from publishing product and brand information, through to people showing increasing degrees of interest, and then to potential customers making enquiries or "Marketing Qualified Leads". Marketing includes all the activities needed to lead potential customers from the un-informed general public through to MQLs.
To achieve this we use a variety of tools to disseminate the product and brand information, all of which use photography or video with focused text as content. TV, social media, newspapers, magazines, posters, table-talkers, we use them all with the aim of sifting potential customers from general audiences and guiding them towards making MQLs.
It's only after an MQL has been made that your sales people take over the enquiry, so it becomes a "Sales Accepted Lead" (SAL). It's their job to guide each enquiry to a retail conclusion.

OK, that's the overview of the game-plan. Now let's get down to creating a structure.
Your marketing must be on 3 levels - Brand Marketing, Product Marketing and Product Advertising. Again, there shouldn't be any confusion, yet there is...
Brand Marketing is general information & education, spread widely and generously, about your overall business. For example, if you are a wine producer, we would tell the world who you are and what you do. We would show the world your vineyard, your production facilities, an overview of your range and any extras you may have, like a restaurant at your vineyard for example.
Product marketing is product specific information. Taking the example of a wine producer, we would publish information about the various varieties of wine that you produce. The content would be descriptive and targeted at a chosen audiences. For example, in the case of an "entry level" wine available in a supermarket chain, the product marketing would begin at the vineyard and describe the product in simple terms (no jargon). Then we would focus into in-store visuals of stock on shelves.
Product Advertising should give potential buyers visuals of people actually drinking the wine, and enjoying it. There should be visuals of pricing. There may well be visuals of where the wine is available for sale. Product information would be minimal because your marketing should have reached your potential customers already. The aim here is to make them buy it, not talk about it!
...and there is the often subtle difference between Product Marketing and Product Advertising. When you advertise, you want people to buy your product, not talk about it.

But whatever the product or whoever the brand, all marketing must be consistent and continual. Effective marketing is not something that you do only when you have time and remember. One of the most important aims of marketing is to gently keep your brand and its' products in the public eye. The objective is to make your product the first that comes to mind when the need arises.

For you big players in the game, all the information above is well known to you. But to give you an idea of how we operate, let's take a look at a simple example - a single still image social media post. The way we create the actual content for a campaign is a process we call "Activation". Activation is the process we go through to take an idea or concept for a marketing campaign, turn it into the required content, and then publish the content - in other words, to activate a campaign. To understand how this works, jump to the Activation page. It's probably much more complex than you think!

The top row of images is a selection from our Brand Marketing portfolio
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The middle row of images is a selection from our Product Marketing portfolio
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The bottom row of images is a selection from our Product Advertising portfolio
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