Basics of Marketing 101, Small Business MarketingSo you have a great service / product and you’re ready to launch your business, but you don’t know what to do next.

Should you focus on creating dynamic content for your website or strategize your product on social media ads? Even if you do go the social media route, do you stick with the free services or pay to get your product noticed?

Developing pricing plans for your services and creating a product is hard enough.

Throw in the myriad of marketing questions you’re faced with just to get your product or service noticed. Saying you feel overwhelmed is probably an understatement.

Before you can make the right marketing decisions for your service or product you have to know marketing basics 101.

Before you start any marketing campaign, you need to know your brand. A brand is your promise to your customers. Once this is clear to you, the next step is to find your audience. Who will benefit from your product or services? Find them, then stand in front of them, and share about your product. That’s Marketing Basics: 101.

The second part of marketing basics is being consistent with your brand and not breaking your promise to your customers. Offer your customers something of value and give something away of value and you’ll start to build customer loyalty.

But how do you do that?

Should you market your product or maybe advertise on local media? What about hiring a publicist or doing promotions yourself? Do you need to do all three to have a successful business campaign? And what’s the difference between marketing, advertising, PR, and promotion?

Marketing vs. Public Relations

The difference between marketing and PR can be confusing.

While both focus on strategic planning concerning a company’s brand, the distinctions come down to the selling point and the key messages you want to convey to potential customers.

In its simplest terms, PR focuses on building brand awareness and reputation while marketing is more concerned with the sale of the product.

That doesn’t mean marketing ignores the brand message. On the contrary, in essence marketing and PR both work together to play an integral part of any successful business plan.

Marketing is more interested in creating an immediate need to purchase a product or service. It usually achieves that through email, coupons, and social media. A publicist will focus on media coverage and bringing awareness to a product or service.

So while PR might get your product or service noticed, it’s the marketing efforts that actually bring in the revenue.

Promotion vs. Advertising

Promotion, like PR gets the word out about a product or service however, it takes brand awareness one-step further by offering immediate incentives to buy what you’re selling. Promotion usually involves giving away something of value or offering it at a discounted price. There doesn’t need to be a huge budget to reap the benefits of promotion.

Adverting is a form of marketing, but is one-way communication about your product or service meant to inform potential customers about the benefits and why they need to buy what you have to offer. Its affects take longer to impact sales since you’re slowly building brand awareness and loyalty without direct customer interaction or involvement.

A good marketing campaign will contain all four elements:

  • PR
  • Promotion
  • Marketing
  • Advertising.

If one is missing, and you are not getting the results you want, you may need to focus on the missing link. If, however, you are active in all four marketing areas you may need to reevaluate your brand and who you’re marketing to.

The biggest mistake people make when marketing a product or service is that they think there is one way to market and if they do everything “right” then the money will come rolling in. They think if they just find that one thing that works, then all their marketing worries will be solved.

The problem with this thinking is that it’s hard to know what gave you a marketing edge to begin with, and with the constant changes in social media and consumer wants and needs, there’s no guarantee what worked today will work tomorrow.

But it’s safe to say if you stick to Marketing Basics 101 you’ll be on your way to giving your service or product the best edge you can in today’s market.