Marketing Myth Busting

Marketing plays a vital role in economic growth.

Those companies who embrace the value of marketing and who are planned in their approach will reap the rewards. And yet there are many myths surrounding marketing, and these myths I believe can hold back a company’s growth and leave them trailing behind the competition.

 Myth 1: Marketing is Advertising

Fact: Advertising is about buying space/time and using that space/time to convey a message. This can be on-line, outdoors, radio, TV, in print. Advertising is part of the marketing communications mix as are other tangible materials such as brochures, leaflets, websites. Marketing is often confused as the materials. It isn’t. The materials are a part of marketing. Marketing is the sum of the parts. Parts include market research, an in-depth understanding customers purchasing behaviours, how customers buy, why they buy (and don’t), what they buy (and don’t), where they buy. The purpose is to encourage a profitable and rewarding exchange.

 Myth 2: I have a logo so I have a brand

Fact: A logo is a visual reference. A clue that you know you are in the right place. The logo is simply the logo. The brand is the complete picture, how the world perceives you. The brand is the total customer experience and conveys the personality of the company. Brands create emotional connection so much so that you know what to expect each time you touch that brand. That consistency is crucial. When you build a brand, you are building consistently with authentic brand values underpinning everything you do and say across all media and in person. It’s no co-incidence that those companies who deliver a consistent and authentic brand experience, are the most successful companies.

Myth 3: Direct Mail – if someone doesn’t respond first time, they will never respond

Fact: There are many reasons why someone doesn’t respond the first time you contact them including that they may not know (or trust) your brand yet, they may have more pressing concerns, they may have wanted to respond but other priorities got in their way.  So many companies give up at the first attempt believing that there is no interest.  This is rarely true. Go, back and back again, keep the momentum. Build contact through a variety of channels, through phone calls, newsletters, emails, letters, social media, online presence. The number of contacts it can take until a prospect starts to engage with a company will vary depending on industry, the brand’s standing, but never, ever give up until at least 6 points of contact are made.

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 Myth 4: Social media and content marketing is free

Fact: Content marketing requires people and time. When businesses are busy with the day-job content and social marketing can be ad-hoc. Understanding audiences, creating and writing relevant content, writing blogs, doing social drops, sharing content, interacting, joining the on-line conversation all takes time. Companies will do their due diligence on you, they will research your online content, and it’s your social presence that will help convey your personality and credibility. Having great content that appears regularly will be key in what they do next. Be prepared to invest time to create regular quality content. It’s time very well invested.

 Myth 5: Great marketing works instantly

Fact: It’s true that some marketing can produce instant (and surprising) results. This depends on the offer, the brand’s position, the timing and the relevance. However, marketing is about constant contact. Being completely on top of how your customers and prospects are behaving requires focus, attention, and planning, otherwise it will drift. Marketing is an investment; it’s an investment in the future, and the long-term. The best investments do take time to get the best results.

Be smart with marketing. Spend time and money wisely by planning and making sure you talk to customers and prospects in the right way, at the right time and with the right message.

Karen Lambert is a creative thinker, an experienced strategic marketer and founder and Managing Director of Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and branding agency based in Lancashire, North West England. To learn more please contact Karen at www.happy-creative.co.uk

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