So many times, I get asked 'what is marketing?'
I think that there is no other business function that is more misunderstood.
What is this magic marketing wizardry and what do you need it for?
As a service-based business owner, you might be confused, you could see marketing as the social media you have to do, but to others, marketing could be a circular, Facebook Ad or a website. It could mean the emails delivered into your inbox or the logo you have.
I expect that you are already marketing more that you think you are. Marketing can be talking to friends, having a website, networking, telling your family.
Marketing is a process, its the handshake that opens up a relationship. Used wisely it will help you grow – it is not a one-off activity that you do – it is a continual relationship that you need to keep on building. It's like a big map that combines all the elements to bring clients on a journey with you.
So what is branding?
Branding is summed up as everything your business does as perceived by others, whilst marketing is how you build awareness and attract consumer attention. Branding is your strategy, while marketing incorporates your tactical goals. They work together as everything that you do to promote yourself; it is the way you look, the way you act, the way you interact.
Let us look at marketing: it refers to the tools you utilise to deliver the message of your brand. Marketing will continually change, just like the services you offer will continue to change and evolve. It should be directly and specifically adapted towards your target clients, all while supporting the core values of your brand.
Marketing can be any mix of text, keywords, photos, charts, graphs, and videos. It can be performed by a variety of online and offline methods.
Once you understand branding and marketing in detail, you can coordinate their efforts together.
I find a right way to explain this is to think of branding as the way you keep existing clients and marketing to attract new clients.
Branding is the first touchpoint your client gets; you have about six seconds for them to decide if they like what they see. If you do not look the part, people can be put off. Typos, clunky website, or a terrible business card can make people go elsewhere.
Branding is at the core of your marketing strategy, so this is where you start. It is essential to clearly define who you are as a brand before you begin to work out your specific marketing methods, strategies, tools and tactics.
Branding spans across all parts of your business and needs to be worked on every day. It shows up across all client contact points, such as how you reply to messages, answer your phone, to a conversation in a hallway, or the comments you make online. It is also about how you manage your customers, including the efficiency and kindness employed when a client calls with a question or complaint. Your services and team should craft every experience a client has with your business.
While branding and marketing are different, they overlap with imagery. When choosing your company colours, logo and graphics, they must represent your brand, but they also play a vital role in your ongoing marketing campaigns.
Your branding is what generates a timeless connection. Your current marketing efforts are there to engage, but it is the ongoing branding that keeps your clients coming back.
Enjoy your marketing, work on it as a process. Results won’t happen overnight but they will grow.
You need to encompass research, experimentation, storytelling, sales, repetition and relationship building. Because when you get this right, when you attract the right people into your world, you can take them on a journey of growth with you.
Start your marketing today.
Hello, I am Claire Taylor, owner of Totally Taylored Marketing. I provide consulting and strategy to small service-based business owners who are ready for a marketing plan for their business.
Totally Taylored Marketing helps you create marketing that speaks to your customers and only puts your marketing budget where your clients are. I work with you to maximise impact and minimize the time, energy and spend on your communications.
I love to chat, why not drop me an email and say hi. contact me here.