It turns out a lot of people think that marketing is the same thing as sales or advertising equals marketing. That's totally not the case!
Marketing is a complex system of many activities, strategies and thorough research that often, but not always, aim to increase the sales. Sometimes marketing is done purely to strengthen the brand image. Other times, it is to ensure the right audience is reached and retained and to boost interest towards a particular product or service.
Adverts are just one type of marketing activity. Ads' main purpose is to drive sales, although, they could also aim to simply increase the brand awareness.
Sales are the last stage of the marketing process where a transaction/conversion occurs.
In 2019, you can't have sales without marketing. However, you can certainly make sales without advertising! A perfect example for this is sales through referrals or word of mouth. These are achieved when there was a sound marketing strategy at the beginning, quality of the product or service and good customer service.
What is a Successful Marketing Strategy?
If you want to sell, then your marketing strategy has to be smooth, well-thought and subtle, but powerful. You can't begin your marketing activities with an advert and expect to sell. Why? Because people don't know you. They know nothing about your brand, your product, your service. The trust factor is not there.
Start from telling your story to your ideal client. Where are they? Maybe in a Facebook group, or at a networking event. Perhaps they are at a children's centre, at a business conference. Find them and introduce yourself, your brand. Nurture your relationship before you start advertising what you do.
Your website is not just a sales tool. It is a convenience you create for your ideal client, because you know they like shopping online, or spend their time often browsing the Internet or prefer to pay by card than cash. Creating positive experience for your customers is a form of marketing.
Your social media profiles are NOT for advertising. You have a business page for that. But even if your organic posts sound too salesy, Facebook penalises them. That's why we have paid ads. Your organic activity on your page, your groups or your profile is meant to nurture your relationship with your potential customers. To show your audience that you are just like them, and not the next business trying to get their money. It's marketing.