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How to Make Your Marketing Work Together

November 10, 2011
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220675

However it appears to the public, don't kid yourself into thinking that marketing is show business. It is not.

Think of marketing as sell business, as solve-a-problem business, as create-a-desire business, but don't think for a moment that you're around to entertain the throngs. No matter how much you may advertise, marketing is definitely not advertising.

Related: 200 Marketing Weapons

Sure, advertising is seen by a lot of people. And there was a time when it worked. But it certainly doesn't work now nearly as well as it used to.

If you have a website, don't expect it to work. Planning an ad campaign? Expect grief. How about public relations? Doesn't work as well as it used to. So what does work?

Marketing combinations work. If you have a website and you advertise it vigorously and you run a publicity program to tie in with it, they will all work--each part of the formula contributing its own particular magic.

That's why advertising is not marketing, and email is not marketing, and telephone calls are not marketing--not alone they're not. But as part of a combination, they're lethal. It's the wise use of many of them.

Related: Five Ways to Gear Up Your Marketing for the Holiday Shopping Season

Marketing Combinations
We know a successful bed seller with a mom-and-pop store who chalks up more than $1 million in sales each month and uses only four marketing weapons:

1. Radio commercials that direct people to his website and his showroom.

2. A website that answers questions and directs visitors to his showroom.

3. Trained salespeople who capitalize on the momentum created by the radio and website.

4. The free gift of a comforter, a set of sheets, two pillowcases, and two good pillows which ensures healthy word-of-mouth marketing after the sales.

How expensive is that combination of marketing weapons? Not very expensive--but extremely effective. That should be your goal: marketing that is not very expensive but extremely effective.

Everyone knows that people look online first before making a purchase. So is being online the trick for your business? It is part of the trick, but being online is not marketing.

Many people continue to think that marketing is telemarketing or couponing or social networking. All of those actions are part of marketing, but none of them are the whole deal. Don't think we're still in an age of single-weapon marketing. If you do, you may be the only one left who thinks that way.

Your task is to be aware of all the marketing weapons available to you, to experiment with many of them, and then to identify the combination that provides the highest profit to you.

Here's something else that marketing isn't: brochures. People rush out to produce a brochure, thinking that's all the marketing they'll need. It probably is a very important link in the chain that leads to success, but a brochure certainly is not marketing all by itself. Maybe it used to be, but this is not your parents' generation. It's yours.

Also, dismiss the notion that marketing is complicated. Marketing becomes complicated for people who just cannot grasp the simplicity of marketing. They begin with a marketing plan, then they commit to it.

Related: Apple's Simple Marketing Manifesto

Fortunes are lost regularly by people who expect miracles from marketing. But the marketing business is not the miracle business. It's the patience business. It's the planning business. If you expect miracles, you're going to get ulcers.

Marketing is an opportunity to earn profits with your business, a chance to cooperate with other businesses in your community or your industry, and a process of building lasting relationships. But a miracle worker, it is not.

The Best of Guerrilla Marketing -- Guerrilla Marketing RemThis article is an excerpt from The Best of Guerrilla Marketing -- Guerrilla Marketing Remix (Entrepreneur Press, 2011) by Jay Conrad and Jeannie Levinson.