14Be a Promoter

If you're an advertising executive, feel free to correct me. But for the purposes of helping you do business better, I'll define marketing, advertising, and sales from my small‐business perspective.

Marketing is telling the world what you do.

Advertising is telling a specific segment of the world what you can do for them.

Sales is asking that specific segment of the world for the order.

We'll talk about sales in a later chapter. Here we'll discuss building your brand through advertising and marketing effort.

Advertising 101

I took an advertising class in college. I distinctly recall a rule of advertising as it was taught in the old days: Don't ever spend money on a marketing effort unless you can track the results.

That sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Advertising costs money. Therefore, be cautious about the investment you're making and monitor the returns. The problem: How do you do that, exactly?

You could possibly measure returns by experimenting with just one new marketing concept for a month and tracking sales. Except sales volume might dip or spike during the same time you're experimenting. Seasonality, a competitor's adjustment, or any of a dozen other reasons could play a bigger role than your marketing trial.

Your experimental marketing move might look like a huge success if sales double while you're doing it. Until you find out the new activity had nothing to do with your billboard. Your competitor ran out of widgets and you were the only place with ...

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