In business the best source of new business is the existing customer. Discovering the customer’s habits and characteristics allows the sales department to expand into new geographical territories with similar customer characteristics and/or modify the existing product lines. The key to success is gathering the proper information at the point of sale.
Marketing is a more focused form of communicating a small business owner’s product/service. It is NOT advertising, but a plan to get to the customer via a one on one opportunity. It works well for certain types of businesses and is really the best tool for the small business.
The highest prized benefit of owning your own business is independence. You rely on your skills and have to report to no one but yourself. This is the allure of becoming a real estate agent. Imagine, making a lot of money and working when you want to work. Very appealing to just about anyone, wouldn’t you say? Well, it is all hogwash!
The three best methods of marketing include education, referrals and involvement. Unlike advertising, marketing is a human contact sport. If you truly want to expand operations, there are no other more effective methods than educating the customer, getting referrals and getting involved with the customer.
A part of any information feedback loop is the operating control reports in business. Depending on the nature and financial impact involved, these reports can be daily (Daily Operating Controls or DOC), weekly (Weekly Operating Controls or WOC) and/or monthly (Monthly Operating Controls or MOC) in management reporting. Their value is to inform management of business activity and identify any potential issues that could generate undue financial harm on the business or worse, create an unsafe product or work environment.
The number one tool for marketing is the handshake and a smile. It costs zero to extend the hand and use a few facial muscles. But the value it generates is priceless. Pretty much all business relationships begin this way. The handshake and smile is the most effective marketing tool available at all levels of business.
The simplest definition for these two misunderstood terms is that marketing involves customer interaction i.e. human contact, whereas advertising is a non-contact form of information transfer. You can read a multitude of professional definitions, academia literature and talk to just about any marketing graduate and you’ll get a lot of different definitions of these two terms.