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“Marketing” and “advertising” are often used synonymously, but they are very different! Here are five main differences between marketing and advertising.

Advertising is More. Marketing is Less.

When you think about finding new customers, your first impulse may be to attack the problem on every level, guns blazing. Grab an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare, whatever. Because more is more, right?

When managing all those accounts prove inefficient and doesn’t get quick results, you will probably back off social media. Your Instagram, Twitter, etc. become ghost towns. Or all of a sudden there are a LOT of puppy memes.

Human beings have evolved to stake out as much territory as we can get our hands on. It’s the reason there’s a flag on the moon.

In marketing, this is bad.

Small business marketing needs to be clear and simple. Clarity comes from direct, singular messaging on curated platforms.

I mean, adages are adages for a reason. Less is more.

Advertising Can Be Automated. Marketing Cannot.

Remember the film version of Polar Express? You know, the one directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks?

The film was the first real victim of the “uncanny valley,” a phenomenon where CGI characters look nearly lifelike but fall short of totally real.

Well, screenings of Polar Express were filled with kids screaming in terror. The animation was almost real. It got so close, but it didn’t sell. The eyes looked dead. The faces lacked life.

The uncanny valley effect provokes a fear response.

Humans — even children — have an innate fear of things that lack anima (life).

Automated business can be tempting for small businesses. Robo-calls allow you to exponentially expand your reach without drastically increasing costs. Mass emails are virtually free.

You can automate your advertising. Copy and paste on repeat. But you will never get an ROI on automation.

We are imbued with a deep ability to sniff out when there isn’t a human on the other end of the line. The moment we feel like we are communicating with a robot, we get resentful. We write the product or company off, and we never look back.

There’s no substitute for live human contact. We deeply understand the kind of life you need to connect with to grow your customers.

Marketing is about creating that authentic connection. Connection can’t be copy-pasted. Ultimately, though, connection will defeat automation every time.

Advertising Focuses on Sheer Numbers. Marketing Focuses on Experience.

Webinars, proposals, presentations, newsletters. All those tools are important for staying top of mind for existing or potential clients. But just creating these pieces of collateral will NOT grow your business.

What’s going to have more of a lasting connection is having an experience.

Go beyond the webinar. Make a real connection. Have a personal Zoom follow-up. Send a sweet birthday text. Drop a handwritten note in the mail. Create plans of action in the webinar that you actually follow up on.

Create a quality connection over a mass quantity of touch points. That will grow your business every time.

Advertising Asks What. Marketing Asks Why.

Advertising gives you the details of a new service or product and then says “Just buy it!”

Marketing, on the other hand, understands that customers are not asking “What should I buy?” but “Why should I buy?

Just as the customers ask themselves why, marketers ask themselves why.

The foundation of good creative problem solving is anchored in our ability to ask why. We must constantly ask ourselves “why” to stay sharp. Why offer this product over that product? Why this price point? Why use one medium over another in our marketing push?

Why, to paraphrase Simon Sinek, drives outcome.

But more so, it also drives investigation—which clarifies outcome.

Investigation is the difference between accepting what is, and starting to pivot toward what is possible.

Advertising Demands Flash. Marketing Demands Strategy.

Advertising wants the flashiest. The newest. The most amount of details in quick succession.

Over and over, our team has seen how often small business owners latch onto new shiny tools without understanding how to use them. Without strategy, those tools are just paperweights.

Strategy is where SpinFrogs shines.

We’ve supported hundreds of businesses in how to shift away from thinking “advertising” and toward thinking “connection”. You know, marketing.

We coach them to provide services remotely, adjust how they provide products to clients, or otherwise leverage technology to keep revenue coming in for ongoing success.

We give business owners like you an actionable, targeted strategy that will make the tools WORK FOR YOU rather than TAKE TIME from you.

Registration has just reopened for our 12 week group coaching program – PROPEL – which will walk you through every step of creating a year-long actionable, targeted marketing strategy for your small business.

In just 12 weeks of working with us, you’ll have a personalized strategic marketing plan for 12 months of business growth. Curious? Click here for details.

Not sure if PROPEL is the right fit for you? Text us at (336) 568-8011, and we’ll answer all your questions. We won’t push if it isn’t a good fit. We want you to get exactly what you need so that your business can grow.


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