It's about humanity and morality; care and compassion; being good and fair. Profit is okay, but not greed; reward is fine, but not avarice; trade is obviously essential, but exploitation is not. It's extremely useful in understanding, and to an extent managing, how people think and make decisions. People naturally identify and align with ethical philosophical values. The best staff, suppliers, and customers naturally gravitate towards organisations with strong ethical qualities.
It's powerful because it appeals to people's deepest feelings. Corporate integrity, based on right and good ethical philosophy, transcends all else. People might not ask or talk about this much: Witness the antagonism growing towards certain multi-nationals. People don't rail against successful corporations - they rail against corporations which put profit ahead of people; growth ahead of of society and communities; technology and production ahead of the natural world; market domination ahead of compassion for humankind.
None of this is right and good, and these organisations are on borrowed time. Aside from which - when you get your philosophy right, everything else naturally anchors to it. Strategies, processes, attitudes, relationships, trading arrangements, all sorts of difficult decisions - even directors salaries and share options dare we suggest. And it need not be complicated. The ultimate corporate reference point is: How does this idea, initiative, decision, etc stack up against our ethical philosophy?
Organisations are complex things, and they become more and more complicated every day. A good ethical philosophy provides everyone with a natural, reliable reference point, for the tiniest detail up to the biggest strategic decision. So as you start to write your marketing plan, be it for a new start-up, a huge corporation, or a little department within one, make sure you put a 'right and good' ethical philosophy in place before you do anything else, and watch everything grow from there. Marketing and advertising are commonly confused. This confusion is compounded because meanings of both continue to evolve.
Below are definitions of marketing, followed by definitions advertising, and the differences between marketing and advertising.
The increasingly broad nature of the marketing definitions reflects the increasing dimensions by which organizations engage with their markets. It is truly fascinating and highly significant to see how the definitions of marketing have changed over time. Marketing was traditionally simply 'selling products' as if at a traditional old-style farmer's market.
The term derives from this meaning.
This meaning developed so that marketing became an extension of selling - a means by which to identify, design, and communicate or 'target' offerings to customers. Nowadays the meaning of marketing is extremely sophisticated. A good modern definition of marketing must acknowledge that we buy things in far more complex ways than we did fifty years ago, even ten years ago. The internet and social media are major factors in this.
Above all, marketing is a reflection of 'the market', and how the market buys and behaves, which especially entails people and society - much broader considerations than purely product and price. As the market evolves in sophistication, so does the way in which we understand what marketing actually is and what it means to conduct marketing well. Here are three examples of how the scope and definition of marketing reaches much farther than ever before:. Organizational constitution - many customers will not buy from a supplier whose ownership is considered to be unethical, greedy, or overly profit-driven, whereas many customers positively seek out suppliers considered to have more ethical convictions and ethos, such as mutuals and cooperatives, or social enterprises.
These issues are therefore now unavoidably part of marketing, and where marketing fails to consider or influence these matters, then marketing activity is potentially less able and effective. Organizational probity - probity means honesty, uprightness - it's from the Latin word probus, meaning good - this includes issues such as environmental and social responsibility, and 'Fairtrade', etc. Marketing has for decades extended its reach to staff traditionally, for example 'internal marketing' via newsletters and staff briefings, etc but nowadays this 'internal' facet is immensely more significant.
Organizational integrity and related failings are now much more transparent. The increasingly broad nature of these marketing definitions reflects the increasing dimensions by which organizations engage with their markets, and consequently how the meaning of marketing has grown.
Advertisement is defined as: Advertising refers to printed and electronic media that is presented one way or another to market or audience, including packaging, point of sale, brochures and sales literature. Advertising when properly executed is the statistically driven and measurable implementation of marketing strategy, via carefully selected communications methods, targeted at predetermined audiences.
We might also regard advertising as one means of tactical implementation of the strategic aims of marketing. First it's helpful to revisit, check or define the foundations of your business or organization. What are your fundamental aims and values? What is your ultimate purpose? Is your underpinning philosophy congruent consistent with your planned business activities, operations and aims? Below is a simple template for checking that you have the foundations and building blocks in place.
If not, then decide as far as you can, because it's generally the CEO's call what they should be, because all good marketing plans need to have solid foundations first. When it comes to defining more detailed aspects of mission and strategy, of course there's degree of 'chicken and egg' here: How can you know your Mission until you validate it with your potential customers? How can you establish objectives and goals without consulting and involving your staff? If in doubt, always err on the side of what is good and right and proper, which is another good reason for having a sound ethical position: In the absence of everything else - tools, processes, clarity of responsibility who does what , etc - having a sound and well understood philosophy and ethical position will always help people to make good decisions.
Build from the bottom upwards. Consult and involve people affected and involved wherever relevant. You will see many different versions and interpretations of this framework. The principles are similar although the words might change. A business or an organisation is built on values and philosophy. Increasingly in the modern age, customers and staff are not prepared to sustain commitment to organisations whose philosophy and values are misaligned with their own personal ideals. Ten years ago organisational planning paid very little regard to values and philosophy.
Customers were satisfied with quality at the right price. Staff were satisfied with a decent wage and working conditions. Today things are different. Organisations of all sorts must now cater for a more enlightened workforce and market-place. When considering these planning stages start from the bottom upwards. This will help to reinforce the point that planning is about building from the foundations upwards, and that the stronger the foundations, then the stronger the organisation will be.
When you've satisfied yourself that the fundamental organisational framework is in place - and that you have gone as far as you can in creating a strong foundation - then you can begin your marketing planning. Market information should include anything you need to know in order to formulate strategy and make business decisions.
Information is available in the form of statistical economic and demographic data from libraries, research companies and professional associations the Institute of Directors is excellent if you are a member. This is called secondary research and will require some interpretation or manipulation for your own purposes.
Additionally you can carry out your own research through customer feed-back, surveys, questionnaires and focus groups obtaining indicators to wider views through discussion among a few representative people in a controlled situation. This is called primary research, and is tailored to your precise needs. It requires less manipulation, but all types of research need careful analysis. Be careful when extrapolating or projecting. If the starting point is inaccurate the resulting analysis will not be reliable. The main elements you typically need to understand and quantify are:. Primary research is recommended for local and niche services.
Keep the subjects simple and the range narrow. Formulate questions that give clear yes or no indicators i. Try to convert data to numerical format and manipulate on a spreadsheet. Use focus groups for more detailed work. Be wary of using market research organisations as this can become extremely expensive. If you do the most important thing to do is get the brief right. Business strategy is partly dictated by what makes good business sense, and partly by the subjective, personal wishes of the owners.
There is no point in developing and implementing a magnificent business growth plan if the owners wish the business to maintain its current scale. State your business objectives - mindful of the trading environment external factors and your corporate aims internal factors.
What is the business aiming to do over the next one short , two-to-three medium and four-to-five long years? These objectives must be quantified and prioritised wherever possible. You may project your aims or vision for your business further into the future of course, which is feasible for types of business which are reasonable mature, stable and predictable.
For such businesses some people might regard four-to-five years as medium term rather than long term. However, life and work and business and the world as whole all change far more quickly and unpredictably than in times past, so in some sectors notably those seriously dependent upon or affected by modern technology it's quite difficult to imagine reliably what your business will need to be like much beyond four or five years. In the modern age it's not easy, and often is not sensible either, to establish very specific and detailed aims much beyond four-to-five years into the future, especially if your business is in a sector that is prone to external influences.
A mission statement announces clearly and succinctly to your staff, shareholders and customers what you are in business to do. Your mission statement may build upon a general 'service charter' relevant to your industry, but it must also say what's special or different about your business. Consider what you can be the best at doing for your stated target market or audience.
The act of producing and announcing the mission statement is an excellent process for focusing attention on the business's priorities, and particularly the emphasis on customer service. If your business is modern and good you will be able also to reference your organisational 'Philosophy' and set of organisational 'Values', both of which are really helpful in providing fundamental referencing or 'anchoring' points, by which to clarify aspects of what the organisation or business unit aims to do, what its purpose is, and how the organisation behaves and conducts itself.
You must define clearly what you are providing to your customers in terms of individual products, or more appropriately, services. You should have one for each main area of business activity, or sector that you serve. Under normal circumstances competitive advantage is increased the more you can offer things your competitors cannot. Develop your service offer to emphasise your strengths, which should normally relate to your business objectives, in turn being influenced by corporate aims and market research.
The tricky bit is translating your view of these services into an offer that means something to your customer. The definition of your service offer must make sense to your customer in terms that are advantageous and beneficial to the customer, not what is technically good, or scientifically sound. Think about what your service, and the manner by which you deliver it, means to your customer. In the selling profession, this perspective is referred to as translating features into benefits.
The easiest way to translate a feature into a benefit is to add the prompt 'which means that For example, if a strong feature of a business is that it has hour opening , this feature would translate into something like:. Your service-offer should be an encapsulation of what you do best, that you want to do more of to meet your business objectives, stated in terms that will make your customers think 'yes, that means something to me, and my life will be better if I have it.
Your business plan, which deals with all aspects of the resource and management of the business, will include many decisions and factors fed in from the marketing process. It will state sales and profitability targets by activity. There may also be references to image and reputation, and to public relations. All of these issues require some investment and effort if they are to result in a desired effect, particularly any relating to increasing numbers of customers and revenue growth.
You would normally describe and provide financial justification for the means of achieving these things, together with customer satisfaction improvement, in a marketing plan. Before attending to the detail of how to achieve your marketing aims you need to quantify clearly what they are. How many new customers? Limit of customer losses? Sales values from each sector? Profit margins per service, product, sector? Percentage increase in total sales revenues? Improvement in customer satisfaction? Reduction in customer complaints? Your marketing plan is actually a statement, supported by relevant financial data, of how you are going to develop your business.
In most types of businesses it is also essential that you include measurable aims concerning customer service and satisfaction. The marketing plan will have costs that relate to a marketing budget in the business plan. The marketing plan will also detail quite specifically those activities, suppliers and staff issues critical to achieving the marketing aims.
Being able to refer to aspects of organisational Philosophy and Values is very helpful in formulating the detail of a marketing plan. Marketing provides the means by which the organisation or business projects itself to its audience, and also how it behaves and interacts in its market. It is essential therefore that the organisation's philosophy and values are referenced and reinforced by every aspect of marketing.
In practical terms here are some of the areas and implications:. There are staffing and training implications especially in selling and marketing, because people are such a crucial aspect. Your people are unlikely to have all the skills they need to help you implement a marketing plan. You may not have all the people that you need so you have to consider justifying and obtaining extra. Customer service is acutely sensitive to staffing and training. Are all your people aware of what your aims are? Do they know what their responsibilities are?
Testing is the secret to winning in any advertising market. The advertiser who is willing to run tests — and who knows how and what to test. Today, we're focusing on why writing matters in Facebook ads, as well If you sell garden hoses, you can reach people who are interested in.
How will you measure their performance? Many of these issues feed back into the business plan under human resources and training, where budgets need to be available to support the investment in these areas. People are the most important part of your organisation, and the success of your marketing activity will stand or fall dependent on how committed and capable your people are in performing their responsibilities.
Invest in your people's development, and ensure that they understand and agree with where the organisation is aiming to go. If they do not, then you might want to reconsider where you are going. You should formulate a detailed 'Customer Service Charter', or customer service , extending both your mission statement and your service offer, so as to inform staff and customers what your standards are.
When you have very few staff like one or two it is possible to communicate these ideas without necessarily writing them all down, but more than this really requires some sort of written record of these standards. In any event it is good to be able to show these statements of intent and quality to your customers.
These standards can cover quite detailed aspects of your service, such as how many times the telephone will be permitted to ring until the caller is gets an answer. Other issues might include for example: How you deal with complaints. How you handle suggestions and requests from customers. How many days between receipt and response for written correspondence. These expectations should where relevant also be developed into specifically agreed standards of performance for certain customers or customer groups - often called Service Level Agreements SLA's.
Increasingly, customers are interested to know more about the organisation's values and philosophy as they relate to customers, together with more obvious detailed standards of customer service. This charter sets customer expectations, so be sure you can meet them. Customers become disappointed particularly when their expectations are not met, and when so many standards can be set at arbitrary levels, think of each one as a promise that you should keep.
Do not set standards that you do not believe you can achieve. Remember an important rule about customer service: It's not so much the failure to meet standards that causes major dissatisfaction among customers: The most upset is due to not being told in advance of a problem, not receiving any apology, not getting any explanation why, and not hearing what's going to be done to put things right.
These standards need to be absolutely measurable. You must keep measuring your performance against them, and preferably publishing the results, internally and externally. Measuring customer complaints is crucial because they are a service provider's barometer of quality and performance. You need to have a scheme which encourages, not discourages, customers to complain. Some surveys have found that nine out of ten people do not complain to the provider when they feel dissatisfied.
But every one of them will tell at least a couple of their friends or relations. It is imperative that you capture these complaints in order to:. Most organisations now have complaints 'escalation' procedures, whereby very dissatisfied customers can be handled by more senior staff. This principle needs extending as far as possible, especially to ensure that strategic intelligent complaints and constructive feedback all immensely useful are handled by someone in the organisation who has suitable strategic appreciation and authority to recognise and act appropriately.
Many organisations waste their most useful complaints and feedback by burying or hiding the complaint at the initial customer service 'outer wall'. Complaints and feedback are gold-dust. Encourage and use complaints wisely. Fix them; fix the causes, and interpret the causes to learn how to make even bigger deeper improvements. Issues of Information and Communications Technology also relate to your business plan.
Are your computers and communications systems capable of handling the information and analysis you need? Can customers find what they need to know from your website s? Can staff find what they need to know from your computerised systems? Do your systems provide the data necessary to make business decisions? Small companies should try to keep ICT systems minimal because complex ICT and reporting is expensive and time-consuming, but bigger companies need very well designed ICT systems, otherwise information and vital business data become chaotic and unmanageable.
Premises can be equally significant considerations, which increase with the scale of the business. Is there sufficient space, now, and to allow for growth and seasonal or other peaks of activity? Is your space and layout designed so that it can be used well? Is the reception area appropriate? Are the staff facilities helpful towards maintaining a happy and comfortable working environment?
Are there sufficient meeting rooms? Is the decor and the layout suitable for staff and customers? If car-parking is difficult what can you do to minimise negative impacts? Who needs to be based in an office and who is best based at home? If your business involves a flow of products or parts, etc. The way space is used is crucial to efficiency.
Efficiency equates to cost and quality. You should design and plan efficiency into the way you use your space. Reporting systems are crucial for management and business decision-making. It is said that if you can't measure it you can't manage it, and where finance and business performance is concerned that's certainly true.
If there's an aspect of your service or performance that is important can you measure it? How do you report on it and interpret the results? Who needs to know? Who needs to capture the data? When you get a new customer for an ongoing transaction do you ask how they heard of you and why they chose to give you a try? Having an open dialogue with your customers is vital. There's a double benefit to your business in ensuring this happens:. Involving customers and staff is easy. It just takes a little thought and care. For example devise a simple feedback form.
It can double as a promotional tool as well if it's made available on a wider scale. The form can carry details of your mission statement, service offer and your customer service charter. So design and plan everything you do with the customer in mind, especially those processes, premises, systems and staff with whom customers directly engage.
The principles transfer to very large businesses too, in fact many very large organisations forget or ignore these basic rules, as you will see from the featured case-study example. Branding refers to naming a business or product or service. A brand will typically also have a logo or design, or several, associated with it.
So is Cadbury a company brand, although now a division of a bigger one , and so is Milky Way a Cadbury product brand. Each of these have associated logo designs; several actually for different situations. So is Google a brand so big a brand and a part of life it's become a verb, 'to google'. On its main webpage, Google cleverly, and for fun, changes its logo design quite often, according to special events in the calandar.
So is Manchester United a brand upon which a vast merchandise business has been built. The power of the Manchester United brand is so great that it transcends its sport and particularly the notion of a 'local football team'. And so increasingly, your local school, hospital, and council are all brands. Branding is potentially a complex subject because it extends to intellectual property and copyright, trademarks, etc.
When doing so contain your ambitions and considerations and your legal fee exposure so that they are appropriate for your situation. There is much though that you can decide for yourself, and certainly a lot you can do to protect and grow your brand so that it becomes a real asset to you, rather than just a name. Many of these principles apply internationally, although you should check your local laws for regions beyond the UK and especially beyond Europe. Aside from the legal technicalities certain basic points should be considered concerning branding:. The DTI was formed in It was a merger of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Technology.
The name DTI was effectively a brand. It was a government department, but in all other respects it was a massive branded organization, offering various services to businesses, and to regions and countries also. The DTI had a logo, a website.
It had staff, a massive target audience of billions globally , customers effectively, tens of millions , a huge marketing and advertising spend, including national TV campaigns, posters, informations brochures, and every other aspect of branding which normally operates in the corporate world. The organization name 'the DTI', was an obvious and recognised abbreviation of 'Trade' and 'Industry', and this described very clearly what the department was responsible for. Not surprisingly, the DTI name developed extremely strong brand recognition and reputation, accumulated over 27 years, surviving at least two short-lived attempted name changes during that period each reverting to DTI due to user critical reaction - until the name brand was finally killed off in For more than a generation, millions and millions of people recognised the DTI name and knew it was the British government's department for business.
Many people also knew the website - if not exact the exact website address, they knew it was 'www. Simply, tens of millions of people in the UK, and also around the world recognised the DTI as Britain's government department for business. For people in business, this is a very substantial advantage for any organization to have. Then in the government finally forced through a name change, and the DTI was replaced, with, wait for it BERR became instantly the most forgettable, least logical, and most stupid departmental brand in the entire history of government department naming and branding cock-ups.
No-one knew what it stood for, no-one could remember what it was called, and no-one could understand what it was supposed to be doing even when it was explained. Even the term 'business enterprise' was a nonsense in itself. What is business if it's not enterprise? What is enterprise if it's not business? And what is 'regulatory reform' in the context of business and enterprise?
Hardly central to international trade.
Let's see how long this name lasts. I'll give it a year or two at most. It's only taxpayers' money, so the enormous costs and wastage caused by this recklessness and poorly executed strategy are not scrutinised like they would be in a big company. You can perhaps begin to imagine the costs, losses and other fallout caused by changing such a well-established organizational name and presence, twice in two years.
Advertising is a complex and an ever-changing aspect of business. New ideas and media uses are being devised all the time, and as the advertising industry switches emphasis from media to media, and as new technologies and lifestyle trends develop, so new advertising and promotional methods need assessing and comparing with traditional available methods as to which is more or less cost-effective for your given purposes.
For example through the s and s there was a huge trend towards direct mail junk mail , which seems to show no signs of abating - many very large consumer brands switched significant advertising spending into direct mail, often away from TV. TV on the other hand is increasingly attractive to small local businesses. Loyalty schemes - a fundamental aspect of retail advertising and marketing - demonstrated significant success rates through the s through to present times.
Customer loyalty is traditionally rewarded with vouchers for the retailers' own products, plus special internal and external offers, all of which carry a much higher perceived value for the customer than the actual cost to the loyalty scheme operator. Internet advertising in certain territories and for certain sectors is now more popular industry spend than TV advertising, although since these media are now gradually merging it will become increasingly difficult to make absolute differentiations between the two media.
Internet advertising revenues eclipsed those of radio advertising several years ago. Crucially, internet advertising is extremely accessible and usable for very small businesses whereas conventional TV advertising is generally not at all. It generally enables a lot of testing and fine-tuning of targeting of message, 'keywords', and audience. Origination and set-up time and costs are generally much less than for conventional design and print advertising methods. Also, lots of internet advertising costs only your time.
Advertising methods change with lifestyle and technology developments - learn what's available to you - learn what your competitors are doing, which is particularly easy on the web. Read about advertising methods and developments and trends. Historically ss advertising agencies were commonly 'multi-services' agencies, and split their operations to handle the creative, production and media-buying processes. Nowadays however, multi-services agencies are far less common. The range of advertising methods is so vast that advertising agencies are now more commonly specialised in one or a small number of advertising services types of advertising.
Whether you work with an advertising agency or not, learn about the methods that are available to you, and keep up with developments so you can make informed decisions about where to put your advertising emphasis, and what 'mix' of methods to use. Conventional design and print advertising must more carefully take account of cost of origination design , production printing if relevant and media such as local radio, display advert, list procurement and postal fulfillment.
Choose advertising and publicity methods that suit your targeting. If you are a small local provider of dog-grooming services there is no point in advertising nationally or internationally via the internet. Conversely if you manufacture highly specialised precision-engineered surgical instruments then you should arguably be targeting buyers and users on a global basis, via the internet and probably international journals and events too.
You can look at other advertisers that repeatedly using various media to gauge how effectively it's working for them, which will provide some clues as to how well it might work for you.
If you are considering an advertising method that involves a reasonably serious investment for you, try to avoid guessing whether it will work or not, and instead research how well it actually works. You might even ask some of the existing advertisers if it's working for them and to what degree. Or run a small test or pilot, before you commit to a bigger campaign. Building evidence of advertising effectiveness - crucially tracking and recording your media, methods, messages, costs, and results responses and conversions and order values - is a vital part of decision-making and managing your advertising and marketing mix.
Any large scale activity must first be tested and the response measured for quantity and profile. How To Write Better Your one-stop writing resource. Home The secret of writing words that sell: The secret of writing words that sell: Successful writing for marketing and advertising is about how well you think — not just how well you write Savvy international business and marketing writer, Suzan St Maur, shares her best-kept secret for devising killer messages that sell and persuade powerfully.
Want the book right now? Successful ads typically have simple fonts with lots of white space that are easy to read, with vivid graphics or pictures. Proofreading for spelling and grammar errors is a must. Get feedback on your ad from coworkers, friends, even strangers. Keep your brand identity consistent in all ads, using a style guide if published for all out-of-office communications.
Don't commit to a year's worth of advertising space until you know your advert does get attention and create clients. Measure ROI return on investment for all of your marketing activities. Go on Craigslist or look at your local paper for ads for similar services to get some ideas for formatting, etc. Obviously you'll want to make sure all the pertinent information such as company name, contact info, and so forth are included in the ad. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 5. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 3. Use the tips in this article and others on the Internet to help you decide where to advertise and how.
Get someone else on board with artistic talent if you have to to help with layout, drawings, etc. Not Helpful 6 Helpful 5. Check out Craigslist and the local newspaper for similar advertisement to get ideas about content and design. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 3. How do you write an advertisement for supervised homework and tuition offered?
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