Promoting vs Marketing

The terms ‘promotion’ and ‘marketing’ are often used interchangeably. But in all actuality, these two processes are very different. Let’s take a moment to go over how each can be of benefit to you – when utilized correctly.

Promoting is the act of getting the word out about an event or an upcoming special. It is a targeted pitch to put butts in seats or draw customers to purchase a product. A carnival barker is a promoter: “Come one, come all, to the greatest show in the world!”. He is urging you to buy a ticket to enter the carnival, which is his only job. You might be planning a big 50% off sale, so you promote it by purchasing ads and posting on your social media. That promotion is only good as long as that sale is in effect. Once done, the promotion becomes moot.

Marketing, however, is a long-term effort. It is designed to give your company a personality and build long-term relationships with your clients. Think of a big box store. You go more often to a specific one because of its “personality” – the way things are displayed, how the signage is designed, the promise of lower prices. All accomplished through marketing – long term brand building that has put that store into the forefront of your shopping choices. Marketing is built to be the long game.

So, promoting will get that quick infusion of cash and probably get new customers to experience your brand, but marketing is what will turn a stranger into a life-long friend returning time and again to support you.

Look to promotions for the short game – a salesperson who can get the word out about a specific product or event. Look to marketing for the long game – someone who will help you build a recognizable brand that will stand the test of time.