Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Every day, we as the public are “sold.” The average American is bombarded with hundreds of advertisements each day telling us what we need to be happy and what we need to avoid pain. Like it or not, this shapes our beliefs and values. It is very important in business and in our personal lives to understand basic marketing, know when you are being “sold,” and distinguish fact from fiction. In addition to understanding them, actually applying advertising and marketing techniques in your professional and personal life is a key element of success.
Before we go any further, let us define a few terms. These terms are often confused, interchanged, and misunderstood.
Sales. As a verb, sales refers to the act of selling a product or service, usually where one or more people are involved. Sales can include direct one-on-one selling or selling to more than one person, as in the case of a presentation.
Advertising. The activity of attracting public attention to a product, service, or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
Marketing. The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.
To illustrate these three terms, we will use the example of XYZ Corporation. The marketing department has taken the time to put together a marketing campaign in which they have carefully planned the methods and techniques they will use to sell their product. This campaign includes several forms of advertising, including print and banner advertising, as well as direct selling via their in-house sales force, which will sell the product mostly by telephone.
Advertising, marketing, and sales are a very important part of our economy and, I believe, one of the main reasons we live in such an abundant society. In fact, if it weren’t for marketing, you would not be reading this book. It is these activities that allow both organizations and individuals to get their message across to hundreds and even billions of people while giving the people more choices.
Unfortunately, not all salespeople, marketing campaigns, and advertisements are looking out for your best interests. In fact, most advertisers never really understand this basic concept: when you truly help others, you help yourself. Every day we are conditioned, misled, deceived, and even at times outright lied to by advertisers. They sacrifice long-term success for short-term gain, and effectively create lose/lose situations. We as “the public” must be aware of the techniques used by advertisers so we can avoid being taken advantage of and make our decisions based on facts. As business people, we must avoid misleading others in our marketing and know how to communicate our message effectively.
Throughout this course, we will be discussing different advertising, marketing and sales techniques. Remember, even if you are not in business, understanding these techniques will play an important part in your success. At the very least, it will improve your decision-making process when it comes to purchasing products or services, and perhaps, save you thousands or even millions of dollars in the long run.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)