(SALES) When Spam Came In A Can


Remember when a mouse was a furry little creature and Spam came in a can?

Words and meanings do change over time. It is imperative for credible radio marketing executives to understand the evolving meanings and strategies for words like branding, promotion, advertising, and marketing.

In the pre-Internet world, the term “marketing” defined a management process that moved a product from concept to production to distribution to the customer. Typically the four P’s in the marketing mix were selection and development of a Product, a Price, a distribution channel or Place for customers to buy, and a Promotional strategy to persuade prospects to prefer your business over your competitors.

Today, the meaning of marketing has morphed to mean the final pre-sale touch point that is perceived to “trigger a sale.” This trigger can be pulled by sales people, websites, an email, social media, advertising, or a long list of other marketing tools.

The problem lies in believing that the trigger alone generated the sale and under-estimating the role of the weapons and ammunition that must be in place for a marketing trigger to work.

Those weapons include branding, promotion, and advertising. Learning to articulate the confusing the inter-connected roles of branding versus promotion versus advertising and marketing can help you to increase your sales.


The word branding originated as “a mark or symbol to differentiate one’s cattle from another’s.” Businesses looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors subsequently created symbols or logos as their “brand.” Today we know that differentiating a business from a competitor’s is much more complex than creating a symbol or logo.

A business’  brand is the essential truth or value that business delivers, and is conveyed clearly and consistently in everything they do from their advertising, to their customer service, to the customer experience their product and staff delivers.

In short, branding is a business’ image, and how their customers and prospects feel about them. That feeling can create a powerful pre-need preference for a business.


Promotion is everything a business does to create more awareness for their brand. That includes everything from the physical appearance of their vehicles to word of mouth, from blogs to trade shows, from facilitating special events to websites and social media pages, and from the way their salespeople sell to their radio advertisers.

Promotions should be measured on how they proliferate the business’ brand. The old adage “all publicity or awareness is good publicity” is not true if the publicity doesn’t reinforce the brand the business has fought hard to develop.


Advertising is any form of paid publicity or communication. Advertising can’t make a bad business a good business, but if the business is a good business, in other words, it already has repeat and referral business, advertising can dramatically accelerate their success. Advertising is the front-runner in branding, promotion, and marketing and can trigger more sales.

Some Internet gurus have labelled this era “the post-advertising era,” implying that direct marketing or online marketing have replaced advertising. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In an increasingly competitive environment, it’s more important than ever to help your advertisers create a pre-need preference for their business before their prospects begin their online search.

Advertising is the most controllable dimension in a marketing mix. Professional radio marketing executives help their advertisers develop the message, the image, and the timing to make their marketing work better.


Marketing has evolved to mean the final piece in your marketing mix; the piece closest to the point of sale and the piece that triggers the sale. That might be anything from a coupon or a click-through on a website, a call to action in an ad, or a sales call.

“Marketing” has morphed to become the closest step to purchase, and therefore the step most often credited with the sales when your clients conduct customer surveys. But that final pre-purchase touch point is only the culmination of pre-sale branding, advertising, and promotion.

In the pre-Internet world, triggers like finding a phone number in the yellow pages, or redeeming a printed coupon often mistakenly got credit for the sale. Today, some advertisers make that same mistake, crediting clicks or page views for the sale.

Radio account executives who help their clients promote their brand, and create a pre-need pre-search preference for their business, are able to ensure that radio gets its due credit, and budget, in the marketing mix.


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