“What is a marketing?” is a commonly asked question. Here’s a simple answer that you can take action on immediately in order to increase your sales. Marketing is what you do to get interested people in front of you. Sales is what you do when you have a prospect on the phone, or standing in front of you. Several years ago, I used to be really confused between the two terms until a leading marketing consultant offered that simple distinction.

If you’re asking a question about marketing you’re probably interested in how to increase sales. There are three elements that make up marketing. They include market, message, and media. Of the three, the most important is your market, or your ideal prospect. You might wonder why I’m saying this. It’s because your prospect is the decision maker in selling process. If you don’t understand the needs, wants, and desires of your prospect, you cannot create a compelling message.

I used to sell yellow page advertising to local small business owners. One of the biggest mistakes I saw them make repeatedly was not targeting their marketing toward their ideal prospect. Joe plumber or Danielle the dentist was usually so busy working in their business and perfecting their craft, that they never learned the skill of marketing. In some cases, they understood marketing, but didn’t have the time to execute a marketing strategy.

When a sales professional comes along passionately talking about first page placement on Google, or circulation and distribution of a yellow page directory, it’s a mistake to prioritize the media over the market and the message. Even if your ideal prospect is using that medium, the message has to be focused enough to inspire the prospect to take action. Otherwise, you’ll get a poor return on that investment.

Which leads me to the second priority of crafting the right message for the ideal prospect. Once you’re clear on who you want to communicate with, you have to understand the conversation that’s going on inside their head. Your message needs to resonate with that inner conversation. This is about selling from a place of empathy.

The mistake that I often see being made is a “me too” marketing message wherein the what’s being communicated sounds just like anyone else who’s offering the same product or service. If you’re attempting to sell on the basis of, “quality service”, or “years in business”, those are poor differentiators. Your prospects and customers are looking for quantifiable benefits that solve their problems.

Last is the issue of media. Only after you’re clear on who your market is and what their buying motives are, can you craft a compelling message. If you send the right message down a channel where your target customer spends time, you’ve got the beginnings of a marketing strategy that will increase sales.

Author's Bio: 

Ramon E. Dees, owner of 48 Days Marketing Coach, is offering a free report to independent professionals who are interested in increasing sales 25% or more in as few as 48-90 days without increasing your traditional advertising expense. Simply go to http://www.48DaysMarketingSolutions.com to download the report today.