Operations

Do You Know The Real Difference Between Advertising And Marketing?

Jim Luff
Posted on January 10, 2020

LCT General Manager Jim Luff has served in various positions that have given him vast knowledge about the difference between marketing and advertising.

LCT General Manager Jim Luff has served in various positions that have given him vast knowledge about the difference between marketing and advertising.

There is no doubt advertising and marketing go hand in hand and complement each other. Our session explaining the difference between the two was intended to help operators understand why investing in marketing is a better option than advertising in our industry.

What Is Advertising?

Advertising is a method of motivating a person to make a purchase. As an example, seeing a billboard with a gigantic photo of a Big Mac could encourage you to stop at the McDonald’s one mile ahead if you just happen to be hungry. Advertising uses words like “limited time offer,” “Facebook special,” “Sale ends soon,” and similar statements that encourage a potential buyer to move forward with the sale of a product or service immediately.

Advertising Methods

Traditional advertising methods include commercials on radio and TV, print ads, billboard ads, and direct mail. They deliver the message of buying now. A photo of cold beer viewed on a hot day at a sporting event could motivate you to leave your seat and go purchase a beer. However, a sign of the same size located right next to the beer ad might be considered marketing. An ad for a bank that claims they have the longest hours of any bank might make you consider them as a primary bank. But you certainly are unlikely to stop at that bank on the way home from your sporting event and open a new account. Again, advertising is meant to inspire a purchase today. Marketing is meant to keep you thinking about a particular company, brand, or product.

Why Advertising Doesn’t Work

You can likely see that posting a billboard of a party bus alongside a highway will not cause someone to call and book a party bus in the next few minutes. The fact is most people will not consider spending a thousand dollars in the same day just because they saw your ad. The service we offer within our service markets is not something that is considered an impulse purchase. The use of our specialized services is based on life events such as weddings, funerals, proms, retirements, or planning business trips in the corporate world.

Will Advertising Work?

A TV commercial promoting holiday light tours can be used every season for three to five years. (Photo via Flickr user Charlie)

A TV commercial promoting holiday light tours can be used every season for three to five years. (Photo via Flickr user Charlie)

Yes! There are times when advertising will work. The recent holiday season provided a perfect opportunity to sell holiday light tours. If you offer such tours around your city, they can be a huge money generator. However, that can only happen if you share the offer within your community. These types of tours can be advertised in all types of media including radio, newspapers, and even TV commercials. A TV commercial promoting holiday light tours can be used every season for three to five years. A good theme for this might be, “Create Family Memories,” and the message is aimed toward parents and grandparents who would enjoy taking their young ones to see the sights while the adults sip on champagne. You could also use advertising to promote limited-time offers such as a concert package including concert tickets, dinner, and transportation.

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is the delivery of a consistent message that includes your logo, services, and website. Through repeated exposure to your brand, you create what is known as Top of Mind Awareness. This means you are creating a brain impression that causes a person to feel like they “know you.” They don’t actually know you, but they do know what you do, how to contact you, and should readily recognize your logo. During this educational session, various logos were displayed with their actual brand names removed. Using only the logos, participants easily identified the logos of Motel 6, Taco Bell, and Ritz-Carlton. Participants also correctly identified a photo of a Big Mac with one participant shouting out, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, onions, and pickles on a sesame seed bun.” While that particular Big Mac ad has not been run in decades, to this day, people remember the marketing efforts of McDonald’s.

Why Marketing Is Vital

Your goal should be to make your company name and logo a household name within your community and service area as well as within the worldwide affiliate network. Following the various display of logos, participants were asked what they think of each brand. Motel 6 and Taco Bell were known for being cheap. While the logos and the names were easily recognized, the brands themselves are not known for quality. On the other hand, participants associated the Ritz-Carlton brand as being top-notch luxury. It doesn’t matter that half of the people in the session have never stayed at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. They know from marketing what the brand stands for. You should create the same image for your luxury transportation service.

Marketing Methods

Luff adresses a crowd at the 2019 LCT East Show

Luff adresses a crowd at the 2019 LCT East Show

The number of ways to market your company far exceeds the number of ways to advertise your business. Remember, the goal is to make your logo recognizable. This means hats, pens, shirts, letter openers, and other promotional items with your logo are invaluable. Companies like Create-A-Card serve our industry and can help you design a complete marketing program that helps build name recognition.

While a billboard will not work as an advertisement, it most certainly does as a marketing tool. Showing the inside of a limo-bus on a billboard is likely to inspire someone to at least think about chartering a bus in the future. Throw in a phrase like, “The best way to go wine tasting with friends,” and you will surely get people motivated. They may not call today, but eventually, they will call.

Why Marketing Works

In our Internet-driven society, people will search for luxury ground transportation services. We have all heard that our goal should be to have the No. 1 position in search engine results. That doesn’t guarantee you will get the business simply because you are number one on a list. The fact is, we like doing business with people who we know. If you use the search term, “Limousines in (your city),” you may not appear at the top. In fact, the company at the top may not even have a physical presence in your community but pays Google to always be at the top. That’s okay. Through repeated marketing efforts, a shopper will immediately recognize your name and feel like they know you. This makes a call to your company far more likely than the company they have never heard of before their search.

Get Out & About

The best form of marketing you can do is circulating in your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, service clubs like Rotary International, Lions, and even charity organizations. Volunteer within your community. Those volunteer gigs always foster communication with participants that include sharing what you do for a living. It is important to note simply paying membership dues won’t help you. You really need to get out in the community, roll up your sleeves, and be a “do-er.” Serve on planning committees and even consider joining the board of directors of organizations you believe in. This type of community service work not only helps spread your company name around but shows your company cares about the community.

Related Topics: 2019 LCT East, advertising, industry education, innovative marketing, Jim Luff, LCT Events Education Series, marketing/promotions, Sales & Marketing, tradeshows, web marketing

Jim Luff General Manager
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