1215579_sale[1] I can’t tell you how many potential clients I talk to who want instant pudding. That is to say, they want to get on Facebook and Twitter, and overnight have 10,000 new sales. It just doesn’t work that way.

Look at Groupon. Retailers who use the service are on the fence. After all, yes, they did book 400 appointments for cheap facials, but what next? None of the Groupon users are coming back.

That’s because there’s a fundamental difference between marketing and promotion.

  • Marketing: Ongoing efforts to establish a brand in a given market. It’s about brand recognition and trust.
  • Promotion: A spike in sales, even if it’s at a discount. People flock to save money on a product or service. No guarantee they’ll be back.

And I just realized that businesses don’t get the difference here. They think marketing and promotions are the same. But they simply aren’t. They absolutely, though, can work hand in hand.

How To Market

Build your brand around what you know. Be an advocate and an expert in your industry. Share articles, write articles, tweet and post interesting tips to Facebook. Send emails. Write press releases.

How to Promote

Go where you have followers. Post a Facebook/Twitter/email subscriber only special. Make people feel like they can’t get this exclusive deal anywhere else. Lose money on it.

Leap of the Week:

During the promotion, get email addresses. Add them to your newsletter list. Ask people on Twitter to take a photo of what they bought with the promotion. Follow up to ask if the order was okay. Offer surprise incentives to people who spent X amount of money. Keep up the momentum. Stay in touch with that bargain-shopping customer and get them back.