As you develop a marketing plan, consider three main components (and terms) which together form a strong platform for success. Advertising, promotion and branding represent a distinctive part of marketing designed to build customer loyalty and increase sales.

Advertising informs customers about a product or service – what it does, how it works and why it’s important to own or utilize. Think of a broad overview of the product in relationship to consumer needs. Advertising also influences consumers to seek out specific products within a category, hopefully choosing your product over others on the market. Advertising happens over a variety of platforms which either inform large numbers of consumers or more targeted audience segments.

Promotion builds on advertising efforts by demonstrating the benefits of a product or service. Promoting specific benefits helps customers picture how they could individually and successfully use such a product. Promotional plans may vary depending on the various groups you seeking to reach. Promoting a product or service tends to be more specific than your broad-based advertising plan.

Branding incorporates information and benefits to form a unique package identified with your product and your business. Branding specifically targets your product over others in the same category. Successful branding uses a number of factors such as logos, colors, labeling and packaging to create product awareness and customer loyalty.

While planning marketing strategies is essential for a successful business, it should solidly reflect your ability to produce and distribute your product or service. Advertising requires a review of market segments in terms of geographics and demographics – where target audiences are in comparison to your reach and how much each individual group may need over a certain period.

You do not want to over- or under-produce, which can lead to customer disapproval and lack of trust. Your size and capacity then are key components to developing a sound marketing strategy.

Review your present marketing plan and spend some time determining how advertising, promotion and branding are working for you. When all three combine to represent your product or service in the best way, these applications become terms of agreement for the best return on your investment.

The above information is provided for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional legal or business counseling.