For many small business owners, navigating the ways to get their business ‘out there’ can be overwhelming. Marketing and branding are great ways to connect with potential patients. Most people have heard of marketing and branding, but what are they? How can they contribute to your business goals? Do you need both?
Branding is everything your audience will use to identify your business, product or service. Branding can include visual elements in addition to key messages. While branding defines your business, it also differentiates it from competitors. Here are some branding elements that should define and differentiate your business.
- Name of your business
- Mission and vision statements
Marketing is the process of getting potential customers interested in your business, product or service. Think of it this way: marketing is the vehicle that brings your brand to potential patients. Marketing can include a strategy with its own visual elements and key messages specific to its goal and can appear through several channels such as printed collateral, a website, social media, broadcasting and email. Here are the four Ps of marketing.
- Product – the service or product being promoted
- Price – price based on market and demand including any special offers
- Promotion – communication of the product and price
- Place – places where the communication will be hosted
Businesses are often successful when they have well developed branding and marketing. Marketing is often a part of business plans and branding usually takes a backseat until marketing dollars can be put toward it but branding should be developed before marketing. It is the business’ identity. Without it, marketing initiatives may suffer and not perform as well as they could.
Branding tells potential patients who you are and marketing puts that message in front of them. So, when the question is branding or marketing, the answer is both.