Denver, Colorado – If you are trying to learn more about branding and marketing, there is a lot of content available, but be aware that some of it is just plain wrong. Armed with the right information, you can create a successful marketing plan that has a solid return on investment for your company. If you follow some of these myths, then your business is likely missing the mark on its potential.

1. SEO is an unnecessary waste of time and money

These days, more customers educate themselves about services and products on their own through website searches. If yours appears on the sixth page of results, they likely will never go to your site or storefront when they are ready to make a purchase. It is important to audit your website and online presence for how well your site ranks in searches. If you are on anything other than the first page, then take SEO seriously and work on your ranking.

2. The lowest bidder will save you money

If you are considering outsourcing some or all of your branding and marketing needs, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. You may luck into a great firm that happens to provide a low bid, but that should not be your determining factor. Just as with any profession, the experience with skills and services that a firm can provide is commiserate with their fee schedule. In order to save money in the end by getting quality work the first time, do the research and find a good fit agency for your company.

3. Branding is a bunch of fluff, with no substance

Branding is actually your customer’s view of you. There is nothing fluffy or empty about that. It also involves more than just a logo. In fact, branding is a highly strategic area of marketing that requires analyzing your current marketing plan along with developing your vision for the future. Through a process that involves both analytics and creative development, a solid brand can be created that helps give your company’s image momentum.

4. Something is better than nothing

While the old adage is normally true, in the case of branding and marketing, it isn’t quite accurate. Marketing requires money, whether you plan it or not. Staff hours, agency fees, printing costs, and other factors are involved in marketing efforts. If you are going to take the time to do something, then do it correctly. With the right plan, marketing can have a powerful return on your investment. With no plan, it is likely to be a failure and a waste.

5. Marketing is for the marketing staff only

Not true. There are a number of departments that should be involved when creating a  marketing plan. The owners and c-suite set of a company should be available to not only have feedback on progress, but also to provide a vision for the company as a cornerstone for a marketing plan. The sales team is an important group that typically know your clients well. Their feedback is imperative to understanding your target market.

6. Only sexy ads get business

While attractive ads can gain attention, if they don’t have direction, then they won’t work. There should be emphasis put on the creative work that goes into your branding and marketing plan, but they should also be targeted. With research of your market, products, target demographics, and other marketing information gleaned through analytics, a solid marketing plan can be created and executed. That is what will get business.

7. Marketing and branding are interchangeable terms

Nope. Marketing is the collection of tactical promotional actions that grow your business. It includes where you promote yourself and which methods are used. Branding is the strategic creation of the image that comes to mind when a customer thinks of you and the ways that you propagate that image. For today’s businesses, the two depend on each other and are both necessary for a solid marketing plan, but they are separate areas and each require their own set of professional skills to master.

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