Success or failure: why it really matters that marketing is NOT just about promotion

When many people say the word “marketing” or even sell “marketing” services, what they actually mean is “promotion” – using tools like advertising, websites or glossy brochures.

“No amount of promotion is likely to have any impact if you’re doing the wrong things, the wrong way, for the wrong people”

Marketing has become synonymous with promotion, to the point where the word marketing has seemingly lost its true meaning and value.

People claim to want to “market” their business and others will happily sell “digital marketing”, “content marketing”, “email marketing” and alike – when by and large what they’re selling are promotional tools or services.

It’s not just a matter of being overly pedantic about words – as no amount of promotion is likely to have any impact if you’re doing the wrong things, the wrong way, for the wrong people – it’s a matter of business success or failure.

This fact is even taught in secondary schools – my own GCSE course in Business Studies identified that at the heart of marketing were the four Ps of the marketing mix – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. In order for a business to be successful, it must get all these elements in order, with promotion being the last thing to think about!

The Chartered Institute of Marketing has further developed the Ps of the marketing mix, now claiming there to be 7: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence. Furthermore, their preferred definition of marketing is:

“ The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

You don’t identify, anticipate or satisfy customer requirements through promotion. So if promotion is the limit of your marketing consideration, you’re at great risk of coming up with a product or service idea that you think people will want, then gambling a whole load of money on promotional activities in the hope that they’ll buy it.

It really is little more than gambling. That may be fine if you’re a lone entrepreneur with money to lose, but when your staff are relying on you to pay their mortgages and feed their families, the risks of this folly become somewhat harder to ignore.

If you want your business to be a success, without that success being a massive gamble, it’s vital to step away from promotion unless the other elements of the marketing mix are in place.

Marketing considered and performed properly will help you offer the right products, the right way, to the right people, at the right time, place and price. Plus, it will help to ensure that when you do consider promotion, you’re targeting the right people and reaching them via the most efficient means available to you.

Knowing the difference between marketing and mere promotion really can be the difference between success or failure.

The book all business owners should read: A Christmas Carol

It seems that there are so many businesses that do little other than exist to extract as much money as possible for their owners/shareholders. They hire the cheapest possible labour, selling on their wares at huge mark-ups as if they’re the coolest thing in the world – via obscure company structures to avoid paying as much tax as possible.

It’s not only limited to the big names, there are no doubt some smaller business owners who are only to happy to make a quick buck with scant regard for anything but their bank account.

It’s for that reason I think all business owners and leaders should read A Christmas Carol.

If you focus on nothing other than extracting every last possible penny for yourself, then you are doomed, doomed for all time – and you might not benefit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future to show you the error of your ways.

If you’ve got a good business plan, you can still make yourself a tidy living – and help all those who work for you and otherwise rely on you to do so too.

News Release: Wolverhampton IT firm quadruples capacity as demand soars

The growing trend for businesses to outsource their Information Technology infrastructure has seen Wolverhampton-based VeloxServ Communications Ltd open a major new data centre in the city. The facility has quadrupled their capacity, creating five jobs and will provide services for businesses of every size and type.

Data centres house the equipment used to power a wide range of Information Technology applications, from websites and database systems, to smartphone apps and online games. Businesses are increasingly accessing these facilities from external service providers, instead of building their own data centres.

The Managing Director of VeloxServ Communications Ltd, Craig Messer, explains: “Our services enable businesses to access vital computer and networking systems without the capital investment required to build and maintain their own secure and reliable infrastructure. Clients can either house their own equipment in the data centre, or utilise our systems on-demand.”

VeloxServ’s new Wolverhampton data centre has been created by converting a former industrial building into a dedicated hub for Information Technology services. Over £200,000 has been invested in digital and physical security measures, as well as equipment to ensure uninterrupted power and network connectivity supplies.

The investment represents a major milestone for the business, which was founded eight years ago by Wolverhampton-born Craig Messer. It has grown from a sole-trader venture into a business operating data centres in Wolverhampton and London, supporting clients ranging from small website design agencies to national retailers.

Craig Messer says: “By investing in Wolverhampton, we can provide clients across the region with facilities that are within easy reach of their businesses, 24 hours a day, throughout the year.”

The MP for Wolverhampton North, Emma Reynolds, was instrumental in campaigning for the local telecommunications infrastructure works required to facilitate high tech businesses such as VeloxServ. Ms Reynolds says: “This new centre will create jobs for local people and provide greater capacity to support local businesses with IT solutions. I strongly welcome and encourage local companies like VeloxServ Communications investing in our City to help it further realise its potential.”

Businesses interested in finding out how VeloxServ’s services can support their Information Technology needs can do so by visiting or calling 0800 084 3521.


Photograph available:
File: VeloxServ.jpg
Caption: “VeloxServ’s Managing Director, Craig Messer (left) with Adam Ryan, Datacenter Operations Engineer (right) in the new Wolverhampton data centre.”

For further information please contact:
Craig Messer – Managing Director
VeloxServ Communications Ltd
Tel: 0800 084 3521

News Release: Kingshurst Parade to host tropical fun day

Residents in and around Kingshurst are invited to sample tropical-themed music, dance, food, arts and crafts at The Parade in Kingshurst, on Saturday 16th August between 11am and 3pm. The Kingshurst by the Tropical Sea event will feature a packed programme of entertainment for all ages.

Event manager, Alison Saint, explains: “There’ll be opportunities to try Rumba and Salsa dancing, taste delicious Caribbean food, join craft workshops and experience all the fun of the beach with our sandy play area. Entertainment will also be provided by a steel band, magician, DJ, donkeys and children’s rides. The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Kate Wild, will be attending and we hope many others will join us too.”

Members of Kingshurst Arts Space’s Stitch ‘n’ Knit group and the Kingshurst Girls’ Brigade have spent several weeks creating props and decorations to turn The Parade into a tropical paradise.

The event has been organised by Kingshurst Arts Space, in partnership with Kingshurst Library, the Seeds of Hope community hub, the Parade’s traders, Kingshurst Parish Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Councillor Joe Tildesley said: “It’s great to see residents, traders and community groups come together for what promises to be a fantastic day. ”

Further event details are available at or by visiting Kingshurst Arts Space, 39 The Parade, Kingshurst, B37 6BD.


Editor’s Notes:
Established in 2011, Kingshurst Arts Space is an arts outreach project funded by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to improve lives and communities through creative activities and experiences. Located in a shop unit on Kingshurst Parade, it is a hub for a wide range of arts groups, events and activities for all ages.

For further information please contact:
Alison Saint – Creative Project Manager
Kingshurst Arts Space, 39 The Parade, Kingshurst, B37 6BD
Tel: 07770 262 245

  • Birmingham Mail – 12/08/2014 – “Taste of Tropics down on Parade”
  • Solihull News – 15/08/2014 – “Plus some more tropical fun in the sun”
  • Also announcements on BBC Radio WM & Switch Radio

News Release: Stourbridge mum’s bookkeeping business is a Dragon’s favourite

Dragons’ Den star, Theo Paphitis, has chosen Stourbridge-based Bookkeeping Boutique as one of his favourite small businesses. Bookkeeping Boutique’s owner, Sarah Lewis, was selected as a winner of Theo’s Small Business Sunday review on the popular social networking site Twitter.

Although famed for his role as an investor on the BBC show, Dragons’ Den, as well as the revival of retailers including La Senza and Ryman, Theo Paphitis is also a keen supporter of small businesses. Each Sunday Theo provides an invaluable publicity boost to his six favourite small businesses, by promoting their details to his 172,000 followers on Twitter.

Commenting on her win, Sarah Lewis says: “I was shocked to be selected as it was the first week I’d entered Theo’s review. It’s great to receive his support, as bookkeeping doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves as a means to boost business performance.”

Having spent 15 years in industry-based accounting roles, Sarah established Bookkeeping Boutique following the birth of her second child. Sarah explains: “Setting up my own home-based business has enabled me to find a better balance between work and the needs of my young family. I really enjoy working with some fabulous local businesses and it’s been a real bonus to be recognised by a famous entrepreneur like Theo.”

Anyone interested in finding out how Bookkeeping Boutique can help their business are invited to visit


Editor’s Notes:
Sarah Lewis was announced as a Small Business Sunday winner on 25th September 2011 – Theo’s ‘tweets’ can be found on Twitter at

Photograph available:
File: SarahLewis.jpg
Caption: “Bookkeeping Boutique owner, Sarah Lewis, with daughters Ava (l) and Lily (r)”

For further information please contact:
Sarah Lewis – Bookkeeing Boutique
Tel: 01384 404318

News Release: Solihull Producer’s new comedy exposes the Pied Piper’s centuries old secret

Solihull theatre producer, Richard Frazer, is staging a comedy sequel to the legendary tale of the Pied Piper, at Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College’s new campus in Highgate, Birmingham, between the 28th and 30th of October 2010.

Whilst the original tale famously tells of the Pied Piper clearing Hamelin’s plague of rats, the Pied Piper II explores a flaw that has gone unnoticed for centuries.

Richard explains: “Since rats can swim, the Pied Piper couldn’t have drowned them in a river. So after a year-long march back upstream, the rats are determined to wreak revenge on the people of Hamelin.”

The rat’s unscrupulous plots include a bank heist, sheep rustling and a crime wave that sees Hamelin stripped of essential pie and beer stocks. With the Pied Piper now in retirement, the townsfolk hold a talent competition to play his magical pipe, whilst the town’s cats plot their own counter-attack, fearing a loss of privilege if they don’t tackle the rat problem.

Created as a comedy for all the family, The Pied Piper II will feature over 30 characters, played by a local cast of new teenage talent and experienced amateur stage performers. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College’s student hardship fund.

Richard says: “The show promises to provide great value, laugh out loud, family entertainment. The audience will also be helping us to continue to take theatre into the community, as well as supporting our host’s students.”

Solihull-born Richard joined his first drama group whilst studying at Solihull Sixth Form College in the mid-nineties. He now combines a career as a vehicle fleet sales manager, with the demands of running the Rat Productions community theatre group. As well as producing the Pied Piper II, Richard has co-written it with the show’s director, Andrew Rowley.

Pied Piper II tickets are on sale now, priced £8 for adults and £6 for children. They can be booked online at or by calling the box office on 0121 742 3021.


Editor’s Notes
Rat Productions is a Music On Stage (MOS) theatre group. Established in 1972, MOS encourages community involvement in the arts and supports local charities. Our last event, a 22 hour marathon of all thirteen Gilbert & Sullivan operettas in Birmingham’s Town Hall, raised over £10,000 for the Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal.

Photograph available:
File: PiedPiperII.jpg
Caption: Stars of Pied Piper II (L-R) Ben Connolly, Natalie King, Richard Frazer, Amy King and Clare Harwood

For further information please contact:
Richard Frazer
Mob: 07875 699 394

  • Solihull Observer – “Rats’ tale continues”